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Building Information Modelling Analysis Construction Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Construction
Wordcount: 2441 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows constructing a building virtually in a detailed form. During the design phase, the materials that will make up the finished structure including concrete slabs, rebar, steel structure, wall and ceiling components, HVAC, plumbing and electrical can be selected and placed. But tests can be carried out to ensure everything will come together without a glitch. The 3-D building model can be used to analyze the designed building’s energy efficiency by running scenarios to determine the best of possible solutions. In addition, depending on the detail of the model, you can automatically take off all items contained in the model and that way produce an impressively precise estimate. The software and database management technology exists today to accomplish exactly this. The degree of collaboration and coordination between the various construction disciplines that BIM calls for has to be bought into notice. Not only the owners and architects, but engineers, contractors and, ideally, subcontractors as well, need to be involved in the project from the outset; in other words, during the design of the building. This, of course, invariably means some form of design-build rather than the currently prevailing design-bid-build process. BIM is an entirely new way of looking at the design and construction of a building. Many quarters are hailing BIM as the solution to most, if not all, construction industry ills, solving both design and construction problems while also providing a complete 3-D building model as a property management facility upon completion of the project.

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The concepts and methodologies of BIM date back as far as 30 years-and then primarily within the manufacturing and aerospace industries. BIM as design and construction term was introduced about 15 years ago to set the then-emerging, information-rich, architectural computer-3-D modelling apart from traditional, and mainly paper-based, 2-D design and drawing. BIM intended to assign both software approach and method of designing and constructing a building by the use of highly coordinated and internally consistent computable information about the building; all the way from conceptual design, through construction, to post construction and asset management. A correctly assembled BIM is a reliable, digital, three dimensional, virtual representation of the project to be built, for use in design and in construction document production, scheduling, planning, performance predictions and in cost estimates. Three-dimensional demonstration of a centralized database containing all items that will consist of the actual building including their location, dimension, relation to other items, composition and cost in a digitally interpreted environment for engineers and architects. Assumption is done in such a way that all the input is accurate and resolves the builder in an easy assimilated view of the intact representation, its interrelations, and of any positional issues. And most importantly, it will also provide the information and the understanding necessary to resolve positional conflicts and other issues during the design phase, rather than later, on the building site.


BIM is composed of several data involving legal, geospatial, financial, designer, owner/occupier, sustainers, Specifier and environmentalist data.

Fig 1 Components of BIM

Key features of BIM includes –

Ability to hasten design-to-build including starting projects from pre-approved project templates, supplier management and virtual commissioning designed to accelerate project execution.

3D visualization of the logical definition and the complete 3D physical definition, together in an environment to simulate and analyze equipment positioning and clash detection.

Information management of all types of enterprise data including contracts, compliance documents, requirements, manufacturing processes, costing and procurement information.

A global collaboration environment that enables full traceability, knowledge reuses and process automation for design, engineering and construction planning.

Prepare the models for fabrication and construction with tools that support project work breakdown structure management including project status reports, task lists, approved vendor lists, workforce resources, etc.


The field of BIM players breaks down into makers of three distinctly different sets of tools:

3-D modellers’.

Viewers/Surface modellers’.


The 3-D modeller is the true BIM tool, working with solid, parametric objects in sufficient detail to virtually construct the building. Not all views of the project have to be in that detail, however. The financing entity may want to see what the building will “look” like-as may the owner- and for that all you need is a surface modeller-or a viewer-to which all shapes are hollow. All it knows about is surfaces, which is all it needs to recognize in order to show concepts, and detect clashes for instance, and as such is of tremendous value. Analyzers are normally third-party software that speaks to the main BIM tool, meaning it can import and then analyze data from the 3-D modeller to determine the model’s energy efficiency or day lighting, among other things.

BIM is an approach which essentially requires a technology to be implemented effectively. The combination of CAD, Object CAD and Parametric building modelling with respect to the effect and effort makes the building information modelling possible. Fig 2 shows the graphical representation of all these technologies which leads to BIM.

Fig 2 Graph showing the technology

The figure preceding shows the entire effect of each of these technologies shown in vertical axis measured against the effort required for those results in the horizontal axis.

BIM has been consistent in the industry with its competitive advantages –

Increased speed of delivery

Minimizes the errors

Saves money

Greater output

High workability

New revenue and business opportunity

Design visualization

Collision detection

Quantity take-off

4D constructability

5D cost estimation

Facility operations

Fig 3 Hierarchy of BIM phases

Building information modelling supports the continuous and immediate availability of project design scope, schedule, and cost information that is high quality, reliable, integrated, and fully coordinated. But it is not itself a technology, it is supported to varying degrees by different technologies.

Building information modelling is based on intersection of 2 critical ideas:

1) Keeping critical design information in a digital form makes it very simple for updating and sharing .It is more valuable to the firms creating and using it.

