1. What is Building Information Modelling?
2. History of BIM
3. BIM Concept
4. BIM Models
5. Clash detection
6. BIM models
7. What is a BIM object?
8. BIM and space management
9. Building Management System
10. Status of BIM in India
11. Applicability of BIM for Current Project Delivery
12. Benefits of BIM at Various Phases of Construction
13. Hurdles in Adoption of BIM
3. WHAT IS BUILDING INFORMATION
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a model-based design concept, in which buildings
will be built virtually before they get built out in the field, where data models organized for
complete integration of all relevant factors in the building lifecycle which also manages the
information exchange between the AEC (Architects, Engineers, Contractors) professionals, to
strengthen the interaction between the design team. BIM is a shared knowledge about the
information for decisions making during its lifecycle
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the documentation process consisting of
information about different phases of any project like design, construction planning,
construction, facility management and operation. It is one holistic documentation process
beneficial for operational visualization, and construction application such as estimating,
scheduling and design coordination. Main advantage of implementing BIM application is the
visual coordination of the building systems such as MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and
Plumbing) systems and it also identifies the possible conflicts between the building systems.
By detecting the conflicts, problems can be resolved before actual construction which in turn
saves money and time invested, (Damian, Han Yan and Peter (1)). The National Institute of
Standards and Technology (NIST), reported (NIST, 2004 (2)) that the lack of adequate
interoperability cost the U.S facilities industry about $15.8 billion per year. In India, the BIM
application is not widely practiced till now has scope to use this technology in a much wider
Building information models (BIMs) are files (often but not always in proprietary formats and
containing proprietary data) which can be exchanged or networked to support decision-
making about a place. Current BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and
government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain diverse physical
infrastructures, such as water, wastewater, electricity, gas, refuse and communication utilities,
roads, bridges and ports, houses, apartments, schools and shops, offices, factories,
warehouses and prisons.
4. HISTORY OF BIM
In the following section a brief sketch of the evolution has been depicted.
I phase – Till early 1980s: Before 80’s design documents are made traditionally by
drawing lines to represent a building. These documents like plan, section and elevation are
the main source to describe the building to be built. In these traditional drawings each line
meant to convey design so that a building can eventually be constructed.
II phase – 1980s to Late 1990s: With the introduction of computers, the major switch
over started from manual drafting towards the computer aided drafting, which helped in
producing drawings faster. As buildings became more complex, specialization in the design
and construction process emerged, which in turn lead to more elaborate forms of information.
Use of computers, especially for 2D drawings and reports are revolutionary changes into
Architectural Documentation. III phase – Beginning of the 2K: In the present day, buildings
are much more complex than ever before. The numbers of people involved in producing
drawings are too large. With the growth of technology, the building systems are also many.
Today, buildings have more security, electrical, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air
Conditioning), and energy requirement. Computer based technology has been updated in
order reduce errors, but in the end, they are still collections of manually created, non-
intelligent lines and text.
5. BIM Concept
A shift in process and expectation is happening in the Indian construction market following
the economic bloom and gloom, and architects are stepping up to the challenge. The focus is
shifting from traditional 2D based to a practical reality with respect to functional, economic,
energy, etc. All disciplines involved with a project can share a single database. Architecture,
structure, mechanical, electrical, infrastructure, and construction are tied together and
challenge to coordinate them is unprecedentedly possible. Energy analysis can be done at
early stage of design, and construction costs are becoming more predictable. BIM allows use
of a parametric 3D model to auto generate traditional building documents such as plans,
sections, elevations, details, and schedules. Drawings produced using BIM supported
software’s are not of manually coordinated lines, but interactive representations of a model.
