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Building Information Modeling 101

Published: 2020-06-02

You’re sitting in a meeting or you´re joining a conference call. Someone throws around the term BIM and while you´ve heard the word several times before, you still don’t manage to get your head around what it actually means.

It’s a traditional case of The Emperor´s New Clothes. Everyone in the room hums in agreement, because they´re sure they´re the only one not knowing. BIM, digital twins, 3D-modeling; these are but a few things that often falls into the above category. For digital strategists and model managers these terms are as clear as day, whereas the traditional engineer might find themselves on new grounds. This is why we´ve written this BIM introduction, where we´ll try to cover the basis of BIM.

At it’s core, BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and is 3D design and modeling software. So far so good. However, both the strengths and weaknesses of BIM is that the concept is much more complex. While Bim definitely involves modelling, it is also about workflows and processes, information management and human collaboration.

BIM Objects and Data Sharing

BIM is all about teamwork. The BIM model consists of intelligent objects carrying data and are paired together like nodes. If any element is changed or information revised, the model updates. This means that every actor that works with the model always have the correct information, immediately.

The groundbreaking aspects of BIM lies in the ”I”, information. While BIM, like CAD-tools, create models for delivery the BIM objects contain layers and layers of data. Because of how these objects are To better understand the complexity of BIM, it might be better thinking of management instead of modelling. The workflow BIM creates allows for an unbroken chain of information, where data is stored, managed and updated throughout the design as well as construction process. From a fire protection point of view, this means building a digital infrastructure that opens for feedback structure and audit trails. By managing the information the right way, we ensure assurance and compliance in our designs.

It´s also about visualizing. With the 3D model, coordination and clash detection are more easily managed and are more likely to be discovered early. Because of how these objects are paired, the data is stored within a structured workflow. The space in which the data is stored is called a Common Data Environment (CDE). This data is then facilitated and retrieved by the design team through the information model. The space in which the data is stored is called a Common Data Environment (CDE). This data is then facilitated and retrieved by the design team through the information model. As information is stored collectively, it allows for better communications, more detailed planning, and better structuring as well as more powerful processing, controlling, evaluating and reporting. One way to view this is that BIM makes work more efficient. However, we would like to emphasise other aspects.

Management Instead of Modelling

To better understand the complexity of BIM, it might be better thinking of management instead of modelling. The workflow BIM creates allows for an unbroken chain of information, where data i stored, managed and updated throughout the design as well as construction process. From a fire protection point of view, this means building a digital infrastracture that opens for feedback structure and audit trails. By managing information the right way, we ensure assurance and compliance in our designs.

What BIM Really Brings to the Table

We see a lot of waste in the construction sector. Waste of time, waste of money. We see that we´re spending resources on unnecessary things; like finding missing information, fixing a mistake, or clearing up misunderstandings. The strengths of BIM are that these mistakes are significantly reduced. Information is properly stored and easily managed. This means that construction projects are less likely to be delayed or go over budget. It would make the design process smother as well as the buildings safer.

We also see that we´re wasting opportunities. By not adapting a digital strategy, we´re missing chances to keep pushing development and innovation. What BIM really brings to the table is the chance for the fire protection industry to take a whole new approach building environments, own a greater part of the design process as well as making sure safety is the best it could be.

BIM might also be difficult to grasp because it means so much more than just software. It’s a complete concept of work processes, business models, new competences and the actual tools. While the shift towards BIM design might feel overwhelming, the result of this shift will lead to safer, more intriguing building environments.

Are you ready for the next step? If you feel ready to explore the possibilities of BIM, you can get a free trial of Bimfire Tools here or for contact us for further information.