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BIM Technologies: Building Information Modelling

BIM technology (from Building Information Modeling) is a common term for the information systems modeling technologies related to the design of buildings and structures. Aided by BIM-modeling, the customer is able not only to visualize a three-dimensional model of the future building (structure), by also link the construction and operation processes to a common data environment, which includes such information as ERP and EAM systems, information on supplies, suppliers and consumers of products, electronic documentation, etc.

Nowadays, BIM design is one of the most actively developing industries where their own standards are created, including the IT field.
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How BIM technologies work

Building information model software allows a customer to create a virtual model of a building or structure and link it with the other information modeling technologies used in project lifecycle management. During the construction of a building, all information about the project, its changes, construction progress, materials used, etc. is recorded into the general project data environment (BIM CDE, or Common Data Environment).

Subsequently, based on the same technologies, the owner or tenants of the structure can store and process up-to-date information about the building components as enterprise assets in the BIM CDE environment. For example, a BIM system stores information about the maintenance and repairment of a building, accidents, defects, the cost of individual structures, financial issues and other data related to the lifecycle of a building.

Benefits of implementing BIM technologies

Building Information Modeling (BIM) provides quick access to any information about the building and related parameters at all stages of the building lifecycle, due to implementing the Common Data Environment (BIM CDE) to all stages of a building lifecycle. In particular, this feature can be used for purposes such as:
Prompt introduction of changes to the project during a complex BIM design (useful for architects, planners, construction workers, designers).
Quick search and elimination of shortcomings, identification of project inconsistencies with the construction progress or the current parameters of the building's operation (necessary for operating organizations, emergency services, construction workers, inspections, marketing experts).
Control over the design and operation of the building as required by rules or regulations (of use to lawyers, managers, responsible executives of the owner organization and tenants).
Ensuring the relationship between BIM data and other business model processing systems (a must for system administrators, designers, accountants, managers of various departments).
The benefits of the large-scale building information modeling implementation are quite obvious,and these are many solutions for making a BIM CDE or for integrating a building information model (BIM) data to some big and complex software workflow.

Building information modeling software

Early versions of BIM CDEs, based on closed proprietary standards, were quite expensive and incompatible with other software so they were not widely adopted. Over time, the interest in the creation of BIM CDE grew, and there are several nationally approved standards by now, both proprietary (CIS / 2) and open (IFC, COBie). These standards are supported both by a number of modern CAD systems and by third-party programs capable of integrating information system modeling technologies.

The introduction of BIM technologies for communication between various information systems can occur at least at the level of export and import of reports in acceptable standard formats. This way, in the ERP program NERPA, any report can be generated as an XML file with a given structure, which makes it easy to embed its data into BIM CDE, based on the IFC standard with a common data environment in the aesXML format.

Modern technologies for making a building information model

The Building Information Modeling technology currently is a rapidly growing, promising branch of the IT industry. In approaches to information modeling technologies of structures, by analogy with 3D models used in classical CAD systems, the following BIM design options are distinguished:
4D: the building and the operation of its elements over time is designed.
5D: the building is modeled, its operation, as well as the cost of individual phases of the structure's lifecycle.
6D: in addition to the parameters above, each building element is supplied with detailed instructions, documentation, maintenance schedule, etc. This design format is usually handed over to the building operator upon completion of construction.
Naturally, it is possible to further increase the number of "dimensions" stored in the BIM CDE. As the interest for the implementation of building information model grows, both the level and volume of information processed by BIM technologies environment itself, and the depth of its system integration with other information solutions of the corporate level will inevitably grow.


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