The changes made in this Model are automatically coordinated throughout the project, which
eliminate the coordination mistakes, improve overall quality of the work. There are many
modelling software packages in the fields which have excellent application for conceptual
level models, but these models don’t have the ability to document a building design for
BIM uses 3D, real-time, dynamic building modelling software to increase productivity in
building design and construction. The data can be used to illustrate the entire building
lifecycle from cradle to cradle—from inception and design to demolition and materials
reuse—including quantities and properties of materials (which can be easily extracted from
the model) and the scope of works (including management of project targets and facilities
management throughout the building’s life). Furthermore, systems, components, assemblies
and sequences can be shown in relative scale to each other and, in turn, relative to the entire
project. Managing a construction project and building lifecycle using BIM can result in
substantial savings in both time and money—from design and construction through to
ongoing maintenance. The model saves time and waste on site, and renders extra
coordination checks largely unnecessary; the information generated from the model leads to
fewer errors on site caused by inaccurate and uncoordinated information. When all members
of the construction team work on the same model—from early design through to
completion—introduced changes are automatically coordinated through BIM, across the
whole project, and information generated is therefore of high quality.
BIM has already given the industry measurable positives:
• Increased understanding and predictability—offering greater certainty and reduced risk
• Improved efficiency
• Improved integration and coordination—meaning fewer problems onsite
• Less waste
• Better value and quality
• Better buildings throughout their lifecycle
6. According to the U.K. government, early BIM demonstration projects have already achieved
savings of around 20 percent during the construction phase, with some on course to achieve
33 percent savings over the life of the building.
BIM is far more than 3D CAD modelling. It requires changes to the definition of traditional
architectural phases, more data sharing than the construction industry is used to, and a
willingness to embrace partnering in an approach that collects all project-related information
digitally. BIM is able to achieve this by modelling representations, specifications, and the
critical paths of actual parts and components used in the construction process—representing a
major shift from traditional computer-aided design.
There are four levels of BIM sophistication:
• Level 0: This basic level involves separate sources of information in paper documents
• Level 1: This level involves separate sources of information in semi-structured electronic
documents, often involving 2D/3D CAD.
• Level 2: This level involves file-based electronic information with some automated
connectivity. It will include post-construction information such as operation and maintenance
of assets and the management activity for the life of the asset.
• Level 3: This level involves integrated electronic information with full automated
connectivity. Level 3 BIM is a fully integrated and collaborative process that includes project
lifecycle and facility management information enabled by Web services.
Another terminology commonly used is “BIM dimensions.”
Currently, these are defined as follows:
• 3D BIM: This provides a visualization tool enabling designers and contractors to work
together to identify and resolve problems with the help of the model.
• 4D BIM: This is 3D BIM plus the construction workflow planning, scheduling and
management. As the design is changed, advanced BIM models will be able to automatically
identify those changes that will affect the critical path and indicate what the corresponding
impact will be on the overall delivery of the project.
• 5D BIM: This is 4D BIM plus the project’s construction cost and requirements. With
BIM, the model includes information that allows a contractor to accurately and rapidly
generate an array of essential estimating information, such as materials quantities and costs,
size and area estimates, and productivity projections. As changes are made, estimating
information automatically adjusts, allowing greater contractor productivity.
The industry is already discussing 6D BIM, which is 5D BIM plus facility
7. BIM MATURITY
Clash detection is the process of finding where the BIM models “clash.” Clash detection puts
a value on the savings made from eliminating problems found during a review.
Clash detection can be broken into three types:
• Hard clash
• Soft clash/clearance clash
• 4D/workflow clash
A hard clash is simply when two objects occupy the same space (e.g., a pipe going through a
wall where there is no opening).
Soft clashes refer to allowable tolerances or space; for example, buffer zones between
components left to provide space for future maintenance.
4D/workflow clashes refer to clashes in scheduling work crews, equipment/material
fabrication delivery clashes, and other timeline issues.
8. BIM models
At the moment, BIM models cover the following areas:
Each discipline creates a BIM model, and all models are integrated into a
composite master model. As more and more business and building applications (such as
voice, data, video, wireless and building control services) operate over one network
infrastructure, the network infrastructure should be covered under the BIM models. After all,
this network infrastructure is the superhighway for these applications and is commonly
referred to as the fourth utility (water, mains power and HVAC are the other three utilities).
This will enable better coordination between the M&E and the network design teams.
