Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

BIM for Health & Safety

In the past, most of the information generated in the design and construction and used for operations and maintenance was paper-based.
When the design and construction stages were finished, dozens of consultants handed in their drawings, specifications, and documents to the building owner.

Usually, the building owner did not specify how these files should be organised. So, they ended up with a pile of folders and little knowledge of what was inside.
With the advent of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools, all this information started to be digitised. In software like AutoCAD, you could draw the building on the computer.
However, the situation remained more or less the same, as the objects in CAD tools can only carry a limited amount of information.

So instead of ending up with a pile of folders, the building owner was given a pile of CDs. Again, it was very difficult to find a particular piece of information.
The importance of BIM is really the I (information) bit.

Clarify that B (building) has nothing to do with restricting to buildings, it can also refer to other types of built assets, such as infrastructure projects (e.g., linear assets; roads, rail, pipe networks, etc.).

The M (modelling) means more than just modelling in 3D and that it simply means the creation and structuring of information into a coherent form, e.g., creating a spreadsheet in excel is a form of modelling.
BIM uses object-oriented programming. This means that objects ‘know’ what they are, as they carry information about themselves. This allowed for people to do a search and retrieve the information they wanted in much less time.
This functionality of BIM allowed for the model to be used in hundreds of different ways.

For example – We can now combine the models of different disciplines and visualise how specific elements of the building were interacting with each other.
We can simulate how a certain element of a building is going to perform. For example, What should be the dimensions of the structural elements?
And we can now check risks better – and this is our topic today.

With BIM tools we can visualise and simulate better the risks during the design, construction, and operations of our buildings. 

We can also produce and store this information in a more structured and collaborative manner.

Finally, we can communicate these risks better, making sure that elevated risks are addressed first.
So that is a short story of how things developed into the stage we are at.

Before we get to focus on what we can do with BIM, it may be better to give two steps back and understand what it is and how it works.