of virtual prototypes and design
Increasing numbers of clients are now demanding that their buildings are designed using BIM from the outset - the article mentions the US General Services Administration. In UK, BAA and Edinburgh housing developer Applecross are among those that do.
BIM has a vital role in integrated project delivery.
In the US the American Institute of Architects have been pushing BIM hard for a some years. In UK the RIBA told me that it was not on their radar. This is surprising given the reported benefits:
- designers can experiment more freely, without constant redrawing and recalculation and yet immediately see the cost, structural and energy-consumption implications of those changes
- with the right software, the building's solar gain, lighting, heat flow, acoustics and regulatory compliance can all be calculated too
- enables architects to produce more efficient designs, thus reducing costs
- both 3-D views and traditional 2-D drawings can then be generated from the model
- the software can identify many mistakes within a design
- can save 2% in a typical construction budget for inconsistencies, and 5% for clashes
- improves the communication and co-ordination between architects, engineers & constructors
- simplifies preparation of accurate bills of quantities, and hence construction cost.
- can create detailed plans of particular subsystems, such as cooling, water and electrical wiring
- is a digital prototype - adding a time dimension allow the simulation of the construction process
- helps maintenance and management of the building by showing pipe and cable runs, materials & detailing parts used in heating, cooling and electrical systems.
As suppliers of building materials and components start to make information about their products available in a format that can be applied to objects in BIM models. This will enable architects to build up a design using representations of real products, from steel girders to floor panels to light fittings, while keeping track of costs, structural properties and so forth.
There is one problem. Interpretations of EU procurement rules for Design-bid-build procurement methods don't support BIM as it is not possible to pre-specify many of the components in a building so it will not be possible to use the objects manufacturers make available.