9. What is a BIM object?
A BIM object is a combination of many things:
Information content that defines a product
Product properties, such as thermal performance
Geometry representing the product’s physical characteristics
Visualisation data giving the object a recognisable appearance
Functional data, such as detection zones, that enables the object
to be positioned and behave in the same manner as the product
BIM IN INDIA
In India BIM is also known as VDC: virtual design and construction. India is an emerging
market with an expanding construction market and huge potential for large scale residential
and commercial development (because of population and economic growth). It has many
qualified, trained and experienced BIM professionals who are implementing this technology
in Indian construction projects and also assisting teams in the USA, Australia, UK, Middle
East, Singapore and North Africa to design and deliver construction projects using BIM. In
spite of this, and India's vibrant building sector, BIM usage was reported by only 22% of
respondents to a 2014 survey.
BIM and space management
Using a BIM model for space management enables the facility team to allocate, manage,
and track spaces and related resources within a facility. BIM permits the team to analyse
the existing use of space, evaluate proposed changes, and effectively plan for future needs.
Having accurate and detailed space information is especially useful for planning renovation
projects, where some building segments will remain occupied and change during the
construction phase. Existing workspace management systems should be integrated into BIM.
BIM and asset information management
Data from a BIM record model can be linked to a database of building assets to assist in
maintaining and operating a facility more efficiently. These assets often include the building
elements, systems, and equipment that must be maintained and operated efficiently to satisfy
the facility users’ requirements in a cost-effective way.
Asset management systems are used to support financial decision making, short-term and
long-term planning, and maintenance scheduling. Using information in a BIM record model,
10. facility managers can:
• Evaluate the cost implications of changing or upgrading building assets
• Track the use, performance, and maintenance of a building’s assets for
the owner, maintenance team, and financial department
• Produce accurate quantity take-offs of current company assets for
financial reporting and estimating the future costs of upgrades or
BIM and facility management & building analytics
BIM can be used to track, update, and maintain facilities management information to support
better planning, operations, and maintenance decision making throughout a building’s
lifecycle. Tracking performance data from the building systems and comparing these values
to design model predictions enables facility managers to ensure that the building is operating
to specified design and sustainable standards and identify opportunities to modify operations
to improve system performance. Building designers can also use this data to validate and
refine their prediction models and evaluate the impact of proposed materials and system
changes to improve performance. Existing facility management systems should be integrated
into BIM. This is where 6D BIM potentially fits.
Building analytics often focus on building energy use. However, sensor networks are
becoming key ingredients of smart buildings and they provide insight into systems operation,
building usage and location of occupants. When combined with building analytics, the data
can be converted into business intelligence and allow for informed decisions on energy
optimization, operational efficiency and space utilization. This is where 7D BIM potentially
BUILDING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
What is a Building Management System?
• BMS systems are “Intelligent” microprocessor based controller networks installed to
monitor and control a buildings technical systems and services such as air conditioning,
ventilation, lighting and hydraulics
• More specifically they link the functionality of individual pieces of building equipment so
that they operate as one complete integrated system.
• Now installed in every major building or facility with the availability of direct integration
into all other building services such as security, access control, CCTV, fire, Lifts and other
life and safety systems
11. . • Current generation BMS systems are now based on open communications protocols and
are WEB enabled allowing integration of systems from multiple system vendors and access
from anywhere in the world.
Status of BIM in India
Construction sector is second largest industry contributing to the Indian economy.
construction companies in sector such as hotels and airports are starting to implement BIM in
India with distinct benefits but at a very high cost. Indian industry has unwillingness to adopt
new technology immediately. Survey done by Indian built environment sector, RICS school
of built environment and KPMG found that 22% of respondent currently use BIM, 27%
respondent reported that they are aware and actively considering BIM usage. Surprisingly
43% respondents claimed to be aware of BIM but are not sure about implementing it in their
organisation near future. Additionally 8% respondents are not aware of BIM. The main
reason for not using BIM here is the lack of technical expertise, the professional who has
heard about this doesn’t know how to use it, and most of them are not even aware of this
12. The various reasons for using BIM and also reasons for not using BIM are shown in figure
In Indian industry there are fewer BIM users with low knowledge about BIM. The major
reasons for this
condition being high cost of software, low demand from clients and lack of skilled or trained
employees. The rampant myths about BIM usage and lethargic attitude of professionals
towards the validating the facts are keeping the firms away from embracing the BIM
technology. Moreover the AEC firms are too comfortable and are not willing to change
current practices. Indian government is not involved with initiative to encourage BIM usage
in construction industry and there is no initiative from education institution either, to
introduce new or current global trends related to the construction industry in academics.
