3D BIM Architectural software in DWG
The construction industry is one of the last points of resistance to automation. It’s an industry where the majority of work is performed by hand, not by a computer. And even when builders, facility executives and operational personnel use computers, the information often winds up on paper, not in a database. But the increased ability to model a structure using three-dimensional modeling software promises to shift that paradigm.
What’s driving the change is known as Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, which acts as a single-source repository for information about a building. Unlike other facility management aids, such as CAD or CMMS systems, BIM software is designed to integrate every aspect of a building.
Although the concept of BIM isn’t exactly new, the software that’s been developed to model buildings is only in the early stages of use and the full potential has not yet been exercised. Even so, the models are providing several cost-saving benefits during the design and construction phase of building projects — reducing change orders, for one.
“The key element here is that the BIM model must be kept alive after the model is handed over to the facility owner or manager,” says Dana Smith, chairman of the U.S. National Building Information Model Standards (NBIMS) committee. “You can’t just archive it, and you can’t just forget about it, or the information will die and be rendered almost useless.”
To use a BIM system successfully, the human element cannot falter. Although automated updates can be used, they’re not available in all instances. Manual data entry is frequently necessary to maintain the most up-to-date information in the models. The model would also need to be appropriately linked to other building software.
In some ways, the potential for BIM use is limitless. In theory, for example, it would ease the permitting process by automatically reviewing a design and comparing it to code, something the International Code Council is currently addressing.
“With automated plan reviews, one can envision a much shorter turn-around for review and construction approvals,” says David Conover, senior advisor for the International Code Council. “Ideally there will be ‘interoperable building regulations’ and building information models available in the future to facilitate more timely and accurate review and approval to construct.”
BIM software typically accounts for less than one percent of a new building’s cost, and in several instances has completely eliminated change orders during building construction.