Question Katie Construction & Engineering

Building Information Modelling Within Construction

What is Building Information Modelling (BIM), how is it beneficial to the construction industry, and how well adopted has it been in the UK?

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Answer Internal Staff

BIM is a form of computer aided design (CAD) that allows multiple organisations, working on a single project, to share a single 3D model of a project. This model can be edited by workers from different departments and is updated on a database in real time. Some more in-depth forms of BIM allow for 4D modelling by including time as a function, showing the construction of the project sequentially, and 5D, which includes costing in the project model. This system can minimise the risk of overlapping or inconsistent elements of construction, and reduces the risk of disagreements due to misinformation. This can also be beneficial when new teams are taking over certain elements of work, as they can continue working from the same collaborative model.

The UK government has recognised the advantages of BIM and requires that all construction projects make use of collaborative 3D BIM by 2016. A survey in April 2016 indicates that 54% of construction projects were using BIM in 2015, an increase from 13% in 2010. While the system will clearly not be fully adopted by 2016, it is evident that the industry is unshackled from its traditional routes and is starting to step into the 21st century.