13. Applicability of BIM for Current Project Delivery Methods
Project delivery method is a method by which project is executed from concept, design,
construction to the handover to owner. Construction industry is still following traditional
method of Design-Bid-Build (DBB) method. Over the periods it has been tried to minimize
construction time. This has resulted in adoption of Design-Build method, where bidding
phase is removed by awarding project to single general contractor who will take
responsibility of both design and construction.
DBB does not lend itself well to supporting the adoption of technologies or process across the
project team due to many contractual divides. Typically this process is defined by the wall of
deliverables whereby at the end of each phase the deliverables are handed over the wall with
little or no integration or collaboration between the participants in each phase. This
deliverables based approach makes it difficult to successfully implement BIM. DB method
has smoother flow of information between stakeholders but still it has contractual agreement.
Hence DB method also is not so suitable for adoption of BIM.
The integrated project delivery (IPD) eliminates the drawbacks of the DBB and DB.
Integrated project delivery (IPD) is a project delivery approach that integrates people, system,
business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and
insights of all participants to reduce the waste and optimize efficiency through all phases of
design, fabrication and construction. Integrated project delivery principles can be applied to
variety of contractual arrangement and IPD teams will usually include team members well
beyond the basic triad of owner, architect and contractor. At a minimum through an
integrated project include tight collaboration between the owners, the architect and the
general contractor ultimately responsible for construction of the project, from early design
project handover. To fully benefit from the use of VBM’s (Virtual Building Model) it is
important that the approach of the project suits the system of BIM. While IPD is seen as the
possible future of project delivery that is being fuelled by BIM, it is still the exception and
not the rule
Benefits of BIM at Various Phases of Construction
Benefits of using BIM at various phases of construction process are explained below.
A. Design and planning:
BIM plays important role over entire life cycle of project from scratch of conceptual design
to demolition of
building. Use of BIM in the project programming allows project team to analyse space and
understand the complexity of space standards and land regulation which saves time and
provide them with opportunity of doing more value added activities. 3-D representations can
be generated from the building model at any stage in the design. These can range from simple
wireframe models/ complex photorealistic renders . This gives consistency in data
extracted from the model. This helps to designers to imagine and validate their design. The
14. architects and engineers can take advantage of BIM application at different stages of project
design namely schematic design (SD), detailed design (DD) and construction detailing (CD) .
BIM constructs the building virtually before actual construction. Hence owner or user can
suggest the modification early in the planning and design phase according to their
requirement. Also contractors can participate early in the design phase to contribute his field
B. Quantity estimation:
Provided with the capability for extracting counts of components, areas and volumes spaces
quantities, BIM quantity take-off tools enable a quicker extraction of more detailed spatial
and material quantities information . As quantities extracted from model are more accurate,
owner is protected from over budget project.
C. Clash detection:
BIM based clash detection tools allow automatic geometry based clash detection to be
combined with semantic and rule based clash analysis for identifying qualified and structured
clashes. BIM-based clash detection tools allows contractors to selectively check clashes
between specified systems, such as checking for clashes between mechanical and structural
system, because each component in the model is associated with specific type of system.
Consequently, the clash detection process can be performed at any level of detail and across
any number of building systems and trades.
With 50% of typical construction day being non-productive, BIM application can be used to
gain 33% increase by addressing late or inaccurate information, waiting on resources,
multiple material handling, waiting on instruction and rework. This will have a dramatic
increase in the productivity for the construction industry, making it more compatible with
productivity increases in other industries like agriculture, manufacturing, transportation etc.
