BIM, Building Information Modeling, is nothing more than a virtual three-dimensional digital design with embedding information. This information can be about cost, materials, qualities, source of manufacturing, contact information for servicing, instructions for recycling or, simply, length, width, height and weight. This information can evolve as the BIM model is constructed into reality or as the design gets renovated and remodeled.
So, what does Building Information Modeling have to do with design? On the surface, many will see the benefits of 3D visualization as imperative to the design process, but to tell you the truth, as beneficial as it is to our clients, 3D visualization can weaken the skill of internal visualization in our industry.
Aside from visualization, information is a key element of BIM. Imagine design elements/assemblies like floors, walls and roofs that are made up of the combined dynamic information/intelligence of our industry. Features of performance, sustainability, cost and durability all predefined and evolving as information is updated. The accuracy and accountability would be unparalleled. The time it takes a designer to plan and test spaces and buildings with minimal effort will be reduced to a fraction of the time it currently takes.
In short, true BIM in design will be like having access to Wikipedia during an exam; an entire consulting team, with up-to-date information accessible at all times (hopefully, open source), ready to design, wherever and whenever. This technology and movement could not have come at a better time; our world is quickly losing its luster, needlessly consuming our resources. Our technology and infrastructure are enabling us to share vast quantities of information at an increasingly faster rate and our minds are opening up enough to see beyond ourselves, into the future of our children and their children.
So will BIM save design? Likely not, but with all its potential, BIM will allow design to save ourselves.
Website: Manasc Isaac