Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent, digital, 3D modelling process which fosters improved planning, design and construction of buildings. The many benefits of this digital approach have a particular impact in offsite construction. It provides construction professionals with the necessary insights and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.
BIM: A brief history
The idea of BIM was first conceptualised back in the 1970s and was originally termed the Building Description System (BDS). The term 'building model' was first used in this context in 1985 in an architectural design paper on computer-aided drawing and design. Later, in 1992, the term 'building information model' was used in a paper discussing automation in construction. However, it was not until 10 years later that the term building information modelling (BIM) became more commonly used.
Autodesk published a paper in 2002 entitled 'Building Information Modelling' and various software developers and vendors then got involved in the field. At that stage, BIM effectively became the common name for the digital representation of the design and building process.
Although the technology has been around for more than a decade, interest in BIM has spread beyond the industry in recent years as the shortage of housing has sparked conversations about the efficiency (or inefficiency) of the industry and the critical need for innovation.
There is no doubt - technology is transforming the way that buildings and infrastructure are designed, constructed, and operated. It is helping to improve decision making and performance across the building and infrastructure life-cycle.
In recent years, the industry in Ireland has made extraordinary progress in BIM capabilities, demonstrating continued expertise and dispersal.
The industry is increasingly responsive to digital innovation and new technologies as they are designed specifically to reduce valuable data losses that usually occur within the construction sector. Furthermore, extensive and reliable information is made available through using BIM software and tools. As we move towards the future, this raw data and intelligent use of it will open up solutions to intricate and complex building issues.
The BIM software tools used enable engineers to collaborate competently and more profitably with other building professionals throughout the detailed design and build procedure. Each component of a building model can carry points to automatically select and order them, with cost estimations, material tracking and immediate ordering built into the system.
Ireland’s housing crisis
Ireland is in the midst of a housing crisis right now, there is a chronic shortage of the right type of housing in the right areas and BIM can offer quick delivery of housing in a significantly more cost-efficient way. Traditional building projects are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers and, at times, poor management, leading to costly hold-ups in housing delivery. This inevitably knocks out a project budget and threatens its delivery. BIM has the capacity to assist in solving many of these issues and, therefore, will reduce time-frames and, by extension, financial outlays.
Digital living is becoming more and more apparent in daily life, so modern construction and engineering businesses are answering the call. Infrastructure is changeable and, to date, BIM has exceeded client expectations, delivering reliable and ground-breaking construction engineering.
Industry professionals involved in a given BIM project allow for a virtual information model to be linked from the design team, to the main contractor, to the subcontractors and to the owner/operator, with each expert contributing data to the single-shared model. The system is created to mitigate risk and conflict/clashes, while providing quicker drafting, without the potential cost loss and quality damage. A high level of customisation and flexibility is available, and the co-ordination from many experts optimises the scheduling plans and budget outline.
The future potential
BIM values construction data in a way that we have not seen within the industry previously, offering capabilities that otherwise were not available including data options, real time statistics and project analysis, definite costing and detailed designs.