BIM offers manufacturers of building components detailed and information–rich models,
which can be
interrogated for manufacturing details, can reduce information request and improve output
quality. A study of the application of BIM on a large healthcare project in the USA revealed
that it is possible to achieve 100% prefabrication for mechanical system installations, and
zero clashes in MEP installation activities. This, in turn yielded 20-30% labour savings for
the MEP sub-contractors and thus savings further up the value chain.
F. Quality management:
BIM-based construction quality application is suitable and helpful in quality compliance
management. First due to data consistency, it is possible and feasible to apply BIM for
quality management and to fully utilize design information through virtualization of the
15. construction process. Second BIM can be fit into the current industry standard practices in
G. Facility management:
The information collected through a BIM process and stored in a BIM-compliant database
could be beneficial for variety of FM (Facility Management) practices, such as
commissioning and closeout, quality control and assurance, energy management,
maintenance and repair, and space management.
Hurdles in Adoption of BIM
Despite the great benefits of BIM, it has significant problems in its adoption. As BIM is not
just a software
application or modification to construction industry, it calls for restructuring the organisation
and adopting a complete new way of working. The use of BIM substantially alters the
relationship between parties and blends their roles and responsibilities. Our legal framework
however assumes a less collaborative environment with clearer delineation of responsibility.
As we move forward with BIM projects, risk will need to be allocated rationally, based on the
benefits the party will be receiving from BIH, the ability of the party to control the risk, and
ability to absorb the risk through insurance and some other means.
The first legal risk to determine is ownership of the BIM data and how to protect it through
copyright and other laws. For example, if the owner is playing for the design, then the owner
may feel to entitle to own it, but if team member is providing proprietary information for use
on the project, their propriety information needs to be protected as well. Thus there is no
simple answer to the question of data ownership; it requires a unique response to every
project depending on the participants needs. The goal is to avoid inhibitions or disincentives
that discourage participants from fully realizing the model’s potential. Notwithstanding the
use of BIM in projects, it is common to see parties not properly adapting the current contract
framework for using BIM. The owner parties are still using current industry contract
documentation with the risk allocation unadjusted. Parties are making only rudimentary
changes by incorporating BIM execution plans as part of the contract requirement (but
without changing the risk allocation).The BIM addendum issued by consensus DOCS gives
guidance for modifications and attachments in drafting contracts to deal with BIM .Also
American institute of architect (AIA) has produced the protocol for BIM. The deployment of
BIM requires the traditional design processes to be changed.
In theory BIM relies on a single information store that meets the need of all project
participants. Changes to design whether architectural, structural, mechanical or electrical all
occur within the model. Contractor and supplier information is integrated into the model,
adding more detail to the design. That model then produces the field and shop level drawing.
This level of integration has been achieved in certain manufacturing process, but is not the
current construction reality. Significant efforts being made to tighten the integration between
and support interoperability, but the single model and perfect interoperability is still a dream
not reality . Many people believe that the cost of implementing BIM is too prohibitive:
way beyond their project budget. The exorbitant prices for various BIM software packages
16. are their prevailing barrier to BIM acceptance in Indian construction domain. The cost of
BIM software packages are more expensive compared to CAD software packages that are
available on the market at a fraction of the cost if BIM software. Besides the initial cost of the
software package, the price to keep the subscription updated is astronomically high by Indian
Training the employee is another obstacle in adopting BIM. To train the employee
organizations need to spend time and money. This creates dilemma in organizations to adopt
BIM. The developing countries like India has cheap and plenty of labours are available,
construction industry shows inertia to adopt costlier technology. Though the initial
investment of BIM is huge, once it is adopted fully it has tremendous benefits.
The present overview depicts that BIM is a revolutionary concept. It needs the significant
traditional project delivery methods by changing the roles and responsibility of every
individual in the organization. To achieve benefits from BIM to the full extent, each
stakeholder of construction industry needs to incorporate it. The hurdles like legal issues,
interoperability, cost, unavailability of guidance or protocol, etc. can be overcome. To keep
pace with growing technology and increasing competition, AEC industry should incorporate
BIM as early as possible.