What is BIM ?
BIM is the future of the construction industry. It encompasses all project phases, from planning, design and construction through to operation, maintenance and ultimately demolition.
BIM is about everyone understanding a building through the use of a digital model. BIM modelling provides a process for managing the information produced during a construction project to ensure a consistent format of information about every product from the earliest feasibility stage through design, construction, operation and finally demolition.
BIM allows all information about building materials and systems used within a building to be shared at each stage of the building’s lifecycle.
From January 2016 it will be a mandatory requirement in the UK for all public building construction projects to supply BIM objects for all products used.
This is part of a long term UK Government Construction Strategy to achieve the following by 2025:
33% reduction in construction costs
33% reduction in operation costs
50% faster construction projects
50% lower carbon emissions
Reference: National BIM Library www.nationalbimlibrary.com
How does BIM affect the rest of Europe?
Throughout Europe the BIM revolution is growing and the requirements for BIM objects on public procurement projects is becoming more popular.
The EU policy is close to the British approach as it aims to ensure the dissemination and adoption of BIM by leading examples.
Within the next year BIM will be a requirement in other European countries including Spain, Switzerland, Nordic Regions, Germany, Italy, Middle East, South Africa, The Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic and France.
The European Commission understands the interest of BIM for its energy and environmental transition policy. The EU policy is close to the British approach as it aims to ensure the dissemination and adoption of BIM by leading examples. Through the EU Directive on public procurements released in February 2014, the Commission recommends the use of BIM: " For public works contracts and design contests, Member States may require the use of specific electronic tools, such as of building information electronic modelling tools or similar."(Article 22) In practice, this means that each Member State may choose to encourage, specify or make mandatory use of BIM for construction projects and buildings financed by public funds.
Strategic initiatives to create awareness and drive higher adoption rates of BIM have already been successfully implemented in countries like France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the Nordic region, so overall the BIM approach is gaining popularity in Europe.
Reference: European Commission www.construction21.org/articles/fr/european-bim-or-europe-of-bim.html
What are BIM objects?
BIM objects are 3D models of construction materials, products and equipment which contain key product data. Each object holds detailed information that defines the product’s physical characteristics, materials and properties.
The visualisation data that gives the object a recognisable appearance and behavioural data, such as detection zones, enables the object to be positioned or to behave in exactly the same way as the product itself would.
There are two primary types of object: component and layered. The component objects are building products that have fixed geometrical shapes such as windows, doors, boilers etc. Layered objects are building products that do not have a fixed shape or size such as carpets, roofing, walls and ceilings.
Each BIM object contains all the information that construction professionals need to design, construct and maintain that building.
RIBA Insight to BIM www.riba-insight.com/monthlyBriefing/11-08/BIM_what-is-it-and-how-does-it-affect-you.asp
National BIM Library www.nationalbimlibrary.com
The use of BIM can increase efficiency and reduce errors. Virtual designs are built in three dimensions before work proceeds on site; the attributes of all the elements of the building can be found in the model, and spatial ‘clashes’ can be identified and resolved in the model instead of on site.
Imagine if the technology that has been limited to the designer can now be extended to the sprinkler fitter or fire alarm technician in the field. Moreover, imagine the power of the models in the field or in the hands of the end users, where others can use the information the designer input to troubleshoot or manage their systems more efficiently.
BIM allows designers to create intelligent environments that enable all users to have instant access to all of the information available in the model. Therefore, the ultimate limitation of BIM is the amount of information available in the model and input by the manufacturer. If a user selects a specific component of the system, the model can provide make, model, serial number, cost, and all relevant specifications of the system component. It can even include operation and maintenance information relative to the system component.
In large and/or fully integrated buildings, building engineers often review events on the building management system (BMS) for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing issues as a first order troubleshooting measure. Smaller buildings and buildings without integrated systems do not afford building engineers this luxury. When it comes to fire protection systems, the BMS may not integrate with them, however, a well-coordinated BIM can be the single source for building engineers to troubleshoot and evaluate all systems within their buildings.
National BIM Library www.nationalbimlibrary.com
Fire Protection Engineering http://magazine.sfpe.org/fire-protection-design/building-information-modeling-fire-protection
Trust a good BIM
A BIM model that is set up well and monitored continually will have coordinated, integrated, and searchable databases of information. A BIM model becomes not just a 3D model of the building to search for fire protection equipment or features, it becomes a database of information that can be used to identify trends, estimate repair costs, or monitor functionality. BIM can also help with integrating life safety systems across multiple trades.
Within the fire industry, designers, engineers, and authorities having jurisdiction will find BIM invaluable as manufacturers include all listings and restrictions for their specific fire protection products. When a designer puts a sprinkler in a model that is too close to a ceiling, beam, or other obstruction, a notification could be established in the model identifying that there is a conflict with the sprinkler and another object. BIM content for fire alarm speakers could be developed to establish when minimum sound pressure levels are not achieved as a result of distance to other speakers or obstructions from walls and doors.
Reference: Consulting Specifying Engineering www.csemag.com/single-article/bim-and-fire-protection-engineering/22fcd71622fbf3046ca5d9908d46fddc.html