Why is BIM hailed as the future of Construction (Part 1)?
Building Information Modeling is a valuable tool for everyone working in the AECO industry. Over the years, the concept of collaboration has become increasingly popular and has found widespread acceptance amongst architects and building engineers. This series of articles aims to explain the nuances of BIM and its characteristics that enable it to the future of the construction industry. We will start with understanding BIM, its different maturity levels, Level of Detailing (LOD), dimensions of BIM, and finally, what future has in store.
What is BIM?
BIM Modeling Services refers to the information based collaborative work process wherein the project-related information is shared with the stakeholders at all times during a project through a data-rich 3D model. The model is used to manage the entire life-cycle of the building right from conception to construction to operation and maintenance. This characteristic of virtual designing and construction makes it an indispensable part of the decision-making process.
Let us now understand the maturity levels of BIM:
I. BIM Maturity Levels
Maturity levels are defined based on the levels of collaboration in a construction project. As collaboration increases, so does the maturity level. Currently, there are four maturity levels: BIM Level 0, BIM Level 1, BIM Level 2, and BIM Level 3.
- BIM Level 0
Level 0 effectively means there is no collaboration. The production information is captured in the form of 2D CAD drawings and the output is shared either with print or electronic media for e.g. Architectural Construction Drawing Services, Mechanical Shop Drawings, etc. which are directly drawn in CAD. There is no exchange of information between different participants. This is essentially the CAD era which is almost a passe now.
- BIM Level 1
This is the basic level which is also known as “Entry Level BIM” and is about better information management. It establishes the process for managing information related to the building construction i.e. production, distribution, and quality. It uses a uniform and defined process for collaboration and a consistent naming policy.
“BIM Level 1 is defined as the management of digital construction data that is created by 2D or 3D CAD frameworks in a common data environment. It uses consistent naming policy and well-defined design & information management policies for collaboration.”
A large number of companies across the globe are currently working at this level as it helps in managing risks that affect the constructed building and its data. BIM Level 1 is characterized by a Common Data Environment (CDE) approach, a data exchange plan, and defined naming policy. CDE provides a shared repository where all project related information is stored and managed.
This is the most basic level of BIM and does not include collaboration between different disciplines as they maintain and manage their own repositories. This doesn’t utilize the greatest advantage of BIM i.e. collaboration between different disciplines right from conception to construction and maintenance and operation. Having realized this, countries such as the UK have mandated BIM Level 2 since April 2016 and many other countries are following the suit by either mandating or adopting Level 2.
Read: Part 2
Read: Part 3
Read: Part 4
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