Building Information Modelling (BIM) – the future of intelligent building design?


Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a relatively new buzzword within the construction and building management industry. If you’re a developer or a commercial landlord, it’s time to learn how it can help you incorporate efficiencies and a better understanding of your assets.

What is BIM?

BIM is a digital model of a building integrated with a range of data to allow a greater understanding of its characteristics. It’s a shared repository of information, from inception, through its life-cycle, to its ultimate demolition, which enables stakeholders to take informed decisions effectively and efficiently.

BIM is an important part of the Government Construction Strategy which was announced in 2011, and which now requires all projects to incorporate BIM technologies in order to introduce more effective collaboration. The ultimate aim of this is to reduce capital costs and the carbon footprint of the construction industry as a whole. In fact, since April of this year, BIM has been mandatory within public sector projects.

How does it work?

Many of you will be familiar with the use of 3D computerised models of buildings at the design and planning stage. These ‘digital drawings’ are able to be viewed from any angle, both inside and out, to offer a full, clear representation of what the finished building will look like. BIM takes this concept one step further and uses sophisticated CAD systems to offer information about each and every aspect of the building, from the type of bricks it is constructed with to the specifications of the heating and hot water system and much more besides.

Components as small as screws and as large as the concrete used as foundations can all be analysed and the information shared with other stakeholders, enabling a fuller understanding not only of the building’s visual impact, and its efficiency (both in terms of energy usage and how the space works) but also of any potential cost savings that can be made. In commercial buildings, even the furniture can be included in the BIM specification, to enhance clarity and provide a better understanding of the cost implication of every component.

A simple click on any part of the building reveals the data relating to its properties, which are held on a central database which any member of the team, from contractor to client, can easily access.

BIM is now being adopted in all aspects of the construction industry as a shareable, open source of information on assets, and is already impacting on the supply chain in terms of allowing more open collaboration within the construction industry.

If you’re involved with a commercial building project and would like more information about how BIM can assist you, get in touch with a member of our team. Our RICS-qualified professionals can offer you advice and information about maximising and managing your project and minimising your costs.


Written by: Adam Finch on Wednesday 18/01/2017