Task 1

What is BIM?

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BIM or Building
Information Modelling is a process for creating and managing information on a
construction project across the project lifecycle. One of the key outputs of
this process is the Building Information Model, the digital description of
every aspect of the built asset (McPartland and Mordue, 2018)). The model that
I created shows all the information that has been assembled from the team and
is also frequently updated at key points of the project. BIM brings all the
information about every single component of a building project in to one single
area, therefore making it easier for anyone part of a project to access this

BIM data can be
used to demonstrate the entire building life from inception and design to
demolition and materials reuse. Spaces, systems, products and sequences can be
shown in relative scale to each other and relative to the entire project. Also
by signalling conflict detection BIM prevents errors creeping in at the various
stages of development/ construction. (McPartland and Mordue, 2018)


The purpose of
BIM for the construction industry is to allow the plans of constructions to
become more detailed. The BIM concept visualises virtual construction of a
building before its real physical construction, to reduce doubt, improve
safety, work out any potential problems, and simulate and investigate possible
impacts. Sub-contractors from every trade taking part on the project can input
critical information that they feel is relevant to the construction into the
model before beginning construction. With BIM material management can be kept
in order as the model can be used to see what materials are needed and when,
this will then allow materials to be delivered in a just in time basis instead
of having a large unneeded stock pile sitting in the site stores.

Traditional methods vs BIM

methods such as CAD use minimum involvement, this is where only the people who
need to will be involved with planning and managing of a project. This is not
an effective way of planning and managing a project as it often leads to many
changed when the work is undertaken as sub-contractors will not agree with some
of the planning that has been done. The sub-contractors will have also not had
any input in the designing of the project, so it therefore may be incorrect to
what they are doing. BIM on the other hand is the opposite to this and allows
for much more collaboration. This is because with the use of BIM access to the
planning and management is much easier.

methods also use much less technology in comparison to BIM. CAD drawing that
are often used are mainly in 2D, although this can be effective it lacks mass
amount of detail in comparison to BIM. CAD drawings are also often paper based
which can be difficult to access. This in comparison to BIM, it uses much more
technology in excess of 6D. This then allows for a much more detailed model
which will allow everyone who is working on the project to have a much larger
understanding of what work will be undertaken. BIM is also digitally stored
which will make is easier for many people to all access at the same time as
they will not need to all be in the same place at the same time to work
together on a drawing.

Task 2

BIM Key Terminology

There are many
different terminologies and definitions within BIM, I am going to discuss the
key terminologies and definitions.

4D, 5D,

4D and 5D all
come from 3D which is the model of the construction that is taking place. The
4D, 5D and 6D is the extra information that accompanies the 3D model.

4D is the information
about the time for the project. This will include construction planning and
management. BIM provides a means of verifying site logistics and operations by
including tool to visually depict the space and utilisation of the project site
throughout the construction stage (BIM Explained, June 2013).  The model will also include variables that
will be used throughout the construction periods such as cranes, lorries and
site access. This will then allow the project to be managed within an accurate
time frame.

5D shows
information about the costing of the project that will be undertaken. It will
contain cost information and quantity schedules, these will then be linked to
the design of the project.

Real time
costing will also be used, this will allow cost data to be added in to each
object. This will then allow the model to automatically calculate an estimate
of total material costs for the project. This is a valuable tool for designers
as it permits them to conduct value engineering.

Within 5D
quantity take-offs will also be used. These are a detailed measurement of
materials and labour needed to complete a construction project. They are
developed by an estimator during the preconstruction phase. These measurements
are used to format a bid on the scope of construction. Estimators review
drawings, specifications, and models to find these quantities. Experienced
estimators have developed procedures to help them quantify their work. Many
programs have been developed to aid in the efficacy of these processes.

Industry Foundation Classes

The Industry
Foundation Classes (IFC) data model is intended to describe building and
construction industry data.

It is a
platform neutral, open file format specification that is not controlled by a
single vendor or group of vendors. It is an object-based file format with a
data model developed by buildingSMART to facilitate interoperability in the
architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, and is a commonly
used collaboration format in Building information modelling (BIM) based
projects. The IFC model specification is open and available. IFC stores a
real-world description of the elements within a design tools and allows these
elements to interact in a virtual world as they would in the real world. (IFC
Introduction – buildingSMART, 2018)


COBie stands
for Construction Operations Building Information Exchange. The ideas of this is
to streamline the work required to capture and record information that is
needed when handing over to the client of the project. COBie helps capture and
record important project data at the point of origin, including equipment
lists, product data sheets, warranties, spare parts lists, and preventive
maintenance schedules. This information is essential to support operations,
maintenance and asset management once the built asset is in service. Key
information will all be pulled into one format and then shared between the
construction team at stages within the project.

