BIM is about a Building. A building represents many things to many people. For a business, it represents brand image, sales, and efficiency. Having a building that is precisely what an owner needs is crucial not only to the future of the owner's business, but also to the future relationship between the designer and the owner. By creating a central model (typically in Revit), the Architect is better able to meet the business owner's needs. Throughout the BIM process, the model will serve many different functions. Initially, it will serve as a visual representation of the project, to the owner as well as everyone else involved in the project. As the design evolves, the model will also serve as the governing object for the project, a guideline to all involved, and will be utilized to deliver information and produce contract drawings that will be used to construct the project.
BIM is about Information. Information is, often times, a very elusive element in the design industry. More often than not, the designer has the information in their head, but inevitably, it may or may not make it onto the drawings. Information can make or break a project. As the building model is constructed, each entity adds their specific disciplines to the model. Intelligent data is embedded into each of those elements, and is subsequently added to the model. As the model evolves, so does the amount of data that it contains. When the model is complete, all of the data can then be scheduled and exported. Further, the data associated with each element typically contains the product manufacturer, item #, and contact information, along with the product dimensions, etc. This vital information ensures that the building is constructed with the exact elements that the designer has specified, and the owner is expecting. It is, without a doubt, the most comprehensive method of collecting data about an entire project.
BIM is an acronym for "Building Information Modeling". If you ask ten different companies what BIM is, you will likely get ten different answers. Regardless of the answer, all will agree that BIM is the latest advancement in building design and construction.
BIM is about Modeling. As the building model is constructed, any conflicts between the various disciplines will be readily apparent. By constructing the model in software that replicates true to life elements such as walls, beams, columns, windows, doors, duct work, piping, etc, if it doesn't fit, you will know it. Under traditional methods of building design, these types of conflicts are often found on the job site, where the corrective methods are most expensive. It is widely known that when problems arise on the job site, the result is always increased costs, lost schedule time, and typically several days waiting on a "fix". By constructing the model long before the site work is started, these types of problems can be addressed and corrected.
While there are several elements involved with a project being fully BIM compliant, one of the most essential elements is experience. We have that experience. More than two decades worth, to be more precise. With a 25 year history in steel design, fabrication, and erection, we have either designed it, built it, and/or erected it. We understand the costs associated with field fixes, the additional trips required for mistakes that could have been caught using 3D modeling, the liquidated damages associated with project delays. While not every project may be fully BIM compliant, rest assured, we treat every project as such. We construct 3D models for every project, whether one is provided by the designer, or none exists at all. We believe that BIM is the future, and we also believe that the future is NOW.