Building Information Modelling, or BIM, is currently revolutionising engineering, construction and architecture. What exactly is BIM, what does it involve and why is it so crucial for students to learn it?
What exactly is BIM?
BIM is the process involving the creation and management of a digital representation of a construction project over the course of its lifecycle. Importantly, it involves the integration of data from various sources involved with the project. There are four levels of BIM, ranging from level 0, which involves 2D CAD models and very little or even no digital integration, to level 3, which involves fully 3D integrated digital representations that are data rich with costing and scheduling information. These can be modified and accessed by all parties involved, making it a truly integrated process involving architects, engineers and construction companies.
Why is BIM so important?
The UK government has placed great importance on BIM technology in its Government Construction Strategy 2016-2020. One of the principle objectives of the strategy is to embed and increase the use of digital technology, including BIM Level 2. Level 2 BIM is now the minimum requirement for public projects. Because BIM involves the collaboration between the construction and technology software sector, it is seen to allow greater opportunities for both industries going forward and provides greater efficiency for the design and creation of projects.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of BIM are wide-ranging. Because all parties from architectural, engineering and construction sectors are able to collaborate together to exchange information and data, BIM is highly efficient. With BIM technology, gone are the days where data has to be printed and exchanged or even digitally exchanged for updates and changes to be made. Using a platform that all parties have access to for modifications maximises time-efficiency and productivity. BIM software can even provide better-quality information for a project due to its ability to enhance communication. Experts in the field, such as https://www.bimtech-eng.com/ believe that due to these benefits, BIM is the future of the industry.
With the emphasis from the government on increasing the use of digital technology and the wide-ranging benefits of BIM in engineering, it is vital that engineering students now are introduced to the concepts and processes of BIM as they, too, are the future of the industry.