You Don’t Have To Be Big To ‘Do’ BIM

How Do We Use BIM For Construction Documents?

We have a system that creates a 3D virtual building so that we build once to create the model, so that when the real building is created on site, it has already had a rehearsal. That results in better clash avoidance and sequencing, fewer change orders and less rework, all of which are major causes of cost and time overruns. We believe that you can’t fake it in 3D and that means we have great confidence in the build-ability of all our projects.

The same 3D information is used to create the conventional 2D drawings required to show the contractor what they need to build so that the 2D drawings are a true reflection of the 3D model. We do not add any 2D information to the drawings. The result is a coherent set of intelligent 3D computer models instead of separate sets of 2D drawings.

In addition we embed our specification data into each 3D element, so that every item can be included in the scheduling that the builder uses to price the work. We believe that the true power of BIM is harnessed by extracting the data held in the BIM model in this way and using it to manage the project better. It’s all about “Information” – gathering, storing and exchanging of information, within a construction environment, in the most efficient way, through its whole life cycle.

There is a perception that BIM is only used by large companies on complex, high profile, multi-million pound projects for large scale clients. But that’s not the case. You don’t have to be big to ‘do’ BIM. We can demonstrate through our own experience that the value of using BIM applies equally to all sizes of projects as demonstrated in the chapter Tim Ball authored in the RIBA book, ‘Innovative BIM in Small Practice’.

These images are extracted from actual drawings created for recent projects.

How Do We Use BIM On Site?

We are already running two successful projects where the contractor has access to all the data on their tablet using a free software called BIMX Docs. This combines the 3D model; 2D drawings; Specification and Web Hyperlinks all in the same file.

We have had a very positive response from the contractors who not only value the single information source, but also the ability to look in 3D to find out what our design intention is and enable then to build more accurately and get it right first time.