2) Creating real-time, consistent relationships between digital design data using innovative parametric building modelling technology can save significant amounts of time and cost and increases the project productivity and quality.

Below given is a detailed look at how Building Information modelling works and how the different phases such as design, construction and management of building lifecycle are benefitted.


During the course of a building project, an architect must handle the project scope, schedule, and cost evenly. Changes to any of these variables can have a negative effect on cost, time and money. Using the traditional methods, access to design and geometry related information is usually fairly steady. But cost and scheduling information is only occasionally available because of the period and attempt necessary to create it. By means of building information modelling, all of this significant information is immediately accessible, so that project-related decisions can be made more rapidly and effectively.

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Building information modelling allows changes to the project at anytime during the designing or documentation process without difficulty, thus the team gets more time to work on other high-value architectural problems. This leads the documentation and designing work of the building to be carried out simultaneously, instead of doing successively, this is due to the design plan is captured at the point of conception and embedded in the documentation as the work proceeds. Whenever a change is made to a project, all the consequences of that alteration are automatically coordinated throughout the project and is documented. This allows the design team to function faster, because this consumes the time and effort spent on delivering the visualisations and regulatory approval documents. The automatic coordination of changes offered by this building information modelling eradicates the coordination mistakes thus it improves the overall quality of the project and helps companies with more repeat business.


In the construction phase of the project lifecycle, building information modelling makes available the real-time information’s on building quality, schedule, and cost. The builder can accelerate the quantification of the building for estimating and value-engineering purposes and for the production of updated estimates and construction planning. The cost and consequences of proposed products can be studied and understood easily thus the builder can prepare plans showing site use or renovation phasing for the owner. Building information modelling consumes less time and money is spent on administration process in construction because document quality is high and construction planning better. Thus the end result is that more of the owner’s construction money goes into the building than into overhead costs.


Building information modelling also makes available the concurrent information in the management phase of the building such as performance of the building, its occupants and contents, and the economic aspects of the building. Building information modelling provides a digital record of renovations and improves more planning and management. It accelerates the alteration of standard building prototypes to site conditions for businesses, such as retail, that require the construction of similar buildings in many different locations. Physical information about the building, such as tenant or department assignments, furniture and equipment inventory, and financially important data about leasable areas and rental income or departmental cost allocations are all more easily managed and available. Reliable access to these types of information improves both revenue and cost management in the operation of the building.


BIM is updated during construction to create as build record. Geometry is linked with the text and tabular information in equipment and maintenance manuals and it becomes a record to support the facilities management.

Fig 4 BIM model (L) and Prototype (R)

Features of facility management

Improved asset definition

The allocation is done so as to include the cost and work order data with respect to the required time.

Simplified order provision

Improvements are to be made in allocating the time and cost data.

Extended cost model

It enables the costing of any product throughout the lifecycle which includes captured costs, budgets, estimates and cost roll up.

Condition monitoring

The condition data are to be captured by two different means namely instrumentation and visual inception.

Request capture

Additional captures for operations and maintenance works and also dealt with work order requests.

Service life data

It should include the management and service life capture; taking prior notice to perform the analysis using the standards.

Environmental impact

Sustainable working atmosphere must be given consideration for all the environmental data which allows the total impact assessment all the process.


The proper access, security and work must be done which is possible only by providing the permit captures.

Operating and maintenance information

Provisions must be given to analyse the operations and maintenance information as per the relevant standards.

The above mentioned are the major features of the facility management which must be taken into account while the operations and maintenance sequence is carried out.


The below mentioned is significant case study carried out in BIM at Canary Wharf located at the Churchill place, London.

This building is located in Churchill place, London. It comprises of around 30,000 m2 with expedient access to major facilities of Canary Wharf, Docklands Light Railway station & Jubilee line. It consists of 4 basement level, ground and six trading floors. The concealment is characterized by steel and Granite mixtures. Depending from where we view the building appearance varies; from a point it appears as a steel building from another view it appears as a predominately stone building. Foremost goal of the designing is its sustainability level. Built on a Brownfield site, a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ was achieved for this building.

Use of the IFC beam BIM models of the new and existing buildings where built by HOK and WSP using the software named Revit Architecture and Revit Structural correspondingly. Autodesk .RVT files where used for the purpose of all the data exchange in the entire project. By merging the supply chain steel fabrication model which was shaped using Stru CAD software by a Dutch steel fabricator was one of the momentous underscore. The project was further imported to the Revit using a 3D DWG format which therein relates the HOK produced a construction design. A high degree of significance was shown in all the results achieved using traditional non-BIM methods. 

Design reviews have benefit from using 3D Revit and Navisworks review which is possible only through regular project meetings with client and design team.  The main contractor has modelled the services in 3D using CAD Duct and is coordinating all BIM models using Navisworks to coordinate the Services supply chain design.


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