Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Entering the 4th Dimension: Putting the "I" in BIM.

There is so much more to building information modeling than just using Revit to create a digital model.
Architecturally, we can use the model not only to create our production drawings, but also for creating visualization, exploring the design of the building, and integrating the consultants’ models for collaboration.
There is so much more that can be done with a BIM model after it leaves the architect’s office.
The project’s construction manager can use the “information” in the model (the “I” in BIM) to assist in the estimation and scheduling construction processes. This is called 4D BIM.

Because the Revit model is basically a database of the building, items can easily be extracted in the form of schedule of quantities or materials and components. Items such as doors and windows can easily be scheduled, as well as quantities of materials such as area of brick, or more specifically an area quantification of a specific type of Gypsum board. By pushing the Revit model into such programs as Navisworks or Design Review, the contractor or even the sub-trades can explore the digital model to gain a much better understanding of the scope of work, and pull material quantification specific to their trades. You even have the ability to extract quantities of materials that are not even in the Revit model.

By being able to use calculations from the Revit model, such as the lineal length of a specific wall type or the area of specific room, you can use these calculations to estimate the quantity of items not necessary in the Revit model. An example of this would be the ability to calculate the total length of moisture-resistant gypsum board, to find out the amount of coved rubber floor base required for wet areas. Or use the model to calculate the amount of concrete from the structural model.

Not only can the model be used for quantification, it can also be used for construction sequencing. By simply modifying the architectural model, the contractor can create a construction sequence model which can be used in Navisworks and Microsoft Project to graphically show the sequence of construction along the construction timeline.
More and more construction companies and contractors are making the most of the “I” in BIM to help speed up construction time, reduce waste and lower the overall cost of a project.
It’s just one more way BIM is revolutionizing the design and construction industry.


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