BIM Capability Assessment

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A large number of players from the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Operation (AECO) industry have been venturing into BIM Adoption in the last few years. Some are at the primary stage, trying to draw the business strategies around BIM, some have implemented BIM for several projects, and others are proud enthusiasts of BIM looking for opportunities to implement BIM services rightly.

Despite the category, everyone in the AECO industry should know the BIM mandates, standards, and more such features that equip us with more profound knowledge about BIM. We'll bring you five things you should know about BIM, so scroll through this article to dive in! 

1. BIM Mandate: With BIM gaining much momentum worldwide, governments are pushing industry practitioners to adopt BIM on a large scale in the AECO sector. Hence mandates requiring BIM compliance from companies involved in public projects become vital to this drive. As explained by many, 'BIM mandate is a set of implemented government policies ensuring that BIM is a necessity for large-scale complex projects.' In a broader view, under the mandate, project owners, contractors, and designers are required to adopt BIM at various stages like preconstruction, construction and for uses from 3D to 8D. At the same time, manufacturers are required to share information about rich BIM objects that are incorporated into the project. Implementing any mandate involves a lot of strategy and planning for a smooth transition and, eventually, its execution.

The mandates vary for different countries and are put in place to help the AECO sector become BIM compliant. The first country to implement the BIM mandate was Denmark (2007). Other countries, such as Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, Germany, the UK, the USA, etc., have joined in with full swing.

2. BIM Standards: BIM standards are guidelines and procedures recognized by different authorities at an international level to optimize operational management during the life cycle of the structure. It's essential to have a set handbook with regulations to bring order to the system. This way, processes can be better organized, the overall quality of projects can be improved, and collaborations between work teams in different parts of the world could occur seamlessly. BIM standards are also necessary to be in place to avoid potential integration challenges in countries where BIM is not regulated at a national level, and they follow their standards. 

The first international BIM standard that regulates BIM is ISO 19650. This international standard regulates the management of information on the entire life cycle of a built asset—from the design stage to the maintenance stage—using BIM. In addition, other regulatory standards are ISO 16739 (an open international standard for BIM data shared between software applications used by different participants in a construction or facility management project) and ISO 12006 (this defines the classification of the components of a building product). 

3. History of BIM: It is rightly said that BIM has long existed as a concept; however, it had to wait for decades of technology to match its applicability. In 1957, an architectural expert described viewing a model from different angles and built a Building Description System. The year 1980 saw the introduction of ArchiCAD, which later became the first BIM-enabled software available on a personal computer. Post-1993, several programs were developed that gradually revolutionized the concept of BIM. Revit, a notable technology solution in 2000, changed the game as it became the software for designing everything—government contracts on bridges, large office buildings, and tiny houses. Gradually, starting from 2010, there have been numerous advancements in the technology and process of BIM that its present stage is well-described in a research paper titled 'BIM—History and Trends' as 'BIM has formed the nucleus of significant development potential for the future architectural workflows.

4. openBIM®:A researcher explains that openBIM provides a common language for the exchange of information within a multidisciplinary project team.' It allows sharing of data using open standards, streamlining work and minimizing errors. openBIM improves the usability, management, accessibility, and sustainability of digital data in the built asset industry. It not only facilitates interoperability but also gives flexibility to the stakeholders to transform the traditional ways of working within teams by incorporating new technologies. It is said that 'Firms that adopt an openBIM approach develop cross-party collaboration, enhanced communication, and industry-standard exchange methodologies. This delivers better project outcomes, greater predictability, improved performance, and increased safety with reduced risk.

5. closedBIM: In contrast to openBIM, closed BIM is explained as a BIM environment requiring project stakeholders to use the same software platform throughout the building process. Unlike with openBIM, with closed BIM, data can be accessed only in the native file as it doesn't allow conversion of files. The consensus can be said to choose openBIM over closed BIM as the latter 

  • Limits the collaboration method only to those with the same software/version, 
  • doesn't allow aggregation of data produced by different software used for the completion of different aspects of work, and 
  • restricts the accessibility and readability of the data without the license to use that software.

These are just five of the many essentials of BIM that help the AECO Industry patrons with stronger feet and make informed choices. To learn further about the specifics of BIM— it's past and future, trends and technological aspects, application in the different sectors in the AECO industry, and everything else, head to our blogs section.

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