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BIM is an acronym for Building Information Modelling which is one of the most promising developments in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries. Most of the world’s leading AEC firms have already left behind their earlier, drawing-based, CAD technologies and are using BIM for nearly all of their projects. BIM is not just a technology change, but also a process change. By enabling a building to be represented by intelligent objects that carry detailed information about themselves and also understand their relationship with other objects in the building model, BIM not only changes how building drawings and visualizations are created, but also dramatically alters all of the key processes involved in putting a building together.

The National BIM Standard-United States (NIBMS-US) states the definition of Building Information Modelling: BIM is digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building facility. BIM is a shared knowledge of information about a building facility and its life cycle, which makes it easier for all the stakeholders to make a reliable basis of decisions during the project life cycle. BIM enables all the stakeholders to use the same shared 3D model, from architects to surveyors, engineers, contractors, to building owners. This allows everyone to have access to the relevant information at the right moment during the design and construction of a project. Before owners engage an architect, it is necessary to determine whether a building of a given size, quality level, and desired program requirements can be built within a given cost and time budget. Developing a schematic model prior to generating a detailed building model allows for a more careful evaluation of the proposed scheme to determine whether it meets the building’s functional and sustainable requirements. BIM can be used by the project team from the beginning of the design to improve their understanding of project requirements.

The 3D model generated by the BIM software is designed directly rather than being generated from multiple 2D views. If the objects used in the design are controlled by parametric rules that ensure proper alignment, then the 3D model will be free of geometry, alignment, and spatial coordination errors. Accurate and consistent drawings can be extracted for any set of objects or specified view of the project. This significantly reduces the amount of time and number of errors associated with generating construction drawings for all design disciplines. BIM technology facilitates simultaneous work by multiple design disciplines. It gives earlier insight into design problems and presents opportunities for a design to be continuously improved. BIM provides earlier 3D visualizations and quantifies the area of spaces and other material quantities, allowing for earlier and more accurate cost estimates. BIM provides an accurate model of the design and the material resources required for each segment of the work, it provides the basis for improved planning and scheduling of subcontractors and helps to ensure just-in-time arrival of people, equipment, and materials.

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