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03 July 2017

What is a BIM Model?

Read about the construction industry for any length of time and you are likely to encounter the term BIM, an acronym for Building Information Modelling - but what does this actually mean?


Before we start to explain, it’s important to understand that BIM, which is becoming ever more widely adopted in the building industry, is used to describe a process rather than a product.


The Process


Building information modelling allows various members of a Design Team involved in a project to contribute data pertaining to a proposed structure in a collaborative digital location, referred to as a Common Data Environment (CDE). M&E Engineers, Architects and Structural Engineers along with other contributors are able to coordinate their designs, minimising clashes and improving efficiencies.



The information contained within a BIM model includes schedules, performance requirements, specification, programs, costings and 3D drawings. These 3D drawings are created by various Design Team members and come together to form one 3D model. This allows designers to resolve potential clashes, ensuring all aspects of the design are coordinated and align correctly.


3D Model


There are many different parts to a 3D BIM Model, all of which contain information which can be accessed by clicking on it. Even non-graphical info, such as schedules, lead time and specifications are accessible through a BIM Model. The linking of CDE data to the 3D model is fundamental to a BIM model - without it, it is merely a 3D graphical representation.


A major benefit of BIM is that information is structured, in one location and easy to access. This allows Design Teams to produce better resolved, higher quality buildings. The increased efficiencies in all aspects of the building process offered through BIM has led to the widespread adoption of the technology across the building industry. Although it is not yet used by everyone in construction, it is only a matter of time before it is.


For more information on BIM modelling or how we, at J.V. Tierney & Co Consulting Engineers Ireland, are helping to revolutionise the construction industry, please visit our website www.jvtierney.ie or call us on 00353 1 421 4900.