BIM design

Have you ever wondered how a neighborhood is built? The process is very complex and involves the collaboration of many professionals from different teams: the architecture office, the team of structure engineers, the team of installation (water, electricity, heating) engineers, the team of the constructor, the interior design team, the suppliers of technical solutions and materials, the project management team which also ensures quality management. In the past, all these entities worked in the same project, but with their own drawings, measurements, annotations, presented to others only in working meetings.

To increase the harmonization of teams, to simplify the procedures, and to communicate in real-time, nowadays BIM technology is used. It allows all the entities to work in real-time on the same sketch.

The information exchange between the parties involved in the design and construction processes is an important point that directly influences the final result. If some time ago the information were transmitted on paper, thus risking the loss or damage of materials, now the technology allows much greater security in the transfer of data and information and even facilitates communication.

What BIM design means

With a history of more than 3 years, used mainly in the Western and Northern European countries, BIM (Building Information Model) is a suite of technologies and processes based on 3D modeling that offers the professionals in architecture, engineering and construction the necessary instruments to design, plan, build and manage buildings in a more efficient manner.

Basically, the architects, structure and installation engineers, constructor, developer and even interior designers work on the same 3D model in an extensive collaboration process. Creating a digital model containing all the information about the building, to which every member of the team has access, has countless benefits. The most important is the elimination of risks that can occur at any stage of design or construction.

BIM is not only a 3D modeling software. It can contain a large quantity of information about all the elements involved in the design and construction processes. BIM allows a much more dynamic and synchronized approach of all those involved, from designer and engineers to constructor and developer. Also, with its help not only can you integrate data about the project and materials, but follow the entire construction chronology.

Unfortunately, in Romania, there are very few buildings that have been built using this design technology, although in the last 5 years it has become a standard of construction in developed countries. For example, the UK adopted in April 2016 a law requiring the use of BIM Level 2 (Level 0 – total lack of collaboration between entities, Level 1 – amixture between 3D design for concept and 2D for documents and information, Level 2 – characterized by extensive collaboration between entities and the exclusive use of 3D modeling) as construction standard.

Advantages of using BIM

1. Collaboration and communication
BIM design allows, first of all, a better collaboration and communication between the parties involved in the design and construction process Because they are basically working on the same 3D modeling, both architects and engineers, as well as constructors can share and track data in real-time. Thus, communication becomes much more efficient, all barriers being removed.

2. Coordination
Thanks to extensive collaboration, there is a better coordination of acquisitions, subcontractors, suppliers and more. With BIM help you can avoid last minute changes or unforeseen problems.

In addition, a great advantage of BIM is that it can be used on-site, allowing contractors to view updated plans and compare what is actually with what is in 3D plans. Having access to the 3D modeling all the time they can meet any problems that arise on site and thus do not waste time to find solutions on the spot.

Also, with the help of BIM design, construction sites become safer work places, the work teams being safe at all stages of construction. At the same time, the whole construction process can be documented to comply with all safety measures and to meet any errors.

3. Risk reduction
Risks of any kind are reduced close to 0. Given the amount of information about the project that BIM can incorporate, the real-time coordination of data that is stored in a single database to which all contractors have access reduces the possibility of information conflicts.

4. Cost reduction
A study shows that the use of BIM in the UK in 2013 saved over £840 million in the construction field. Reducing overall costs is a major benefit of using BIM.

5. Time reduction
The elimination of risks and costs together also generate a considerable decrease in the time allocated to construction. Also, coordination between work teams and the fact that 3D modeling is accessible from anywhere, even on-site, eliminates time wasted with documentation or information transfer between the parties involved in the design and construction processes.

In addition, BIM automatically detects any conflicts between elements. For example, the possibility of a design error which result would lead to a major delay is eliminated (eg. installation engineers will not enter in conflict with structure engineers). 3D modeling also ensures a perfect match of all elements. Basically, all the elements become pieces of a huge puzzle, each with its own well-defined place from the beginning of the project.

6. Construction quality
Although the use of BIM in design and construction processes has major advantages, an increase in construction quality can also be observed. Due to automatic calculations, 3D design and the amount of data about the project, the building structure, but also the construction itself will have a high quality and even higher seismic resistance.

BIM design is not yet widely used in Romania, but it has proven almost indispensable in the countries where it is used. Reducing costs, working time and risks, more efficient coordination of architects, engineers and constructors have proven that the use of Building Information Modeling represents the future in constructions.

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