BIM, The Digital Way of Built Environment Life Cycle


Construction is probably one of the oldest engineering fields that has been continuously practiced ever since the origin of the human mankind. Say it Indus Valley, Egyptian Civilization, Greek, Chinese or Peru settlements – every human settlement has continuously invested a lot of effort in understanding the natural conditions of the settlement locality, basic material availability, constructability, tooling, disaster management etc. Because of which, we have across the world a diversified Construction Industry that designs and adapts to the local conditions of the given place and living conditions of the region and tenants. So Construction Technology has been at every point evolving to be more scientific and flexible to mankind.

Construction today is one of the largest Engineering Technology that involves almost all the other engineering fields and many of the non-engineering fields in developing a suitable design for today’s world. Well, every engineering field say – Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental, Chemical etc., have individually grown a hundred folds and have successfully adopted various IT Infrastructure in the form of CAM, CAE, SAP, Real Time Monitoring etc., to be in pace with the ever evolving automation and technology. As every engineering has, even the Construction Technology as a whole has evolved many forms – 2d CAD, 3d CAD, Intelligent Modelling, VDC and has taken the current form of BIM.

BIM in its full form Building Information Modelling has been there in industry since last 10+ years and has developed a lot before taking its current position in the Construction Industry. BIM in simple is a process that involves the working of all the building core engineerings in a sequence and a defined methodical procedure in designing a built space and its infrastructure. The process involves 2 important activities – real size 3d model and element level information collection. Whereas the end products of BIM are many starting from a 1mm clash check to scaled 3d printing to real size automated manufacturing to real time building performance monitoring.

BIM is simple. To start with, BIM is a simple task of modelling and information collection.

  • Real Size 3d Model

Adding a mere “Z” axis value to 2d CAD Drawings brings in an enormous change to the way design is visualized and understood. A 3d Model is more accurate than the 2d drawing set and is very user friendly and flexible to help the process of designing.

In simple the idea of Real Size 3d Modelling is to capture all the individual elements, interdependent assemblies and other complicated free forms in 1:1 scale with all the available and necessary sub layers and sub-assemblies.

With the advancements, the 3d Modelling Tasks have evolved its own guidelines called LOD – Level of Detail for BIM.

  • Information Collection

Every geometrical element in 3d Model becomes more informative with the every extra information that it holds. A simple cuboid on an addition of Engineering Domain as information, can mean a wall if Architectural, Column or Beam if Structural, Duct of AHU if Mechanical, Switch or Electrical Panel if Electrical, Sump or FHC if Piping, so on. Information collection can be as wider and deeper as required by the project. Information collection can include information about – Shape, Geometrical Properties, Geometrical Relations, Geometrical Information, Count, Assembly Information, Assembly Dependencies & Interdependencies, Element Construction Information, Construction Sequence, Materials, Scientific Properties, Geological & Geospatial Information, Green Building Information, Manufacturing Sequence, Packaging Code, Installation Procedure, a lot of identification nos, process references, sensor IDs and a whole lot of any other information as may be required for the specific requirement of project – construction technology used, manufacturing technology adopted and the building cycle plan being adopted.

Farther this very simple foundation is very vital in achieving the most accurate details and the scientific validations to any simple or the most complicated built space design. The simple yet informative BIM Models can help quickly deliver and validate a wide range of scientific data. A few notable mentions –

  • Natural Environment Study including study of Sun & Shadow Movement, Wind Movement, Natural Drainage, Behavior to specific climatic conditions, Behavior to Seismic Fractures & Faults, Water Levels & Tables, Soil Strata etc.
  • Design & Design Influence Simulation including study of solar heating, shading, night light, artificial lighting, acoustics, natural disasters, man-made hazards, environmental hazards etc.
  • Reality Simulation including walk-through, realistic views, Virtual Reality experience.
  • Reuse & Demolition of existing structures.
  • Restorations of Historically important and Heritage Monuments.
  • The general requirements of construction – Unlimited Drawing Sets and most accurate quantification including revisions and variations.
  • A simple, user friendly yet a detailed 3d model.
  • Elaborate and detailed construction planning & logistics.

In simple, a user friendly yet a detailed 3d model of the actual physical building as it is built at its location with all design, calculations, analysis, reports, drawings, contractual history and the maintenance history – all in just a single model making the generations to come handle the built structures in a more systematic, easier and scientific way.

BIM – the digital way of Built Environment Life Cycle

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