What is BIM? (Building Information Modeling)
BIM is the acronym, now widely accepted in all languages, of Building Information Modeling equivalent to a Building’s Data Model.
BIM is both the intelligent 3D Model-based data structure and the processes involved in generating and managing digital representations of the building’s physical and functional characteristics.
For professionals involved in this process, BIM allows the use of a virtual model of information and data that can be managed and manipulated by a design team, such as architects, landscape architects, surveyors, experts, civil engineers, structural engineers, plant engineers, main contractor, subcontractors and of course, the real estate investor or buyer. Each professional role adds specific data to the building’s model according to their discipline and shares this info with all the other professional roles. This reduces the loss of information that typically occurs when a new team interacts and modifies the project data, thus providing further information to others involved in the management of complex structures.
In a nutshell, the industry tends to a business model in which multiple sources converge at a single point. The first theoretical models and computer systems with experimental hardware and software date back to the 70s of last century, as the prototype shown in "An Outline of the Building Description System" by C. Eastman, published 1974.
Years before ADSL routers, smart-phones, powerful computer and graphics processors, high-definition screens and especially the advanced software solutions available today, this giant operational step would certainly not have been possible. The evolution of Computer technology has in fact been favored by the increasing need in exchanges and interoperability of digital information and accessible from everywhere. The advantages and the increase in productivity are tangible for everyone and especially for those involved in the construction industry and their work processes.
On the scale of a building’s life cycle, BIM stands for shared resource of information providing a reliable basis for decisions from the project concept phase through to demolition, and for its entire life-cycle. This kind of model and collaborative approach, allows to keep all issues, including the financial and environmental aspects, in focus with complete control over urbanization regulations, construction costs, together with maintenance costs, and energy efficiency requirements.
Governments and organizations around the world have introduced targeted regulatory systems and promote the use of BIM technology to benefit in terms of reduced building and project management costs, improved productivity, greater ease of finding project related information, greater coordination in planning and better viewing. The directive on European public procurement (EUPPD) requires you to specify or award public contracts with the obligation to use BIM software technology which are funded by public authorities, belonging to the 28 European member states, by 2016. Several states in Asia and North America have already adopted similar strategies.