All the benefits of BIM for architects: operational tools and ways to make your work more competitive
BIM is now an essential methodology, especially for architects and professionals who want to become more competitive in their work.
In particular, architects should use BIM to make more informed decisions about design choices, visualize design solutions in a realistic way, communicate with the client effectively, promote collaboration with other professionals and avoid unforeseen events during construction phases.
What is BIM in architecture?
BIM in architecture is the process of creating and managing the information model of a project which is to be carried out (or already completed), useful during the building or infrastructure’s entire life cycle.
The model is configured as an information container in which 3D objects (columns, windows, walls, etc.) are associated with useful information for the project, the construction, maintenance or even the demolition aspects (technical data sheets, energy information, construction details, etc.).
The BIM model helps to prevent evaluation errors, information exchange errors between professionals, clients and companies, identify any interference between plant, structural and architectural solutions, automatically obtain project documents (cost estimates, time schedule, construction drawings, reports, etc.), while saving time and costs, etc.
In addition, the digital representation of the BIM model can be a great support in terms of communicating the architectural idea to the client, avoiding the so called, “communication gap”.
Why should architects use BIM?
Architects should use BIM because it is a methodology that allows them to create digital 3D models and manage all the information associated with a project (material layers, materials, costs and execution timing, etc.), at every stage of the asset’s life cycle. These 3D models are realistically represented and constitute the digital twins of a given project.
Unlike any other 2D or 3D CAD model, BIM generates models composed of parametric objects that include specific engineering related information and constant data-flows at every stage of the project management phase. This allows users to manage information intelligently, automating all processes of planning, design, documentation collection, construction, maintenance, renovation and demolition of the asset.
In summary, the use of BIM methods offers a number of advantages, including:
- better project content quality;
- interference control and error reduction;
- realistic visualization of results thanks to the use of cutting-edge technologies for communicating project decisions (renderings, video presentations, virtual reality tours, etc.);
- time savings during both the modelling and design phases;
- cost estimates and construction drawings generated automatically from the BIM model;
- optimisation of time, costs and resources;
- increased competitiveness;
- multidisciplinary coordination and collaboration.
The advantages of BIM are many, but let’s focus on the most useful BIM benefits for architects.
The BIM benefits for architects explained
Whoever deals with architecture in one way or the other always end up facing the need to communicate how certain design decisions were reached to their client. This design phase can be particularly delicate because it can lead to misunderstandings and communication gaps that can affect the grade of success of the project.
In fact, discerning clients aren’t always capable of fully understanding the architect’s design intentions from looking at traditional 2D technical drawings.
Spaces, materials, other detailed solutions and artificial lighting are just a few of the diverse aspects that are very difficult to explain with traditional project documentation.
With BIM, when starting from an accurate 3D modeling phase, architects and buyers alike, can now leverage their communication abilities with additional content to experience spacial perception, material qualities and design solutions using cutting-edge visualization technologies applied to architecture (commonly referred to as Archviz): an architectural representation methodology that shows the project in an extremely realistic manner.
The advantage of showing the project with images, videos or even real-time first-person viewing experiences adds quality and competitiveness to the designer’s work.
For architects, the main advantages of BIM related to Archviz are:
- to get a precise idea of what the project will really be like before its realisation;
- to identify problems quickly;
- you can make any changes during the design phase, avoiding re-workings or project variations;
produce visually impressive project presentations
- increasing client engagement using virtual reality technologies that provide a unique vision of how spaces will look like even with complex architectural concepts;
- imagine innovative project solutions;
- avoid misjudgments;
- improve the overall quality of the project;
- show design concepts and alternative solutions that are difficult to communicate with classic 2D graphics;
- enrich the project with extra information (lights, materials, colours, settings, etc.) that cannot be represented using traditional methods;
- transform workflows into a much more competitive interaction;
- meet demanding client requirements and increase satisfaction.
To learn more, read this article: “Archviz: what it’s all about and why it’s so important for your profession“.