BIM – Building Information Modeling


What is BIM?


BIM – Building Information Modeling – building information modeling.

This is not a program or a system – it is an innovation in construction. BIM completely changes the approach to the design, construction, project management and operation of a building. In the traditional method, flat drawings are first created and we build a building based on them. In BIM, we create a virtual, three-dimensional building. We train in a virtual environment in order to build a building in reality. During the virtual construction, we see what materials are needed, their volume, in what sequence the structures are mounted. When using conventional drawings, the volumes of materials must be counted according to them. When we use a single information model, we can ask questions. For example, how many materials do we have in total? And the model forms the upload. Example: which pipes and their number are used in construction. You can create a cable log. How many kilometers and which cables are required to be put on the construction site.

A building, as a constructor, consists of virtual elements, details (in BIM they are called families). Every detail contains a lot of information. The material, the manufacturer, the cost of this part. It can be tied to the time when it is installed. Therefore, having a set of parts, materials that are built into a single building, we associate them with the schedule of work – with the Gantt chart.

We associate the tasks of the Gantt diagram with the elements of the building and look at how consistently the construction of the building takes place. We exclude errors. We see that there is a place for the equipment during the installation process. And there is a place to bring this equipment inside the building. We can arrange construction equipment, cranes. In addition to permanent structures, BIM can include temporary structures and construction equipment (scaffolding, construction site fencing, excavation, cranes, construction equipment). Plan how they will move around the construction site.


The history of the formation of BIM

In the sources, the history of BIM began in the 60s. I remember that in the mid-2000s, this technology began to be actively used by large international oil companies that were engaged in the development of offshore fields, the construction of gas and oil refineries. For such large projects, 1 day of delay carries very large losses. From a million dollars a day. Any mistake made in the project leads to a delay in construction. Therefore, oil companies decided to invest a lot of money in the development of systems such as PDMS (AVEO), in which you can practice before you start building and developing a field. Determine what construction materials and resources are needed, how long it will take to deploy and finish the construction process.

After the use of such systems, the risks have significantly decreased and the construction more often fell within the planned deadlines, there were fewer delays. Initially, these systems were very expensive and 10 million dollars were needed to create the system. Now BIM technologies have become available for ordinary construction companies, for architects, for designers and developers. The cost of licenses is already estimated not in millions, but in hundreds and thousands of dollars.


Why do construction companies need to work in the traditional method?

Imagine the work of a BIM project. The introduction of BIM is a difficult process that rebuilds the company to a new level of development. Companies that will not be able to rebuild within 5-10 years will lose their competitive advantage or leave the market. Now the process is quite complicated, but necessary. Let’s say if the company, the developer and his executors, designers and contractors decided to implement the project using BIM technologies.

Initially, the design process changes, all design is carried out in three-dimensional space, the designer does not draw flat elements, but puts three-dimensional elements in three-dimensional space (walls, columns, engineering equipment of buildings). Immediately, the project is checked for collisions – different elements prepared in the drawings are conflicting in space. For example, a pipe crosses a reinforced concrete beam. In BIM, you can’t put a pipe inside a reinforced concrete beam. Different specialists, architects, designers, engineers, mechanics, electricians work in a single environment, in one model. Install structures, equipment avoiding collisions and errors.


The convenience of working in BIM

When there is a model of a building, we get traditional drawings using sections of a 3-dimensional model, using nodes and details. It is easier to collect volumes of building materials from the model. The model is a large database. Each element has its own individual number – ID. With the help of filters, we can make requests for the formation of construction specifications. We can say: imagine a list of cable logs, with a cross section from 1 mm to 3 mm, and the system outputs all the cables that are present in the project with these parameters. We can more easily estimate the cost of construction. A big plus of this system is the ability to make changes.


The traditional method

In the traditional method, when making changes to an architect or a constructive, this change affects all adjacent sections. Changes are being made to the section of electrics, ventilation, low-current systems, architecture, design, and all sets of drawings. This is a very time-consuming process in design, which leads to a large number of errors. When using three-dimensional models, the changes made are automatically reflected in all the drawings that we generate.

These are advantages for the designer, the customer and people who find it difficult to read the drawings. For them, the volumetric model is perceived much easier. This is a real picture that we are used to. Ordinary users see how the building looks, they can evaluate it and give feedback. They can look at the virtual layout from the outside, walk around it inside, using virtual and augmented reality technologies. Critical and important changes can be made at the design stage.


Author: Ilya Zavaleev

July 18, 2018