BIM–The construction industry’s next top model

14 November 2017 Kingspan Group
BIM for the baffled part 3 BIM and the government

The construction industry can only be as advanced as the technology of the day. Fortunately, we are in an age where design and building technology is reaching new heights of efficiency and ingenuity. One of these advances is BIM, or Building Information Modelling.

BIM is a process used for managing information on a construction project. It generates and manages digital representations of the physical and functional design elements of a project. It does this using a combination of 3D rendering software, miniature 3D models of the project and relevant engineering data.

The implementation of BIM in the construction industry is accelerating globally. Usage in the UK, has increased from 13% in 2011 to 54% in 2016 among all construction professions.
 
Anand Mecheri, CEO of Invicara, a software start up that is aiming to drive the industry transformation through a digital platform for information management states that:

BIM is both information modelling and information management. BIM is an enabler for digitisation, a means to an end. Existing industry workflows and entirely new workflows will be enabled by a whole new set of tools and systems that leverage digitised information and collaboration to enhance transparency, accountability, efficiency and productivity for all stakeholders. These digitised workflows will change the status quo, presenting opportunities for developers, owners, designers, contractors and suppliers to get better or get left behind. We are only scratching the surface of possibilities at this moment and change is coming to our industry, like never before. Exciting for some, scary for others!

What can BIM be used for?

BIM essentially builds an entire project digitally, from start to finish, before any construction takes place.
 
BIM files include full 3D renderings, as well as key performance characteristics and specifications.
 
BIM allows architecture, engineering and construction professionals to do a virtual walk-through of a project. But more importantly, they can also see how their designs will perform, encouraging the design of better buildings.

The benefits of BIM

BIM holds some distinct advantages over Computer Aided Design. It makes collision detection, flagging of construction-related problems, file-sharing and energy optimisation much easier.

BIM software is all compatible encouraging better communication and collaboration. All those involved on a project can share and update design plans, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
 
Ultimately BIM saves time and money, making it an ideal tool for developers. The level of detail it provides can estimate material costs and allow for energy cost savings in the long-term. The collaborative qualities of this shared model also result in less duplication of work.
 
When the UK government introduced BIM, it achieved an overall saving of 20% on its pilot projects.

BIM and the future of construction

Many believe that BIM will lead to better construction practices, better buildings and a leap in employment.
 
BIM isn’t just about computer software. It is also about data–how it is integrated and how it can be used to streamline workflows. BIM has huge potential to provide new insights and innovations in the future, as the digital data of our built environment is compiled.
One day, this technology may also be capable of presenting projects in five full dimensions. Only time will tell, but the future looks bright for BIM tech.
The future of the construction industry looks bright with technologies like BIM being introduced.​ Kingspan BIM objects are available for a wide range of products and can be found on the UK’s NBS BIM Library. You can find out more about it here.
 

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