BIM = Building Information Modeling

Building Information Modeling is a design and management methodology involving digital multi-dimensional models representing an entire project or some of its parts. The digital models contain a series of information describing every aspect of the built asset. This information may be of different types: geometry, geographic position, material properties, costs, construction phases, maintenance operations etc.

From the origin of BIM the meaning of this acronym changed over the time, shifting from Building Information Model (as a result of different activities) to Building Information Modeling (as an activity, an action).

Chuck Eastman is one of the most influential author who wrote about BIM.

As early as 1974, C. Eastman proposes a digital representation of buildings in a research carried out at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, called “An outline of the building description system”. This method was initially named BDS (Descriptive System of the Building).

In his famous book “BIM Handbook: A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers, Designers, Engineers and Contractors” Eastman gives a comprehensive definition of what BIM really is:

“[…] We define BIM as a modeling technology and associated set of processes to produce, communicate, and analyze building models. Building models are characterized by:

  • Building components that are represented with digital representations (objects) that carry computable graphic and data attributes that identify them to software applications, as well as parametric rules that allow them to be manipulated in an intelligent fashion.
  • Components that include data that describe how they behave, as needed for analyses and work processed, for example, takeoff, specification, and energy analysis
  • Consistent and nonredundant data such that changes to component data are represented in all views of the component and the assemblies of which is a part
  • Coordinated data such that all views of a model are represented in a coordinated way.[…]