What Is Building Information Modeling?

Building a large structure can take years of planning and actual construction time. Between architecture and engineering, significant planning is required before a contractor or construction crew is part of the picture.

What can slow down progress more than any other factor? Despite the best planning, architect drawings, and engineered plans, miscalculations occur.

Building information modeling is a new way to help avoid those problems. BIM takes blueprints and CAD to the next level for visualization and planning.

Read on to learn more about building information modeling and how it’s changing the planning of big construction projects.

What Is Building Information Modeling?

Building information modeling, or BIM, is a collaborative process allowing many parties to be a part of creating the most accurate digital representation of a construction project.

During BIM, many parties are part of the collaborative process, including:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Real estate developers
  • Contractors
  • Manufacturers
  • Other construction professionals

The BIM process allows structured, multi-disciplinary data to come together and show the construction process at many stages. This enables all parties to have a more accurate representation of the project so possible issues can get addressed before they arise.

The I in Building Information Modeling Solutions

While it’s true that many parties get involved in the BIM process, the key to the success of BIM is the information gathered from BIM.

During building information modeling, the information from conception to completion gets stored and can be adjusted as needed throughout the process. So, not only is the plan conceptual, but it’s also actionable.

It can include information, including:

  • Parts
  • Material-based information
  • Geospatial information
  • Financial information
  • Procurement information
  • Logistical information

The information that’s a part of the BIM plan is saved and accessed in a shared space called the common data environment (CDE).

BIM Levels

Building information modeling is created in levels. These levels go from zero up to 5D and 6D BIM. Each level has a different purpose in information sharing.

The levels look basically like this:

  • BIM Level Zero includes paper-based drawings and zero collaboration
  • BIM Level One includes 2D construction drawings with some 3D modeling
  • BIM Level Two includes 3D models done by individual teams
  • BIM Level Three includes 3D shared models that are worked on together
  • BIM Level Four through Six include adding in scheduling, cost, and the sustainability information

There are many benefits involved in getting to Levels 4, 5, and 6. These include the efficiency of scheduling and site planning. It also allows for smoother transitions between the different steps in the construction process.

Of course, budgets and costs need to match as much as possible, which ultimately can be one of the biggest challenges of new construction. The higher levels of BIM allow for real-time cost visualization and simplified cost analysis of needs.

It also allows for the smooth operational management of the new structure throughout the stages of the process because each team is a part of the modeling process.

Building Information Modeling for the Best Construction Plan

Building information modeling is the next level in planning for new construction. It allows for more accurate information before and during construction by all teams that are part of the process.

If you’re looking for better visualization on your construction project, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our As-Built drawings.


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