As we enter 2011, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is increasingly capturing the attention of organizations worldwide involved in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) as well as the owners and operators of buildings, contractors, and nearly any HVAC systems designer. As you know, BIM is the process of developing a building model, which can be used in presenting and visualizing building components, construction sequences, resource allocation and other disciplines of the construction process in a virtual environment.
According to the most recent McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report, which provides insight into Green BIM, energy efficiency is the most-often cited green building benefit, yielding significant cost-savings over a building’s full lifecycle. The study forecasts strong growth for energy performance simulation tools in particular: 95% of firms practicing BIM for green projects will do energy performance simulations within two years, compared with 73% now; and 79% of firms using BIM (but not focused on green projects) will conduct energy performance simulations compared to 21% currently.
Since energy efficiency is also an important tenet of the USGBC’s LEED certification, a much sought-after distinction for many green builders, look for BIM to experience tremendous growth in this area as well.
What are some of the prominent benefits of BIM?
- It is an effective estimation tool for bidding and procurement
- It improves coordination in construction sequencing
- It provides an effective presentation of construction approaches
- It can identify possible conflicts that may arise during building construction
- It allows for more ’what if’ analysis, such as construction sequencing options, allocating human resources, fine-tuning cost factors, etc.
- It helps clients and end-users better understand and visualize the end product
- It helps the owner make informed decisions about the proposed project
- The biggest advantage of using BIM is that it reduces errors and hence rectifications – saving costs and resources
And if you are a Plumbing Systems Designer, you can coordinate the exact footing locations to be stepped down to guarantee that the gravity waste line can be routed out of the building without issue. Other chief benefits of BIM for a Plumbing Designer include:
- It provides entirely 3-dimensional models and isometrics are easily created
- BIM can coordinate any obstructions in the projects which can decrease conflicts during the design phase and help prevent costly change orders during construction
- With BIM plumbing designers can get a visual review in a three-dimensional environment that can help tremendously in determining design options
- BIM can perform clash detection to observe if any items are crossing each other, such as sprinkler piping and ductwork
- Schedules, plans, diagrams, sections and details are mechanically coordinated
- All engineering data (such as drainage fixture units) are automatically and endlessly followed in plan and scrutinized in a variety of views and filters
- A designer has the ability to add, delete, and modify fixtures and outlets smoothly with automatic updates to the engineering data and the model
Understanding and using BIM will allow you to create a basic model and use the model to more accurately understand predicted performance and related issues over the multiyear lifecycle of the project. Not to mention, innovative design products support BIM, making it a cost-effective way to evaluate, prioritize, and audit proposed building designs and renovations.
Information on an extensive online library of ITT 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) content files in Autodesk® Revit® 2010 can be found here.
What are your experiences with BIM?