The I of BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the most important letter into this complex word. It’s what differenciate a live and smart 3D model between that geometric ones made by using Sketchup, Autocad, 3D Max, Rhynosceros and other nice modeling tools. But the question is: What is this information for and what kind of data can I work with?
From a digital project we can get renders, construction documents, material takeoff spreadsheet, and so on. Regardles it’s format, we can agree that this is what we call project information. We can consider that this kind of data -and other type of deliverables- are frozen once we print it. If we have to change our architecture layout, materials or any other thing within our project, we need to go back to our native file, make the changes, and export them again.
A similar thing occurs when we work with a cad file. Even if we keep updating our drawings, at a certain point, when we have to put all of our efforts by doing repeatedly the same task, we can say that our project file is not alive. As much info we include on it, as much should be our efforts to update it.
If its your first time diving into a BIM model, firstly you will focus on understanding the design strategy and the architecture & trades layout. Deeply inside you’ll find a parallel world full filled with data, in order to build the project as accurately and real as possible.
The amount of data you can add and get from a BIM Model is end-less. By picking an element you can have as much information as you need. You can obtain all kind of geometrical properties like size, volume, weight and material, but you can know as well it’s price, construction phase (existing, new, demolished), behavior, termic load, time to arrive to the site, warranty date, installer, and so on.
The reason of having this database is to be able to manage, control and track all the life cycle of our project. This information can be even updated in the O&M phase. Even if we need to use multiple platforms to work on all the project phases, all this data will be connected. That’s what we call the live model.
BIM data works as a generic language where stakeholders from all over the world with different languages, cultures & construction techniques, can be part of the same project and work collaboratively.
How should I load this data? As an advice, firstly is important to specify te neccesary information according to the use that the model will have avoiding adding usless data; second, is better to spend more time programming how to include the needed info in our models that spending time reorganizing it once the model has been created. All this workflow should be properly documented and shared.
A good BIM manager will produce a good BIM plan, understood and agreed for all the teams who belong to the project.