BIM is the process that generates and manages building data during its life cycle. Using three dimensional, real-time and dynamic modeling software, the BIM coordination process encompasses building geometry and design data, spatial relationships, geographic information, environmental data, maintenance data, financial data, owner/occupier data and building specification/component data and thereby increases productivity in building design and construction.
BIM holds design and construction together, but there are some steps to be followed by a firm to go from design through construction using BIM. The BIM coordination process is a lengthy one that involves real investment on software and employees.
The BIM coordination process cycle starts with predesign stage, where the architect starts on the schematic model either by using masses or real elements in a BIM environment. After preparing the schematic model, a presentation will be given to the owner with the help of walkthrough or renderings. The owner can offer thoughts on the design and suggest the changes at this stage. Then the model is ready to go to the design phase.
4D helps the project to track the schedule and monitor delays, eradicate sequential issues in construction and streamline the construction process. This is done by working closely with the construction team on site to make use of BIM efficiently. Monitoring the construction progress through BIM (4D) helps the site team to control the delays and work towards a catch plan for the delays.
Next stage is detailed design, in which collaboration is the key. So, weekly coordination meetings take place in this stage participating architects, engineers, project manager, estimator, scheduler and construction manager. The meeting is to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Interference checks and BIM coordination reviews are done weekly in this phase of design process. As it helps save a lot more time and money for fixing the problems in the field, this is an obvious step to take.
There are some modeling practices that should be followed throughout design. For example, if you are going through the trouble of modeling the project, it is more effective to have the model used for more than just plan work. Sections, elevations and walkthroughs are some of the coordinated process, which make your BIM model more efficient. You can save time and money, if done accurately.
Once the design is completed, construction is ready to start. Estimating and scheduling were updating their respective processes, as discussed throughout design. Also, sight work has already been begun and foundations are ready to be poured. The design models may have been replaced by models from the subcontractors during construction phase. Construction manager and field superintendent work together with design team and ensure that the design intent is followed. As BIM was used in early in the design phase, this process was made easier.
In a project that uses building information modeling (BIM), a BIM map is developed as a pre-cursor, which produces full employer’s information requirements (EIR). It is a helpful format in the earlier stage of a project, as it describes the key decision points, which will be used to structure the project and the queries, which should be answered at those decision points. Then the information, which the employer will need to procure from the suppliers to answer the questions, can be identified.