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Building information modeling is the creation of a 3D model for simulation, planning, coordination and documenting purposes. Teams often use BIM for buildings or structures during the planning phase, because it allows collaboration with all team members, including stakeholders, architects, engineers, contractors, developers, sub-contractors and other construction professionals. It can also help you optimize a project past the planning phase, into construction and operation, by making everything more efficient and cost-effective.

How is building information modeling software used in construction?

Building information modeling software is used to document and visualize the designs behind infrastructure. Project managers use BIM to model as many details as possible in a structure so that everyone can clearly understand it. With BIM models, ideas for a structure can undergo experimentation and general discussion. Building information modeling software is used to track the life cycle of a project, even through renovations. The process of BIM modeling is as follows:

Planning stage

During this phase, project planners who use the BIM software conceptualize the models for the building project. This means taking measurements to capture real data from existing structures in order to generate models for the BIM project.

Designing stage

Next, project participants use the BIM software to construct the model using the data gathered during the planning phase. They use BIM logistics to construct a model structure and plan a complete design that is, at this stage, without a rendered model or data.

Building stage

After designing the building plan, they construct models and give data specifications for each BIM object used. This is when they make the BIM representable to other members of the project, such as stakeholders or project leaders. They add finishing touches as they finally make the BIM ready for use and further editing.

What are the elements of BIM?

To function effectively, BIM requires the successful integration of the following five elements:

Information: BIM includes both model and document information. Models are digital data 3D representations of an object that are stored in file format. Documents are the digital data 2D papers, drawings, images and videos.

Processes: This is the specific schedule of work activities from start to finish, with a clear identification of project activities.

Policies: These are the guidelines and rules that guide any project decision-making.

Technologies: BIM includes a variety of software and hardware tools that are used to manage each stage.

People: The professionals involved in the project are vital to its success. Important roles in BIM may include a BIM manager, BIM consultant and BIM technologist.

Functions of a BIM object

The functions of a BIM object include:

Building: BIM objects store data from the entire model and reflect it into elements of a building. For example, if a manager chooses steel key bolts, the BIM software updates the model to reflect this choice.

Storing: All BIM objects contain information that’s critical for the building process. By using the stored data for BIM objects, professionals can collaborate on planning and building successfully.

Updating: If any element of the BIM object changes, the BIM software can update that change to the BIM object’s data, allowing for project stakeholders to stay up-to-date on the BIM’s status.

Syncing: Project managers collect and share BIM information through a common data environment, which allows others access to the information they need to understand the model. They can later refer to any set point for comparison and building improvement.