What is Building Information Modeling?

Opening a discussion about 21st century digital architecture could hardly go without mentioning building information modeling. Contrary to many people’s perception of BIM, it is not a software solution. The BIM framework could be managed by a multitude of software packages, such as Bentley AECOsim Building Designer, ArchiCADTekla StructuresAutodesk Revit, Synchro PRO, VectorWorks, etc. Building information modeling is much more than a software solution, it facilitates the process of pre-planning, sharing of information, documentation gathering and keeping.

Digital architectural representation and information that builds the model help a great deal to better envision and plan a project. Real-time design could be utilized to introduce adjustments promptly, answer better to the clients’ needs, prevent expensive on-the-site construction problems that could arise at a later stage, and eliminate the design dissatisfaction factors.

Analyzing BIM’s main attributes and contributions – fast, effective, time and cost-saving, tailored according to the clients’ needs, fully customizable, delivering more accurate and easy to envision design – it begins to show why Building Information Modeling is being considered as the future of architecture.

Advanced economies, such as Great Britain, are already involved in different action plans, related to BIM’s use and path to follow. Starting 2016, government construction strategies require fully collaborative BIM 3D (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) models. This is meant to deliver:

  • up to around 30% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of the assets
  • 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets
  • 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment

Building Information Modeling means improving the process and project delivery, while having the possibility to calculate and reduce environmental impacts before the project’s start and after its delivery.