There have been a lot of Misconceptions about BIM, What BIM is exactly? Is BIM a software? is BIM a software used by construction experts?, Is BIM a new method adopted by construction experts in the construction industry? is Bim here to replace CAD? Many thoughts on what BIM is and its actual use.
All of these will be made clear in this article.
Is BIM a Software?
First of, what you understand by what software is, will really throw more light on this topic. it has been noted that the view on what software is has played an important role in the misunderstanding of what BIM is.
Software simply put are the programs, and other operating information used by a computer, these programs can be further divided into System Programs or Application Programs.
Systems programs keep all the hardware and software running together smoothly e.g Operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc.)
Application programs usually called application softwares are programs that people use to get their work done
Due to the wide variety and the massive use of the computer system for different purposes, application softwares are of different categories and types.
Types of application software and their examples Some of the major categories are Word processors (Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.), Spreadsheet packages (Microsoft Excel, Google sheets, etc.), Database systems (Microsoft Access, Oracle, etc.), Graphics programs (Adobe Photoshop, Corel draw, etc.) Multimedia Software, Presentation Software, Educational Software, Game program software, Web browsers software, Simulation Software, etc.
The diversities of Application software could not be overemphasized any further as they are of different categories and purposes
However one should note that Some of these application program software could fall into more than one category simultaneously, A software can be a Database system software, graphics software, presentation software, simulation software, and spreadsheet software all at the same time.
Most of these software’s are referred to as Complex-Multi functional Application Softwares and happens to be so as a result of falling in more than one category of application softwares and the functions they carry out as well as the sector they fall in.
Most of the software’s used in the Architectural, Engineering & Construction (AEC) sector, as well as the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), fall into more than one category, which makes them fall under the Complex-Multi Functional Application software category.
BIM IS NOT A SOFTWARE
These Softwares in the AEC and MEP sectors developed by good construction software companies can have their software furtherly Categorized into Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software and Building Information Modelling (BIM) software.
Therefore BIM is not a software like Microsoft Excel or Corel draw is but rather BIM is a more extensive means of sub categorizing these Complex-Multi functional Application Softwares under the AEC and MEP sectors of Construction Softwares furtherly.
These Construction Softwares could be CAD-based or BIM-based software, CAD softwares were the Initial dominating softwares used in the construction sector until BIM technology softwares came into play and became Predominant due to its diverse features and wide range of productivity compared to CAD softwares.
So what then is the difference between CAD and BIM softwares and what are the features BIM softwares exhibits that makes it predominant and more preferable to CAD software.
What is BIM
Since we now know that BIM is not a software that one can use directly just as how Microsoft word is but rather BIM a way of categorizing a particular set of construction softwares that have similar characteristics and possesses similar features. in the AEC and MEP sector.
In the Construction world, The transition of many Construction practices evolved, Many Traditional practices got replaced with better methods.
Then the Architects(Draftsmen) drew plans (hand drawings), the Involvement of technology and digitalization brought along Computer-Aided Design (CAD) softwares which allows architects to compute any design of their choices (in 2d and 3d) on the computer no matter the scale and complexity of the proposed design.
This Technological advancement allowed for the ease of many construction practices, especially for Architects.
But the Technology Revolution went further to bring the BIM technology which allows designers to create 3D models. More uniquely, unlike the CAD modeling technologies that came before it.
Not only that BIM technology softwares can be used by AEC and MEP workers simultaneously, a change made by one party is instantly reflected to everyone which allows for extreme collaboration and fluent communication.
Unlike other programs like CAD softwares which are only used when a building is being designed and built, BIM exists for the entirety of a building’s lifespan, from conception to demolition.
Once architects design a building, contractors use the same model to construct it; when a building is finished, the owners use BIM to schedule maintenance and complete infrastructure updates. At each life stage, BIM automatically generates scheduling and logistics which reduces errors, makes cost predictions more accurate, and gets a project done faster.
What is BIM used for?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) Technology softwares allows for the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination, and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build, operation and maintenance).
BIM is used to design and document building and infrastructure designs. Every detail of a building is modeled in BIM. The model can be used for analysis to explore design options and to create visualizations that help stakeholders understand what the building will look like before it’s built. The model is then used to generate the design documentation for construction.
The integration and effective communication that BIM provides between all construction workers and even the clients make it more predominant and reliable than CAD softwares.
This BIM technology goes beyond 3D (height, width, and depth) and includes 4D (time), 5D (cost), and also 6D (as-built operation)
Top BIM Softwares currently
As BIM technology thrives as the best in the construction world, Many Best BIM Construction software companies in the world today are now diving into the production of BIM softwares.
Some of the Top mostly used BIM software includes
- Autodesk Revit
- Trimble SketchUp
- Autodesk Navisworks
- Graphisoft Archicad
- Nemetschek Vectorworks
- Nemetschek ALLPLAN
- Autodesk BIM360
- Tekla BIMsight
- Trimble Connect
All these above-mentioned softwares are BIM technology softwares developed by the best Construction softwares companies in the world.
For more knowledge on BIM stay on the groove with costecon to always keep you updated.