Task 3 & 4

are key themes that surround BIM, which ultimately define the purpose of why
BIM is needed within the Industry these are; Collaboration and Visualizing.



is one of the main aims of working with BIM as it encourages much more teamwork
within the design and construction stage of projects. With higher collaboration
each person working on the project should then have a higher understanding of
the project and the delivery of this project should then therefore be more


Another key
theme of BIM is visualizing, this is because with the model that had been
created for the project all of the project team should then have access to this
model. They will then be able to visually see what the building should look
like once the construction is finished. This will then give the workers on the
project a better idea of what they are working towards.

BIM Levels

There are
maturity levels that many different companies across the UK are working at in
relation to BIM, this starts off at level 0 where the companies are not using BIM
in anyway to level 3 where the government wants most companies to be within the
coming years.

Level 0

Level 0 is
where BIM is not being used at all for any projects within a company. Most
designs will be done using 2D CAD drawings and mainly used for production
information for the project. These drawings will be viewed by paper prints or
online documents, however at this level drawings are not often shared between
the project team. The majority of the construction industry will currently be
well ahead of this type of working and will at least be using level 1 BIM.

Level 1

Level 1 BIM is
where most companies are working at within the UK. Level 1 typically consist of
a mixture of 3D CAD work and 2D drafting. The work that is produced within this
level will be managed to the CAD Standards BS 1192:2007. BS 1192 provides a
‘best-practice’ method for the development, organization and management of
production information for the construction industry, using a disciplined
process for collaboration and a specified naming policy. The data at level 1
will be shared within a common data environment and will often be managed by
the main contractor of the project. The models created can be accessed but are
not commonly shared between the whole of the project team. (McPartland, 2018)

Level 2

Level 2 BIM is
the whole project team collaboratively working with the design. 3D CAD will be
used for the design although more information may be added to this design using
4D or 5D. All parties within the project will have access to the design at
level 3 from the client of the project to sub-contractors working on the
project. This allows for information that is needed to carry out the project to
be easily shared between the many different parties that are working on the
project. In this level terminology such as IFC (Industry Foundation Class) and
COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) are used so all
parties will need to be familiar with these to allow to allow a successful
collaboration. Level 2 is the methods of working that has been implemented as
the minimum target by the UK government for all work on the public sector. (McPartland,

Level 3

Level 3 BIM is
currently the goal for the future within the construction industry. The UK has
reasserted its commitment to BIM as the push towards Level 3 BIM was part of
the 2016 Budget. Level 3 represents a full collaboration between all work
parties within a project. Here a single shared model will be held in a
centralized position will all working parties of the project having access to
work on the model. This type of BIM is known as Open BIM. This way of working
will then produce a much more solid team around the project in hand and will
hopefully lead to a more successful delivery for all the parties involved with
the project.

If the use of
Level 3 BIM was used with the dimensions up to 6D it would provide a detailed
model that all can access. This will then allow all workers on the project to
gather a much more detailed idea of the works that are being carried out within
the project. (McPartland, 2018)



BIM Standards

There also
standards that you must follow when using BIM for a project.

1192-5:2015: PAS 1192-5 specifies requirements for security-minded management
of BIM and digital built environments. It outlines the cyber-security
vulnerabilities to hostile attack when using BIM and provides an assessment
process to determine the levels of cyber-security for BIM collaboration which
should be applied during all phases of the site and building lifecycle. (Standards | BIM Level 2, 2018)

BS 1192:2007 +
A2:2016:BS 1192 provides a ‘best-practice’ method for the development,
organization and management of production information for the construction
industry, using a disciplined process for collaboration and a specified naming
policy. It also facilitates efficient data use in facilities management. The
principles for information sharing and common modelling outlined in this
standard underpin the BIM Level 2 standards and are equally applicable to
building and civil projects. (Standards
| BIM Level 2, 2018)

1192-2:2013: PAS 1192-2 focuses specifically on project delivery, where most of
graphical data, non-graphical data and documents are accumulated from design
and construction activities. The intended audience for this PAS includes
organizations and individuals responsible for the procurement, design,
construction, delivery, operation and maintenance of buildings and
infrastructure assets. (Standards | BIM Level 2, 2018)

