What do I need to know when selecting my BIM tool?
Although there are several design solutions based on the model available in the market, it is important to bear in mind that not all can fully meet the requirements to be a true BIM solution.
The following questions will help you judge whether certain solutions have all the features that allow you to be a true and complete BIM solution that stands out from the rest:
- What is the “depth” of the BIM model? Optimally, the BIM model must be able to cover all needs throughout the life cycle of the construction project. There are several levels and depths to create 3D building models, starting with the communication models used for the schematic design through 3D models created for visualization purposes up to the “real” intelligent information models of the construction. While the models created for visualization contain no more than 3D geometry and descriptions of the materials needed for the realistic presentation of the building, the real BIM models, in addition to the geometry, also contain a large amount of additional information needed to coordinate , document, list and manage the building based on its intelligent BIM model.
- Does the BIM solution cover the entire workflow? As indicated above, the “real” BIM models should incorporate all the necessary information to create all the necessary deliveries during the life cycle of the construction project. This also indicates that the BIM creation tool should completely cover the BIM workflow without having to be changing tools and / or workflows in the middle of the project. Therefore, it is a vital issue if the design, documentation, realization and operation of the building is supported by the BIM tool, starting with the conceptual design until the development of the documentation of the design of the construction, administration and management of the construction and, finally, the management of facilities.
- At what level does the BIM solution support interoperability? In addition to being compatible with the rest of the world at the binary level (file compatibility) BIM tools also need to be compatible with each other at the process or workflow level. This is especially necessary in the case of interdisciplinary design teams that need to collaborate on different aspects of the design of the same building. When selecting your BIM tool, it is critical to know how your BIM tool supports open standards and open workflows that allow coordination with consultants, regardless of the type or version of your design application (BIM tool).
- Does the BIM solution support collaboration based on the real-time model? The constructive design is a team process in most cases. Therefore it should also be a BIM process. However this is not a fact, since BIM models are much more closely integrated than traditional CAD projects based on drawings. Sharing the design in BIM requires a totally new approach that involves active BIM servers that offer real-time access in parallel to the entire work team. When selecting your BIM tool, it is a vitally important question to know how the BIM model is designed and the process to be created, in order to be able to support the shared design work in real time for teams and projects of any size.
- Does the BIM solution have enough performance to support large / complex projects? As we said earlier, BIM models are much more closely integrated than traditional CAD projects based on drawings. This necessarily implies that the size of the project has an exponential growth in relation to the performance requirements. The way in which a BIM solution can support this growth depends on several factors, including its ability to take advantage of the latest hardware improvements and the way it manages the model. When selecting your BIM tool, you should ask about the maximum supported / recommended size of the project and how the latest advances in technology such as 64bit and multiprocessors are supported together and at the same time by the BIM application.
- Does the BIM solution support local standards and offer sufficient local content? Building projects are not unique design pieces, but the way they are designed varies by country. Global BIM solution providers support the concept of “local” at different levels. The translation of the language is not really “locating” the application – it’s just translating its nomenclatures. When you select your BIM tool you should be interested in knowing and checking how the BIM solution supports local design standards and whether it has local content such as intelligent building blocks, listing templates and local schemas and attribute groups that follow local standards.
More information in https://www.graphisoft.es/archicad/open_bim/about_bim/