BIM, the technological revolution in construction
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaborative work methodology that represents an important milestone in the process of transformation and digitalisation of the construction and engineering sector.
It is a 3D digital construction process in which the information on each of the project’s components is managed and shared by all the agents involved in the construction process (designers, planners, builders, etc.). In this way, BIM provides a multidimensional method that includes all phases of the life cycle of the building or infrastructure, as it works with construction models that centralise all the information.
While CAD applications mimic the traditional two-dimensional plan design process, BIM applications reproduce the actual construction process, going one step beyond 3D.
Furthermore, this methodology does not exclusively encompass a visual concept of the building, but its representation is data-driven. At all times, there is a permanent link between the model and the database so that, if there is any change in the design of the 3D model of the building, the affected elements are automatically updated in the database, as well as in all the designs and plans that were generated from that model. In addition, BIM allows all types of simulations to be carried out, detecting possible errors or conflicts that can be corrected immediately by the person responsible for the project.
With all this, accurate information is obtained in real time on the physical and functional components of the building, achieving better planning, saving time and optimising the construction process.
In short, a work methodology that represents a real technological revolution in the construction sector that results in higher quality and profitability of the project.
How and where is it applied?
The BIM methodology is applicable to all the construction phases of a building: design, construction, operation and maintenance.
The design stage begins with a virtual construction that imitates the real process, using intelligent elements (walls, windows, roofs, etc.) and can even use libraries of elements provided by manufacturers that have physical and technical characteristics of their products, as well as their cost. On this virtual construction it is possible to obtain precise calculations of structures, installations, measurements or energy efficiency of the building.
During the construction phase, the BIM methodology allows, among other things, the virtual planning of the work according to the execution phase, as well as the control of its monitoring by all the agents involved. In addition, as it is a live model, it is possible to incorporate the modifications made to the project on site, so that the real information of the building as it is constructed is obtained.
Thanks to the application of the BIM methodology in the previous phases, during the operation and maintenance phase, the information delivered to the developer client facilitates better management of facilities and spaces, increasing sustainability and efficiency in the maintenance of the building. All of this will extend the useful life of the building and increase the return on the capital invested.
Advantages and benefits
BIM is a competitive advantage for all companies in the construction sector, as its correct implementation reduces execution times and costs and, therefore, increases the profitability of the project.
One of the main advantages of this methodology is that, by centralising all the information, it allows all the construction processes to be integrated into a single model, facilitating the complex management of project data. In addition, BIM facilitates communication between the agents involved in the construction process, optimising workflows and fostering greater team cohesion.
Thanks to virtual construction, BIM provides more accurate designs and offers better planning of project execution. This makes it possible to foresee and solve construction problems in advance, eliminating possible uncertainties and errors.
BIM methodology in Spain and abroad
BIM methodology is becoming the new standard in construction worldwide. Following in the footsteps of countries such as the United States and Canada, many European Union countries are already including this methodology in the construction of public works.
In the case of Spain, last June, the Plenary of the Interministerial Commission for the implementation of the BIM methodology in public procurement agreed to start drawing up the Plan for the gradual and progressive incorporation of this methodology in public procurement.
The Plan will be drawn up by the Interministerial BIM Commission, led by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, and will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval.