A BIM model is a virtual prototype of a building. Having an accurate model of the final project completed during the design phase allows the designer / the design team to take better decisions, to anticipate problems therefore to find solutions even months before the construction phase.
In this sense BIM has a lot of superpowers (currently known as benefits) during the whole creative phase:
- Extreme problem solving: A BIM model is a prototype of the building. In the design process of every product a prototype is fundamental to test qualities, make improvements and to take better decisions with regard to the final product. AEC (Architecture and Construction) is probably the only sector where there isn’t a complete physical prototype of the final product (the building). BIM fills this gap as models can be used to test and verify the final design before starting the construction phase.
- Fast documents output: From the central model it is possible to extract different output: plans, elevations, schedules, bill of quantities etc.
- Accurate 3D virtualization: The central model allows to create exterior and interior views to communicate the project with more efficiency. It is also possible to perform several operations of such as solar studies, site phases simulation and much more.
- Strong Coordination: With the BIM model it is easy to check all the interferences during the clash detection phase. These interferences could be hard clashes (between physical elements), soft clashes (when a tolerance is not granted) or 4D clashes (when a specific work becomes critical due to a specific phase). Besides clash detection, code checking gives the opportunity to the designer to control that a technical requirement is fully compliant.
- Fewer Re-Work on site: with the substantial reduction of clashes on-site and needs for reworks, the total amount and the impact of the reworks decrease significantly.
- Lightspeed calculation: All the information in the model is updated in real time. Data extraction and quantity calculation are fast and precise.
- On site x-ray overview: The model is a repository gathering all the information needed during the construction phase:
- It can be used for clash detection during construction;
- It can be used to verify time schedule updates;
- It clarifies some sequences of operations for prefabricated elements montage and systems installation;
- Point clouds could be used to check model and to verify model in order to have an accurate as-built model.
- Transparent information: In addition to being a precious repository for all kinds of information, the model is also a source to generate 2d drawings, schedules and quantities. Concurrently, the schedules and quantities, which are closely related to the graphical information, therefore the model, become fundamental tools to check the accuracy of the total costs of the construction. This way, the client is not only “purchasing a set of drawings” but is also buying a set of tools to check if the overall cost of the building meets his expectations in every aspect.
- Super flexibility: Differently from standard methodology, BIM allows to perform: changes on big projects in a short amount of time, changes on a substantial amount of 2d sheets.
- Evaluation of design alternatives: With the BIM model the client can easily evaluate different design alternatives in order to choose the best solution. Parameters to evaluate design alternatives could be economic, volumetric, natural light, volumetric impact, selling area and much more.