Some say that BIM is just 3D modelling, time consuming and only for complex projects: let’s debunk some of the most common misconceptions about BIM.
There are a lot of misconceptions and legends about what BIM actually is that also discourage some professionals from adopting it. Technical experts, which are not well informed, still believe that BIM is just a 3D modeler to use for large projects, that it’s a complicated process that requires too much time for training with a steep learning curve.
Without a doubt, BIM represents a great opportunity for all technical experts and most of these aspects are very misleading at the least.
1. BIM is just a 3D modelling tool
Producing information models doesn’t simply mean creating a 3D model of a building.
A 3D model is a three-dimensional shape or surface in a computer-generated virtual space. CAD programs can be used to define its geometry and assign various construction elements such as walls, columns and ceilings. Each construction element is a 3D model object.
We refer to BIM whenever we can associate data and information to every single element of a 3D model.
3D is not the only dimension in BIM, whereas each model also has other dimensions like 4D, 5D 6D and 7D.
Specifically, each BIM model integrates several information. For example, it can contain information such as the room name, room number, component manufacturing, all maintenance operations, etc.
Building Information Modeling Modeling is, thus, a process and a methodology based on a 3D digital model (which requires 3D modeling capabilities); but this is only part of the larger process. The digital BIM model includes both graphical and non-graphical information published in a digitally shared space.
Therefore, models created with BIM technology are not simple representations of 3D buildings, but they also contain different types of data regarding different components of a building (geometry, material properties, supporting structure, systems, energy performance, site organization, maintenance operations, asset management). To work in this way, it will imply thinking about people, processes, technology and not just the 3D model.
2. BIM is just for large projects
Another big preconception about BIM is that it is used only for large projects.
On the contrary, BIM covers large, medium and small projects, all types and sizes of constructions, including buildings and infrastructure projects.
The dimension of the project is irrelevant; the advantages from using BIM are significant in many areas and for different AEC companies. It is evident that, this method reduces design errors, improves communication with clients, offers better documentation and cost control and increases productivity.
BIM is a “philosophy” to all effects that addresses a project and its execution and that is subject to any type of intervention with different dimensions.
Small organizations are very often in competition with much larger studios and need to offer equivalent solutions in order to be successful. Obviously, small organizations would not fit for competition by only presenting 2D project drawings, compared to those that, on the contrary, present 3D models, renderings etc.
It is largely proved that the use of BIM technology allows small, unstructured studios to demonstrate to clients that they are able to produce sophisticated solutions at a lower cost.
3. BIM is too complicated
Any process that involves new ways of working will undoubtedly imply uncertainty and careful considerations and BIM doesn’t exempt from that.
Building Information Modeling methodology is fundamental for the digital management of buildings. Certainly, the approach requires training, like everything that changes a specific work approach.
ACCA software, a company that plays a leadership role in BIM technology development, has been involved for many years in spreading methodologies and opportunities relating to BIM. ACCA software is also highly engaged in organizing meetings and training events, online courses and webinar for users that want to deepen their knowledge and improve their use of BIM software solutions.
Investing in Building Information Modeling will bring many benefits such as cost reduction, safer delivery times, lower environmental impact, higher productivity.
4. It requires time
More than 75% of architectural studios and companies that use BIM have immediate positive return on investments, gaining shorter project life cycles and savings on office work and material costs, drastic reduction of errors and misunderstandings.
BIM requires a completely different way of working and thinking. Whereas a CAD software is used to design an object in 3D and creates schematics of that object for manufacturing, a BIM software applies CAD concepts to designing buildings, creating models that include not just the physical but also the intrinsic properties of a building.
This will take some more time on an initial phase, but it will surely save time later.