The main BIM capabilities: here’s how to implement them
BIM capabilities are the set of functions, procedures and processes that allow you to generate a BIM product. Find out what they are used for and how to implement them
BIM is a methodology that allows you to create a dynamic, interdisciplinary, shared information model. This model contains the information trail of a construction project during its entire life cycle, such as:
- structural characteristics;
- thermal characteristics;
- plant equipment;
- maintenance cycles;
- disposal operations.
Before discovering more about BIM capabilities, allow me to remind you that the application of this methodology requires tje adoption of BIM software in your workflows! So, my suggestion would be to test a building design software that allows you to take advantage of BIM quickly and easily!
What are BIM capabilities?
BIM capabilities are the functions and processes that allow you to plan, build and manage projects using the BIM methodology. To define the main BIM functionalities (BIM capabilities) we will refer to the typical phases of a BIM design process:
In the design phase, BIM allows you to obtain four main BIM capabilities:
- project modeling: implementing the architectural, energy or structural model of a given construction works project with BIM means achieving maximum productivity, in particular:
- a building design software allows you to create a complete model of the construction and to develop all architectural elements in detail together with interior or outdoor spaces;
- a BIM structural calculation software allows you to implement and verify all the structural parts of a building, whether they are in reinforced concrete, wood, masonry or steel;
- an energy analysis and simulation software greatly simplifies the modeling of the building-plant combination.
- model visualization: BIM makes it possible to visualize 3D information models, offering different levels of detail as the parties involved vary. All you need is a simple BIM viewer to view models and information from any device completely online and present them to customers in order to identify any inconsistencies and critical issues;
- collaboration: with BIM, design can be entirely shared with the project team. You can connect data and workflows from each phase of the project within a BIM management system, a fully cloud-based platform that allows you to collaborate in real-time with the design, execution and maintenance team and collaboratively manage any type of problem;
- interoperability: connecting all disciplines and allowing a smooth workflow between the different design teams is certainly the key to BIM. Today, with openBIM and the IFC standard (open and non-proprietary format), the working methodology is free from any external influence. Each operator can use the software they prefer, transfer and share all data based on the standard.
Creating a BIM information model already in the design phase means providing, during the execution phase, contractors and workers with an information container that is very useful in works management and that can -and must- be constantly updated. This model allows you to manage efficient workflows and keep quality, costs and planning under control.
BIM also allows you to model spaces and work areas through a BIM site management software. In this way, you can identify risks that could come into play and outline strategies to mitigate them.
BIM capabilities of the execution phase translate into an improvement in the workers’ health and safety conditions.
The management phase of a work is certainly the most neglected phase: once the construction had been tested, the management practices were set aside, because managing paperwork such as contracts, manuals, services and maintenance schemes was too expensive. This is where an additional BIM functionality comes in.
BIM, in fact, allows all stakeholders to overcome these difficulties since it favours the creation of the built asset informative model. All the graphical and textual management documents are contained in the model and are accessible and editable at any time through a BIM facility management tool.
How to proceed in implementing BIM functionalities
To implement all the BIM functions in your work team, here are a few recommendations:
- study the main regulations, standards and laws;
- analyse and upgrade hardware, software and cloud solutions for managing single and different projects;
- train work teams;
- create project groups based on individual specialisations and skills;
- direct working groups towards ongoing cooperation and collaboration;
- establish the workflow as a team by agreeing on the relevant dynamics;
- outline growth strategies and programmes with preventive analysis;
- keep monitoring results, whether positive or negative.
If you are taking your first steps towards the implementation of BIM methodology, then you should start using a BIM management system. The ideal would be a completely free and online platform for seamless management of all professional activities to promote collaboration and interoperability within your team.