What is a BIM Model?

September 30, 2016

This post gives you a basic overview of what information can be put into, and taken out of, a BIM model.

BIM is not just a 3D model. It's a 3D model bursting with information. That information can be supplied by, shared with, and used by all of the stakeholders involved in a project.

3D: Model

The centrepiece and starting point is your 3D model. Adding your architectural elements - along with all structural, electrical, mechanical and plumbing elements - enables you to arrive at a full and functional 3D model of the building.

2D: Drawings

You have access to all of your 2D drawings. All of the sections, plans and elevations are included in the model. You can modify and edit these files and all changes will be immediately applied to the 3D model.

4D: Project Management

4D adds the time element. This means that you can link a schedule of work to the model and see how the building is going to look at different points along the timeline. This enables you to visually compare the progress at one month, three months, six months etc.

5D: Quantity Surveying

Adding quantities and costs gives the 5D element. Knowing how big a wall is means that you will know how much material is needed and its cost. As a result of this, you can budget accordingly, prevent over-ordering and avoid being left with wasted material at the end of the process.

6D: Facilities Management

The 6D element of facilities management allows you to manage the asset after handover. This ensures that you're getting the best out of it by continuing to use the data that was put into the model throughout the lifecycle of the building.

7&8D: Energy and Sustainability

7D and 8D incorporate energy and sustainability into the model. Considerations here can include: how energy efficient is the building? what if solar power gains ground? what if the orientation of the building were different - would that change anything with regards to energy and sustainability?

All of this information can be supplied and used by everyone involved in a project. This ensures that everyone has the latest, up-to-date information, duplication can be avoided, and thus the margin for error is greatly reduced.

BIM at the Professional Academy

Develop the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in the rapidly evolving area of BIM with our flexible, industry-relevant courses.

Find Out More

Tagged: BIM