By this time, most of our industry has heard the term “Building Information Modeling”, or BIM, being used in a variety of ways. Business development is built on “We Do BIM”...but what does that really mean?
Building information modeling (we’ll call it BIM for short) is a process of creating, maintaining, and disbursing data related to building design, construction, and operations. BIM has been mistakenly used interchangeably with three-dimensional models, or even as specifically as Autodesk Revit software. While these items play an important role, they do not exclusively qualify as BIM. Revit, as well as other software programs, are simply tools in the BIM process.
As part of a BIM process, Revit provides not only the Modeling part (the M of BIM), but also a significant portion of the Information part. Objects created within Revit have intelligent data, or "Parameters” associated with them. Walls are created with materials that have physical and thermal properties. HVAC equipment contains manufacturer information, model numbers, and load information. Structural members can contain detailed connections as well as analysis calculations and other physical characteristics. A building model in Revit becomes a virtual model of the designed, and eventually constructed, building.
Data can be extracted from the Revit model in a variety of ways. Schedules created within the program are live. Any updates to the objects or materials in the model will update the schedule automatically based on the parameters of the object. Schedules can be exported to external files and used in a variety of other programs for estimating, purchasing, and maintenance operations. Additional analysis features are available within Revit for structural and energy analysis. Results are directly linked to the model and will update as changes are made. Those results can be extracted for use in other software applications.
For additional information on Building Information Modeling and Revit,
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