Uses and Benefits of the six high-level use categories of BIM

Updated: Sep 20


Summary

Uses:

  1. Gather: determine the current state of assets, survey and capture information

  2. Generate: create, author, model, and specify information

  3. Analyze: evaluate, examine, simulate, forecast, and validate the information

  4. Communicate: uniformly exchange information between parties involved. Generate reports and documents

  5. Produce: support procurement management, offsite prefabrication, and construction logistics

  6. Manage: hand over full data and specifications. Use a basis of asset management data preserved for new projects

Benefits:

  1. Gather: structured up to date, reliable and complete information available for all project partners and stakeholders

  2. Generate: basis to uniformly develop, store, use and reuse new information used multiple times in other processes

  3. Analyze: makes possible the integrated prediction of performance at each stage

  4. Communicate: reduced miscommunication and failure costs because of the use of a common data environment (CDE)

  5. Produce: Improve productivity and on-site safety

  6. Manage: no interpretation of as-built documents reduces as-built survey needs, provides data for changes and new projects

 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) helps create and manage information models in a custom data environment that contains both graphical and non-graphical information. The information associated with the 3D Model increases as the project progresses increases.


The simplest way to explain BIM dimensions is that they are further details or pieces of information added to a model to help the project team better understand the model. They are the specific ways in which different data types are integrated into an information model. You get a better picture of the project by adding more dimensions of details, such as how it will be organized, its cost, and how it should be maintained.


It should be noted that BIM Dimensions are different from the BIM Level of Development. The level of development standards shows the extent to which a 3D model’s geometry, specs, and associated information can be relied on by the team members. On the other hand, BIM Dimensions are details or further information stored within a model, like its cost, time, and other factors.


This article will shed light on what it means to add different dimensions of data to a BIM model, how it works in practice, and what benefits can be anticipated.


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Gather



Uses

  • Capture and collect capture survey data as BIM, capture condition data, capture results from IoT sensors

  • Quantify: use of BIM models for quantity take off for cost estimations and forecasting, increase detail and accuracy through the lifecycle

  • Monitor/observe/measure: produce real-time performance data to support decision making, during construction monitor progress, in operation integrate with BIM data with sensors

  • Qualify/follow/track/identify: use of BIM objects to characterize and identify the status of systems, components, and elements through the life cycle


Benefits

  • Capture/collect:

o Information directly available as data at start up for re-use in follow up processes

o Avoid redundancy and create preconditions for quality

  • Quantity:

o Ability to determine most of the quantities automatically (for carbon emissions as well as for cost and material quantity)

o Can be linked to cost data to produce cost estimates

o Impact of changes visible

  • Monitor/observe/measure:

o Real time data is available to control project delivery

o Real-time data is available for asset and performance management

  • Qualify/follow/track/identify

o All information collected during an object’s life cycle is structured and can be consulted at any time.

o Collected information can be used for wider linked analysis.

o Can use IoT sensors results for real-time updates



Generate


Uses

  • Create, author and edit

  • Specify: record functional requirements and technical specifications for all parts of an asset, validate technical specifications against functional requirements

  • Arrange/configure/layout: determine location, specification and relationships between objects, track through life cycle stages, draft WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), adjust layout

  • Size/ engineer/model: determine size and scale of facility and objects, a geometrical cross section of rail, capacity of the crane


Benefits

  • Create/author/edit:

o Structured information related to digital twin facilities information exchange throughout the life of assets

o By specifying functional requirements it is possible to systematically validate and verify technical solutions

  • Arrange:

o Understand dependencies between objects and reduce knock on effects

o Use object type libraries

  • Size/engineer:

o Space occupancy is coordinated consistently across the lifecycle avoiding physical and temporal clashes

o Link to rules and codes

o Use for partial validation



Analyze


Uses

  • Examine/simulate/evaluate

  • Coordinate/detect/avoid (lean engineering): coordinate activities of each discipline in a common digital environment (CDE), combine and tune designs from different disciplines in CDE, perform clash prevention

  • Forecast/simulate/predict prediction and performance analyses, structural and flow analyses, cost/energy, consumption/planning/construction sequencing/traffic flow, and safety audits

  • Validate/check/confirm: chosen solution meets demands, the facility meets standards, rules, and regulations


Benefits

  • Examine:

o Facilitates methodical assessment of objects

o Makes possible the integrated prediction of performance at each stage

  • Coordinate:

o Ensure everything fits first time

o Provides efficient project coordination process

o Supports lean engineering

  • Forecast:

o Facilitates optimisation of construction process and operational performance at low cost

o Control financial and technical risks

  • Validate:

o Linking rules and codes to objects provides validation through the process

o Can be extended to automate validation



Communicate


Uses

  • Exchange/generate reports: uniformly exchange object information between parties involved, generate reports and documents

  • Visualize/review: stakeholders’ future user's local residents can have realistic future views, and project partners can easily review such as identify the risks of doing work on-site, stakeholder management, decision making

  • Exchange: avoiding translation, using Open exchange format between users

  • Document/draw/report: produce drawings from data, produce reports from data, communicate with construction workers and with authorities

  • Archive: build database as a digital project archive


Benefits

  • Reduce miscommunication and failure costs because of the use of CDE

  • Visualize:

o Ensure everything fits first time

o Provide efficient project coordination process

o Supports lean engineering

  • Exchange:

o Software independent data exchange

  • Document:

o All documents produced consist of CDE data

o Production of paper documents will reduce as will costs

  • Archive

o Reuse of data from digital twin

o Audit trail




Produce

Uses

  • Construction activities: support procurement management, offisite prefabrication, construction logistics

  • Fabricate/manufacture: control factory machinery, prototype virtually

  • Assemble/prefabricate simulate construction sequencing, support logistics/production and delivery of material, offsite manufacturing

  • Machine control: BIM data mapping on site location of objects, GPS automating earthworks control

  • Regulate: optimize operations, work with IoT to report and automate operations

Benefits

  • Improve productivity

  • Fabricate

o Improves construction efficiency

o Improves onsite safety

  • Regulate

o Optimisation of performance

o Apply building regulations

o Report environmental conditions

  • Assemble

o Reduce need to make adjustments on site

o Less construction time required

  • Machine control

o Partially automating construction site

o Increase efficiency





Manage


Uses

  • Validate handover of operational information

  • Hand over full data and specification

  • Use as the basis of asset management

  • Data preserved for new projects

  • Re-purpose assets

  • Regulate:

o Optimise performance by capturing BIM information

o Predict risks and failures from BIM data

o Link to sensor data for condition monitoring, frost detection, flood warning

o Provides a basis for automated operation

o Link to other data such as environmental or facilities owned by other operators


Benefits

  • Optimized asset performance

  • Mitigate against operational problems

  • Monitor risk

  • Merge with other data -weather, usage, etc

  • No interpretation of as-built documents

  • Reduces as-built survey needs

  • Reduces cost

  • Provides data for changes and new projects

 

Further Reading:


Enabling an Ecosystem of Digital Twins by Building SMART.pdf