BIM: building information modelling
What is BIM?
BIM (building information modelling) is a method for the development of many activities about the building-factory system through a parametric 3D model, developing the creation, archiving, managing and sharing of information concerning the intervention works.
In detail, the National Institutes of Building Science defines BIM as “the digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of an object” and, specifically, of a building. Therefore, BIM cannot be considered a product, or literally a technology, and a software application, neither. BIM is a designing method instead, which involves a new operating way by means of an innovative technology based on the information exchange possibility.
BIM meets the need of both a greater cooperation among designers, and a real interoperability of the software, as well as an easier integration between processes during all work phases, from the designing to the management and the end of its life.
BIM model uses data, calculations and specifications to obtain all the documents and the integrated project results, when architecture, systems and structures are required to be put in relation.
What is BIM used for
The BIM method offers many advantages in all the building life cycle. Generally speaking, the BIM system allows users to develop high quality projects with accurate control of time and costs. It also offers a considerable reduction of both time and costs during designing, building and managing phases of the works.
Using BIM, advantages can be obtained during all the construction phases, starting from the analysis of need and the feasibility study, to the construction and management of the building.
Advantages of using BIM
Advantages for the designers
- More accurate and immediate visualisation of the project
- Automatic corrections following modifications done to the project
- Accurate and coherent of 2D drawings generation during any phase of the designing
- Coordination of the different designing sectors, since the dynamic model provides information on geometry, materials, supporting structure, thermal characteristics and energy performance, installations, costs, safety, maintenance, life cycle, demolition and disposal
- Check of consistency for design purposes (code checking)
- Interference control (model checking)
- Real-time cost estimates during design phase
- Discovery of design errors before construction
- Synchronizing design with building planning (BIM 4D)
- Integration of the model with different software for architectural design
Advantages for Companies
BIM allows to exceed the typical inefficiencies of the traditional design method, allowing to overcome the gap between the design and the execution phase. All the evaluations in terms of efficiency, process control and cross-share of information expressed in relation to the design phase are valid, and indeed find their most effective expression even in the transition to the realization phase.
The advantages of BIM are enhanced by the drafting of commercial offers, supply management, subcontracting, industrial accounting, construction of the work and progress of the works.
Advantages for the clients
Using BIM technology, the biggest advantages for buyers are:
Quality of works, certainty in construction times, lower costs for operational management and, in general, for the whole lifecycle of the building (including dismantling). BIM also ensures a cost reduction for designing errors, the possibility of a full cost-benefit analysis for each proposed designing solution, and it provides an important tool for sustainable and a resource-conscious-usage design, as well.
Open BIM is a universal approach for the collaboration during designing, building and commissioning phases, which is based on open standards and workflows.
- It promotes a transparent and open workflow
- It makes available a common language
- It provides durable data which can be used during all the building lifecycle
IFC standard, defined by Standard UNI EN ISO 16739, implicitly guarantees the data re-use in the time, independently of the software house formats. The contracting authorities are called to keep the data accessible without accumulating risks arising from the inevitable evolution of proprietary formats.
With the new UNI 11337:2017, Italy adopts shared rules to both operate in the construction market and actively participate in writing the new community and international rules about BIM.
The new rule derived by a working table of private and public subjects in UNI headquarter. The new rule now represents a reference framework on the digital management of buildings in the Italian construction sector, equal to the famous British PAS. The regulation provides the operating tools for a BIM contract; after the introduction of Italian New Contract Regulations, BIM is introduced as a method for the management of public contracts.
With IFC, designers and Public Administrations freely invest only in the technology considered more satisfactory than those available, limiting their investment costs.