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What is BIM Software | Building Information Modelling

What is BIM Software | Building Information Modelling

If you’ve heard rumblings about BIM, both in Canada and abroad, and you’re wondering what it is, how it can benefit your project and what BIM software does, read on!

This is the first in a series of 5 posts about all things BIM, prompted by our attendance at a construction management scheduling software conference in Oslo, Norway this past month.

At Petroglyph Project Analytics, we are dedicated to bringing you the best project management solutions from around the globe.

What is BIM Software?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is primarily a construction management process, usually facilitated by BIM software, of creating, modifying and utilizing digital representations of the planning, construction and handover stages of  physical infrastructure, such as buildings.

BIM has shown to be so much more efficient at construction project management that countries all over Europe are making BIM mandatory. For public works projects in the UK, BIM has been mandatory since 2016.

So what are the advantages of BIM Software?

The old adage, a picture is worth a thousand words, has never been more true than during the planning, scheduling and construction of a multi-year, complex and costly construction project such as that of a high rise building.

Providing a 3D rendering of a project as an accompaniment to the project plan provides construction management professionals with a nominally improved understanding of the project’s scope and final appearance. Simply adding a visual element can enhance communication to various stakeholders, increase understanding of the look of the final project and provide an additional perspective from which to spot project challenges.

This is BIM at its most basic; the generation and management of digital 3D models. Most Canadian construction firms have adopted this level of BIM.

The next level of BIM, 4D BIM, adds an extra level of information to the project model.

BIM Software and 4D BIM

Combining the project schedule and the 3D rendering of the project together into one BIM software solution produces what’s called BIM 4D.

Using scheduling data to generate the 3D rendering of the project delivers such powerful functionality, it has fundamentally changed the construction project management industry.

Powerproject BIM Software; now the best kind of construction project management software

Providing a crystal ball of sorts, 4D BIM software like Powerproject BIM allows planners to run scenarios via GANTT chart while providing a real time understanding of the impact to the 3D renderings.

In this way 4D BIM provides a more in depth understanding and more easily communicates how the build process will appear at different stages of the project. 4D BIM makes bidding for projects and submitting tenders much faster and easier than using old construction project management software.

Being able to visually demonstrate how projects will come together dramatically improves the communication with stakeholders, and allows for on the fly modifications to the project plan.

Additionally, having the ability to run the planned project schedule through from beginning to end ensures feasibility can be realized; increasing the accuracy of the project schedule.

Potential clashes, illogical sequencing and unsafe scheduling can all be mitigated well before ground is broken; at substantial cost and time savings.

On a per task planning level, 4D BIM will provide accurate information on lead times, installation and construction times, the time required for elements to become operational, the order in which components must be installed, and more.

Additionally, when the schedule drives the generation of the 3D model itself, it reduces human error and ensures planned work is safe, logical and optimized for efficiency.

What are the BIM compliance regulations in Canada?

With European countries writing BIM compliance into their requirements for tendering and performing public works projects, the demand for BIM is huge in Europe and gaining traction in the Middle East.

While BIM compliance in Canada isn’t required yet, there are signs voluntary industry compliance is growing, likely due to the benefits of BIM based project planning as discussed above.

The following organizations support BIM adoption and implementation in Canada: the Canada BIM Council , and buildingSMART Canada

In Canada, BIM adoption grew 46% from 2009 to 2012 in a survey performed by McGraw-Hill Construction (2012) with national companies proving the growing interest in this area by local construction practitioners.

The Canadian practice manual for BIM is now available.

Want to try BIM Software, free ?

Contact us for a free trial of Powerproject BIM, the software used by over 100,000 construction project professionals.

It reads and writes P6 schedules, is easier than P6 and more robust than MS Project.

Learn about Powerproject here.