There is more to BIM than a model

By mandating the use of Building Information Management (BIM) on all its construction projects by 2016, the UK Government has taken the world lead in driving forward the BIM agenda.  Many blue chip construction organisations, in all parts of the supply chain, are investing heavily to help maximise the potential benefits that the adoption of such an initiative can bring to them.  This may take the form of eligibility to work on Government projects, or just increasing their own efficiency through improved working methods.

 However, whilst there is undoubtedly enormous momentum to the uptake of BIM in the UK, some areas of the BIM process are progressing faster than others.  New uses and applications for the software model seem to be found daily, with links to design software and facilities management programs now coming on line.  But more focus is needed on the other parts of the process – the organising and ‘naming’ of data and the methodology for issuing the data in a form that can be used both during and after the construction phase.

 Whereas the use of a software model may not present obvious advantages for those in house-building, looking at the wider BIM process may be of more benefit.  Considering how they arrange and control their flow of data may help house builders to realise savings through increased efficiency, which in turn may enable them to invest in relevant software tools.

 The introduction of a simple document management system (another key part of the BIM process), arranged in accordance with BS 1192:2007 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information – Code of practice, for example, enables the controlled naming and flow of data between parties.  This allows data to be easily found rather than having to create it time and again. This assists current work activities procedures and can be ofBIM blog benefit on all projects, not just those employing BIM. Similarly, presenting construction and operational data for occupiers and end users in a readily understandable form will greatly increase their understanding of the facility and its systems.

 The message to house builders should be to look at the whole BIM process and carefully consider how it can be applied to what they do.  Adopt the simple measures in the short term and develop a strategy to achieve ‘full BIM’ in the context of the type of work they do as they gain experience.  A BIM project of social housing may look very different to that of a high-tech commercial building, but there are elements of BIM which can add real value to both. 

 BSRIA has worked with the NHBC Foundation to produce  NF49 Building Information Modelling – an introduction for house builders.  Reading NF49 could be their first BIM step.

About johnsands123
John Sands Principal Consultant, Sustainable Buildings Group John has recently joined BSRIA’s Sustainable Buildings Group to drive the development of BIM within BSRIA, to help industry understand the principles and practices which define BIM, and give support in making best use of this in their everyday operations via the BIM Centre, a joint venture with BRE which will be launched shortly, and the BSRIA BIM Network group. Prior to joining BSRIA, John worked at Hoare Lea where he was involved in a trial to automatically generate specifications from objects as they are inserted into the BIM model. This work will continue as a collaboration between Hoare Lea and BSRIA. John is actively involved in industry discussions on classification structures for BIM, and represents the CIBSE at CPIC committee level on this topic. He also sits on the CIBSE BIM Group, currently looking at developing standard information presentation techniques for use in BIM environments. John has a particular interest in the capture of data for use throughout the full life cycle of the building, covering such activities as performance monitoring in use and facilities management.

One Response to There is more to BIM than a model

  1. http://www.inbuilding.org are running a free online Q&A on BIM and Autodesk Revit.

    Come and have a look

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