A short guide to BIM - Part II

Those of you who have read the first part already know that BIM is booming. It’s a trend that’s gaining popularity and will not become unpopular any time soon.

This can be seen in countries all over the world. But what’s all the excitement about? And why should you start using the platform? You should, because the platform supports you in three major operational aspects: design, construction and maintenance of a building.

How can BIM help in design?

Instead of spending a tremendous amount of money on the construction of a building, to then discover that the rooms turn out to be too small, BIM allows you to design the building in advance, at a very detailed level. 

By constructing a digital representation of a building, you open the door to virtual reality (VR) experiences. VR gives you the opportunity to walk through the building before it’s even built. The 3D environment lets you inspect the building as if you were standing inside it. Are the rooms big enough? Is there enough sunlight coming through the windows? Or should you turn the building around, so you have more daylight? With BIM you can optimize your building design by looking at the 3D version. Since everything is digitally available, you have the opportunity to optimize your building using all kinds of modelling techniques. This will result in better design, better performance and a shorter delivery time.

How can BIM help in construction?

When working on a project, the 3D images are stored in a centralized database. In this way you can easily check whether the building is built the way it was designed. Using BIM will result in less mistakes throughout the building process and better documentation of materials. All objects necessary for the construction of the building can be directly ordered from the design. This makes the design easy to perceive for all parties participating in the construction.

How can BIM help in maintenance? 

The maintenance of a building can easily be simplified using BIM. Instead of wasting time on finding out where a certain problem is situated, Building Information Modelling helps you locate every object inside your building. Since everything is stored in a central database, it is easy to detect where a certain object is positioned. Imagine that the ventilation in a certain room no longer works. You can easily retrieve what’s wrong from the database. It is also possible to put long-term maintenance schedules in the program. So you will know that, for example, in five years a certain door will need to be painted. BIM will help you maintain your building in the most efficient manner.

Why invest in BIM?

There’s no question that BIM is gaining momentum and will be used more and more often. You can see it in countries all over the world. However, not all countries are following. In the Netherlands, every big project is placed in BIM while in other countries the platform might not even be integrated yet. But countries that are holding back should follow. There’s no doubt about it. If building owners want to optimize their work processes and stay ahead of the competition, they should definitely consider investing in Building Information Modelling. 

[Based on an interview with Jan Knijnenburg, Strategic Developments Manager at Priva]

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