Why to work with BIM Methodology?

Created On:

February 19, 2023

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a collaborative work methodology for creating and managing information using object-oriented models. Its objective is to centralize all the project information in a digital information model created by all its agents for its design, construction, and management.

BIM represents a change in the evolution of traditional design systems based on the plan since it incorporates geometric (3D), time (4D), cost (5D), environmental (6D), and maintenance (7D) information. (1)

The use of BIM goes beyond the design phases, covering the execution of the project and extending throughout the life cycle of the building, allowing its management and reducing operating costs.

In summary, we could say that BIM is an innovative way of designing, building and managing physical assets, reducing current uncertainties.

BIM is the process of creating and managing information using object-oriented models.

In order to take advantage of the virtues of BIM, we must change the tools with which we design and the workflows in which we do so.

According to Barbara J. Jackson (Design-Build Essentials, Cengage Learning, 2010), before the 15th century, this was a relatively simple process: an owner would hire a master builder, who oversaw all aspects of design and construction for a complete project.

Over the years, the unique role of the master builder was separated into designer (architect) and Builder (contractor).

It is generally believed that this separation began with Leon Battista Alberti in the mid-15th century. Alberti directed the construction of a new façade in Florence’s Gothic church, Santa Maria Novella (Figure 2.1), from floor plans and models, which, Jackson says, was the first time in history that floor plans and diagrams allowed the ‘designer’ instruct the Builder. This shift in focus of the master builder is why Alberti is known as the first modern architect(2).

By Commonists — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=111561577

Throughout the Industrial Revolution, this process specialized, more experience in design and construction was needed to address production and facilities to the new needs that arose. This specialization created focused efforts within the entities that comprised the design-build team, leading to the development of professional societies in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries. Some known worldwide such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1857 and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in 1918. These societies segregated even more industry.(3) More recently, the separation has been widened due to legal requirements separating designers and builders. This separation makes contracting on the client’s part more complex and the collaboration between both parties is very low.

Currently, projects are developed in very marked stages in which the different actors are incorporated during the course of the project and not from the beginning. It is curious to note that those who exploit and use the product generally do not participate in making design decisions that end up determining the form of exploitation or otherwise determine that after completion of the construction stage in the exploitation stage they must to carry out reforms and changes to be able to carry them out efficiently.

Presentation What is BIM?, Doc. Arch. Eloi Coloma Picó, 2017

What BIM proposes as the most optimal work methodology and form of contracting is collaboration or “Integrated Project Delivery” (IPD), where the participation of all the actors is crucial, adding to the project the added value of all from the beginning and not in phases. Collaborating and integrating knowledge in design stages, thinking about the exploitation of the building by the end user, and being able to make decisions much earlier. This decision-making is facilitated with BIM simulation tools (energy, structural, evacuation, construction, etc.), reducing the uncertainties of the investor or owner of the asset.

In conclusion, since the mid-fifteenth century, we could say that the industry’s structure is very similar, designer and Builder. The first tells the second what to do, although he does not have specific training on the most efficient way to do it. This results in projects with constructability problems affecting final cost increases and delays. The possibility of changing this type of dynamics and thus obtaining better projects at controlled costs is facilitated by current technological advances that allow real-time collaboration between multiple actors. Finally, we could say that the BIM methodology associated with the most efficient forms of contracting and collaboration are an asset in any infrastructure proposal, reducing costs and uncertainties in the project.

Bibliography consulted:

1 — https://www.buildingsmart.es/bim/qu%C3%A9-es/

2 — Brad Hardin & Dave Mc Cool, BIM and Construction Management Proven tools methods and Workflows, Second Edition, Wiley Press, 2016.

3 — Brad Hardin & Dave Mc Cool, BIM and Construction Management Proven tools methods and Workflows, Second Edition, Wiley Press, 2016.