What is BIM?

“BIM is essentially value creating collaboration through the entire life-cycle of an asset, underpinned by the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models and intelligent, structured data attached to them.”

BIM Task Group (http://www.bimtaskgroup.org/bim-faqs/)

BIM is used as an abbreviation for Building Information Modelling, a Building Information Model and Building Information Management.

Building Information Modelling, is a collaborative working process for the design, construction and maintenance of a building. Sophisticated software can bring geometric and other data together in a useful and usable way. These are the BIM tools or objects, since BIM is not software, it’s a process.

A Building Information Model, is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building (or facility). The model provides a process platform to share and integrate complex levels of building information. There are many BIM software solutions and several national standards (US, UK etc.) are attempting to make the shared use of BIM models more accessible.

Recent European public policies have led to the encouragement of the use of electronic tools, including BIM, in public works contracts to reduce costs, project overruns and to modernize the procurement process; and some countries (UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Norway) are already requiring the use of BIM.

Tools developed in BAMB, gain much usability from easy accessibility and integration in Building Information Modelling in order to enable recovery, reuse and upgrading of materials, components, products, systems and buildings in main stream building.

Dimensions as categories

BIM is sometimes described using dimensions as categories. BIM extends traditional building design which was largely reliant upon two dimensional technical drawings beyond 3D, augmenting the three primary spatial dimensions (width, height and depth) with time as the fourth dimension (4D), cost as the fifth (5D), sustainability as the sixth (6D) and facility management applications as a seventh dimension (7D), sometimes management is described as the sixth dimension and sustainability is incorporated in the others.

A BIM is thus a shared knowledge resource for information about a building, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition. A circular building approach requires easy access to additional aspects of information.

Alignment of BAMB outputs with BIM

Alignment of BAMB outputs with BIM is important for widespread future application as BIM becomes more commonplace as a means of managing buildings throughout their lifecycle, all the way through deconstruction. At this point, the material information and the design information that will be accessible via this deliverable becomes key in ensuring the correct processes are followed to optimise reuse of building products with the best economic and/or environmental outcome.

Transfer of information across the building cycle (for many different applications in addition to anything BAMB related) is a key objective of BIM roll out.

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