BS 1192-4:2014:
This code of practice defines expectations for the exchange of information
throughout the lifecycle of a Facility. The COBie (Construction Operations
Building information exchange) provides a common structure for the exchange of
information about new and existing Facilities, including both buildings and
infrastructure. The use of COBie ensures that information can be prepared and
used without the need for knowledge of sending and receiving applications or
databases. (Standards | BIM Level 2, 2018)

BS 8536-2:2016:
BS 8536-2:2016 is part of the BIM
level 2 suite of documents developed to help the construction industry adopt
BIM. It gives recommendations for briefing for design and construction in
relation to energy, telecommunication, transport, water and other utilities’
infrastructure to ensure that design takes into account the expected
performance of the asset in use over its planned operational life. It is applicable
to the provision of documentation supporting this purpose during design,
construction, testing and commissioning, handover, start-up of operations and
defined periods of aftercare. (Standards | BIM Level 2, 2018)

BIM Dimensions


3D BIM is the
dimension that most people within the industry will be the most familiar with.
3D is the process of creating graphical and non-graphical information for the
design of a building. Then this information that has been gathered is shared
within the project team to allow for everyone working on the project to see the
design the building.

Within 3D, as
the project lifecycle progresses this information becomes ever richer in detail
until the point at which the project data is handed over to a client at


4D BIM adds an
extra dimension of information to a project information model in the form of
scheduling data. This data is added to components which will build in detail as
the project progresses. This information can be used to obtain accurate
programme information and visualisations showing how your project will develop

information for an element might include information on lead time, how long it
takes to install/construct, the time needed to become operational/harden/cure,
the sequence in which components should be installed, and dependencies on other
areas of the project.

Working in this
way is enormously helpful when it comes to planning work to ensure it is
safely, logically and efficiently sequenced. Being able to prototype how assets
come together before ground is broken on site allows for feedback at an early
stage and avoids wasteful and costly on-site design co-ordination and rework.
Showing how projects will be constructed visually is also handy when engaging
with stakeholders, giving everyone a clear visual understanding of planned
works and what the finished construction will look like with no surprises.
(BIM dimensions – 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D
BIM explained, 2018)


5D within a BIM
model is being able to extract accurate costs for the project from the design.

Within 5D it
may include capital costs which are the purchasing and the installation of a
certain component within the project. This then allows you to see roughly how
much each part of the project is going to costs in the design. The cost
information will also include running costs that are associated with the
project and if any replacement costs will be needed further in the future. The
information that is present on this will allow the commercial team of the project
to easily manage additional costs that may occur during the project. This will
also give an estimate of the overall cost for the complete project.

The benefit of
using a costing approach that is directly linked to the model of the project is
that it allows all working on the project to easily see costs. This then allows
a clear understanding of the value of the project that is undertaken. Also,
with the costing being directly linked to the design, any changes that are made
can be easily viewed and then shared amongst the project team. Finally, it also
allows for a much easier regular costing report where the project team can see
how they are currently performing based on the estimated costs of the project
and the actual costs that they are running to. This will then make it much
easier for changes to be made should the project be running over the budget.
(BIM dimensions – 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D
BIM explained, 2018)


6D BIM then
provides information about the project lifecycle, this will include information
about the construction of the project all the way through to its life span and
eventual decommission.

The first part
of 6D BIM will include information about the designing and construction stage
of a project, this will include all of the information that has previously been
mentioned from 3D, 4D and 5D. It will then provide information about the
lifespan of the main components throughout the building, this then allows for
future costs with the building to be planned. It will also include information
about the maintenance of the building. This then allows for changes to be made
in the design so that more sustainable components are used so that the building
lifecycle is longer and costs for the maintenance of the building will be
lower. (BIM dimensions –
3D, 4D, 5D, 6D BIM explained, 2018)

The final part
of the project lifecycle will include information of when the building will not
be good use. This will be because of the components throughout the building are
not economical to be maintained and will have to be replaced with new and
modern components. This may also occur if the existing systems that are in
place within the building become inefficient and will need to then be replaced
with the modern systems. (BIM
dimensions – 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D BIM explained, 2018)


2018. BIM dimensions – 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D BIM explained. online NBS. Available

Accessed 12 Jan. 2018.

2018. IFC Introduction – buildingSMART. online buildingSMART. Available at:

Accessed 12 Jan. 2018.

2018. Standards | BIM Level 2. online Bim-level2.org. Available at:
Accessed 12 Jan. 2018.

R. and Mordue, S., 2018. What is BIM?. online NBS. Available at:

Accessed 12 Jan. 2018.

R., 2018. BIM Levels explained. online NBS. Available at:
Accessed 12 Jan. 2018.

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