Building Information Modeling

What is BIM?

BIM (Building Information Modeling) describes the process of designing a building collaboratively using one coherent system of computer models rather than separate sets of drawings. BIM brings together in one place all of the information about every component of a building. It makes it possible for anyone to access that information for any purpose, e.g. to integrate different aspects of the design and usage of a building more effectively:

The risk of mistakes or discrepancies is reduced, and abortive costs minimized. BIM data can be used to illustrate the entire building life-cycle, from cradle to cradle, from concept and design to demolition and materials reuse. Spaces, systems, products and sequences can be shown in relative scale to each other and, in turn, relative to the entire project.

What are the benefits of using BIM?

BIM facilitates prompt decision-making and flawless construction planning through seamless collaboration between architects, engineers, contractors and sub-contractors. BIM enables quick identification of problems and helps to avert system clashes. This saves time and cost.

Customers using BIM will save time and money, see fewer design errors, experience improved productivity, and have access to new business opportunities. BIM is not a technology itself – it requires suitable technology to be implemented effectively.

How is BIM different from CAD drawing?

With BIM you produce intelligent, parametric 3D models which provide a lot of information regarding the project, unlike 2D CAD drafting. The construction documents, sections and schedules are linked to the BIM model. Any changes in any view or section are updated automatically, saving time and avoiding errors. Information about the model can be used from architects, engineers, construction companies, owners and facility managers.

Industry Foundation Classes

What is IFC?

Industry Foundation Classes - IFC is a file format for the exchange of intelligent and object oriented information with other CAD platforms supporting the standard. IFC is the complete and fully stable open and international standard for exchanging BIM (Building Information Modeling) data.

IFC represents a data schema that makes it possible to hold and share construction and facility management data across various software applications used in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) and FM (Facilities Management) industry. It is an object-oriented data schema based on class definitions representing the objects (such as building elements, spaces, properties, shapes etc.) that are used by different software applications used in construction or facility management project.

What is the difference between BIM and IFC?

BIM stands either for the verb "Building Information Modeling", i.e. for an integrated process of designing, engineering, constructing and maintaining a building based on a consistent and shareable computer representation of the facility – including both graphical and non-graphical information. Or for the noun "Building Information Model", i.e. a digital representation of the building in software based on object information combining graphical and non-graphical properties. BIM Software often relates to 3D and object-based CAD.

IFC is an open exchange standard to represent the information in a building information model. It supports BIM as "a computable representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility and its related project/life-cycle information using open industry standards to inform business decision making for realizing better value. ("NIBS - Facility Information Council)

Industry Benefit

Because IFC is in the public domain, versus ownership by a single software vendor, the AEC industry is now able to produce building models allowing all participants in the value chain to benefit.