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Building Information Modeling

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There is a lot of confusion over what BIM is and what it encompasses. There is also uncertainty over how it should be interpreted and its implementation process. The initials BIM in full stand for Business Information Model. The concept stands for a digital, physical, and functional representation of a facility that was created for sharing knowledge resource for the purpose of reliability. This could be in the life cycle of its reign so to speak, and that would include the conception in idea form all the way to the demolition.

They experts of today state this as the next step. Business information modeling has arrived, and it is in use by contractors, suppliers and designers to reduce costs. They improve on quality of designs, and in some of these instances come up with something that cannot be achieved without digital help. There are individuals and corporate firms, both in the private and the public sector that are currently employing services of BIM to complete complex projects. Moreover, there are research firms that have investigated the effect of the concept on the market. In fact, McGraw-Hill indicated that the situation reached a tipping point in 2008. Here, there were more companies using BIM than just simply looking into it as an option.

Research design-literature review

Status review

The data for research for this paper were collected by reviews of various articles on the subject. The views of these articles prove the hypothesis that BIM is a bigger concept that is the future of design in the business field. BIM pilot projects that include the usage of the project include CNC fabrication that became driven of the design model. The growth has been quite exponential and has been driven by the rising standards of BIM and of issues that are related. These include electronic data licensing as well as transfer of files.

In short, this is not something from a science fiction dream. It is from today’s reality. The legal and business field, however, is quite far behind the science part by far, which is a bit of a surprise as it should be the other way round. One would say that it is more than just the use of technology, and the use of it on its own without consideration of the other fields may make it barely scratch the surface. BIM does not just contain information on the subject under investigation, it holds information on how the object relates to the design, and the other affecting objects in general.

The fact is that BIM is a computable representation of the facts on the ground, and thus it is quite current. The elevations and sections are parts of the BIM information so if any changes are made to the plan in general they will reflect in the elevation as well as the section views. This is where the ease of use is because without further intervention, the tables, schedules and data related to the object will immediately reflects the situation. At this rate, the risk of inefficiency in terms of inconsistent drawings is slim at best.

Current Status of applying BIM by owner

The significance of the profession is rooted especially in structural engineering where it is indented to change fundamentally and historically, the process of designing structures. These claims are all based on the survey results that companies have spent time and resource on. The process of usage of BIM suggests that it is moving forward in the structural engineering profession where it shows the most promise of great potential. Of the many surveys on the profession of structural engineering that relates to the topic of BIM.

Out of this, there were about 25000 emails sent to people in the field of structural engineering and out of this pool about 1400 responded. The results showed the characteristics of members in this field would be using a small to moderate office space with about 2 to ten people at a time. Most of them did not have above twenty workers. The respondents were mostly about thirty to forty years of age and most had a master’s degree and were in upper management. About a third of them entered the profession in the last 15 years, which means they were in the internet generation. 

At the same time, most of their offices utilized the AutoCAD application although in different forms. Then the respondent’s pool had experience in a variety of fields in the building, but commercial buildings were the most represented. When researching the use of the term BIM in such work environments there were intriguing results. Some of the staff views it as a digital tool that is all the new rage just the way CAD replaced board drafting. Some would even go so far as to compare the two in an analogy like BIM is to CAD like pen is to pencil.

This thinking links the two as variations of the same tool although they still have it wrong because BIM is rather a process and not a tool. Thus, it would seem as the process receives customers from the private and public fields and only a small percentage of both seem to understand the true meaning of what it means. The processes that BIM utilizes such as the virtual design and construction, gives some chance for structural engineers. This is to show how much they understand of structural systems. As these models continue, they will face more pressure from the architects and contractors to model far beyond the system in use.

The organizational characteristics of the companies were taken in a survey to see how far the use of BIM had extended toward. The results showed most of the respondents this time were mostly company executives such as presidents and vice presidents. The remainder was managers, senior managers, or designers themselves. The majority of the companies had small or medium status in general and focused on electrical construction mostly. The companies had headquarters located all over the United States, and a few of them had some offices abroad.

The survey results also indicated a 20 percent of the respondent companies are using BIM technology. When the information polled on what type of companies these were the results showed that the medium and large sized companies were mostly using the application thus they were in the twentieth percentile. The distribution of these companies is uniform all over the United States, but there is a concentration in the Midwestern region. It is not ruled as a representative region in the country however, the figures here are a bit higher than any else. The electrical industry seems to be the major field for application. The major uses for it were such space utilization, visualization of electrical design as well as clash detections.

BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF BIM USAGE

Benefits

At this point, the respondents of the survey indicated approval of the BIM application stating that it is significantly helping to improve on the process of delivering a facility. When the respondents were polled on the significance of BIM to the success of the project about seven out of ten of them, stated that it gave significant time and cost savings. At the same time, about six out of ten said it improved on the quality of work, and about 18 percent remarked that there was no possibility of redoing work while using the model.

Challenges

At present, however, it would seem as though the adoption of the model into the market is taking more time than had been allocated in the first place. The main reason for this falls into two categories being technical as well as managerial. In this part, we shall deal with the technical reasons. The digital design data has to be computable meaning that it should be automated and coherent. This may not be an available luxury at some companies that are technologically challenged.

Major benefits and challenges of using BIM

Benefits

The best that BIM can offer in the real sense of the word is accuracy. The digital representation of a building in a digitally integrated environment is about as accurate as it can get. The model has faster and more effective processes in that information is more easily shared and value added also up for reuse. There is also better production quality as a result of the flexible documentation that aims to exploit automation to the fullest. Good customer service is also achieved through great visualization, which offers better, an understanding of the task.

It offers a better design because building proposals are rigorously passed through analysis, simulations on potential scenarios can be performed quite quickly, and performances benchmarked and approved. This gives room for improved and innovative solutions. Therefore, mistakes are that much harder to make because scenarios are predicted in advance leaving the occasional room for human error no place in the equation unless it was deliberate. This also allows people to think on a higher level because they do not spend as much of the time simulating situations in the mind.

This breeds creativity and innovation because they are able to think steps ahead than what they would have done in a previous situation where their minds are engaged elsewhere. Automation of the assembly system is another plus because the digital product can be exploited in a downstream manner such that it could be used for the manufacture and assembly of structural systems. The requirements and design, as well as the construction, can be used in the management of some facilities as a form of lifecycle data. In other words, the users of this method have a lower risk compared to their colleagues in a similar situation without the model.

The use or BIM leads to increased productivity and better engagement of productivity staff as well as the engagement of the staff that will be better equipped for contingencies that will probably never have to be exercised. The use of the model is also quite new and warrants the employment of new staff to handle it thus creating new opportunities for staffing.

Challenges

There are few challenges associated with the model but the few that are there focus on some needs such as that of a well-defined transactional constructions process to eliminate interoperability issues that may come up in the process. The management issues in contention cluster around the use of the model. At the present time, there is no consensus coming up on how to implement BIM. Unlike other construction, practices, there is no legal plan or statute on how to run or apply it on the field with minimum violation. Therefore, there is a need to standardize BIM and give some guidelines for the implementation and regulation of the procedure.

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