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2018: A Big Year for BIM


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BIM is slowly but surely replacing CAD as the preferred modelling medium. BIM is changing every facet of the design process as it gives architects and engineers the tools to more efficiently and accurately design buildings. BIM could deliver all kinds of possibilities, but one of the key advantages of this process is less on-site errors. 2018 promises to be an exciting year for BIM, which is set to usher in the next generation of building design.

Modular construction and prefab

BIM is hugely important to off-site, prefabricated and modular construction as engineers can create prefab drawings based on the information from a BIM model. As BIM becomes more widely adopted, the construction industry could be in a stronger position to utilise off-site manufacturing. Aidan Mercer, an industry marketer of AEC for Bentley Systems, has said industrialised BIM will ensure for better delivery because the components will be fully digitalised. CAD is quickly becoming a thing of the past; BIM offers a more efficient workflow, since components can be quickly assembled.

Virtual reality

The interplay between virtual reality and BIM could be a powerful asset for construction companies. A number of firms, such as Create are using BIM to deliver virtual walkthroughs of a proposed design. Headsets like Oculus Rift enable you to feel what it’s actually like to be inside the building. The Oculus Rift VR headset offers impressive 360-degree views, which is far more accessible than a 2D drawing. VR enables project stakeholders to get a feel for the space by immersing themselves in the project in its initial stages. The development of immersive technologies is worth keeping an eye on in 2018. 

4D, 5D and 6D BIM

3D is the BIM dimension most widely used in the construction industry. That, however, is set to change in 2018 and beyond. Companies are surging forward to implement 4D, 5D and even 6D BIM. The difference between these dimensions is their information quantity; for instance, 4D BIM adds a visual representation of how your project will develop in the construction schedule. More time-related data enables designers to create an accurate project programme.

In the case of 5D, you’re able to extract accurate cost information. This information may include running costs, the costs of purchasing and installing a component. The result of this data is managers can reach an overall cost of the project. Taking it even further, 6D involves linking data to support facilities management and asset operation. The information could include details about the component manufacturer, its installation date and the right way a component should be configured. The benefits of having all this data means a facility manager can easily locate the source of a problem, saving time and resources. BIM brings to life an ecosystem of data for better business outcomes.

Internet of Things

What happens when the Internet of Things (IoT) meets BIM? The answer is simpler than you might imagine. When a building is up and running, IoT sensors can pull data into the BIM. This data can be used to model things like temperature trends, energy use patterns and movement inside a building. There’s no question IoT will change the work of modellers and installers. IoT offers tremendous advantages for workshop modellers as they can design projects using ready-to-order products that can be delivered directly to the building site.

Asset Management

Asset Management has the potential to play a huge role in the industry in 2018 and by using BIM, millions of pounds could be saved on projects. Asset management is a strategic approach to keeping track and managing an individual’s assets within a building. It helps to optimise costs and assets across the whole lifecycle of a building. BIM’s collaboration with asset management will ensure for an integrated repository of data. When the disciplines of BIM and asset management are used together, the processes in which information is collected and managed will be far more efficient.

BIM is becoming the ideal platform for large-scale projects. Not only does it create appealing 3D models, but it creates detailed layers of metadata for more information and increased workflow. Wider implementation of BIM could change the culture within the construction industry. Digital is the future of construction and BIM is very much an evolution in the way we work in construction.

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