Lesson 1, Topic 1
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Graphical-Digital Information

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Graphical-Digital Information

There are three components of an Information Model which are structured and managed in such a way that they can be coordinated effectively with each other.

A non-graphical representation of an asset is generally produced in the form of asset data, representing the asset in its current state. Asset data reflects the physical and functional characteristics of the physical asset, such as its size, cost; performance criteria; materials; weight; serial number, location etc. For asset data to be used effectively, it must be structured in such a way that it is machine-readable, and is typically stored in a database.

A graphical representation of an asset is generally produced in the form of a collection of graphical models which, when combined, represent the physical asset in its current state.

Given that assets are three dimensional, graphical models are typically produced in three dimensions. However, depending on the level of graphical detail needed, a two-dimensional graphical model may be sufficient, particularly in the early concept stages or for linear assets, such as roads and railways.

For graphical models to be used effectively, they must be structured and linked in such a way that when combined, they fit together. This is known formally as federation.

Documents – Records of an asset are generally produced in the form of documentation, representing the asset at any given moment in time.
Collectively, they provide a historical record of the asset’s life and can include documents such as reports; drawings; photos; visualisations and animations etc.

Documents should be considered out of date the moment they are produced, however, it is likely that there will always be a need for this type of documentation, due to legal, regulatory and contractual requirements. 
Although BIM is characterised by object-based modelling, the suite of tools extends beyond design modelling tools, such as Revit, some of the software tools based on the project process (i.e. through briefing, design, analyse, plan, manage, review, cost and FM).

The CDE solutions underpin all project processes.

BIM is not one single tool.