Unlike CAD, which uses software tools to generate digital 2D and 3D drawings, a BIM software like Revit Architecture facilitates a new way of working: creating designs with intelligent objects. Regardless of how many times the design changes, or who changes it, the data remains consistent, and it remains coordinated. You may be tempted to ask “What happens to existing software?” In some cases, existing software is still relevant, it is just used differently. CAD software can still be used for detailing and documentation at the end of a project. Visualisation software can still be used for advanced design visualisations. They, however, will be better integrated into your workflow, using the BIM based design models as the starting point rather than creating models from the scratch using your visualisation software.
Drawings, views, schedules, and so on are live views of the underlying building database. If a designer changes a model element, the BIM software automatically coordinates the change in all views that display that element. This change includes 2D views, such as drawings, and informational views, such as schedules. This happens because they are all views of the same underlying information.
Another major impact of BIM is the emphasis on the earlier part of the design process rather than on the later part of the process as obtains in construction documentation in traditional design procurement. BIM shifts the overall level of effort to earlier in the project, potentially influencing an organisation’s project workflows and staffing needs. The traditional makeup of a design team is governed by the huge effort required to produce construction documents. In this traditional system, roles correspond to drawing types: plans, elevations, sections, details, and so on. Using BIM, reduced documentation renders this traditional project structure obsolete. BIM teams tend to be organised around functions such as project management, content creation, building design, and documentation. This shift in production methods could prove disorienting to staff experienced in traditional design workflows. Firms, therefore, must be prepared to address the resistance to change sometimes encountered by pointing out the productivity and quality gains possible with BIM. Video tutorials like “Revit Architecture for Beginners” https://www.udemy.com/revit-architecture-for-beginners/?couponCode=Revit-Priority-Passhelps staff to learn quickly and become productive members of the design team in the shortest possible time.
Project teams can also use information contained in the models to perform a variety of complementary tasks, including energy or environmental analysis, visualisation, construction simulation, and improving the accuracy of documentation.
The change occurring in the global economy has presented architects, engineers, and contractors with a window of opportunity to retool their businesses. It has presented an opportunity to adopt new tools and workflows that will help deliver higher quality building and infrastructure projects at a lower cost. This will help firms to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and stay competitive in these challenging times.
BIM can also affect the way a company delivers its products, enabling designers to deliver more 3D views, sections, schedules, and realistic renderings in construction documents. BIM also improves the quality of the final product. There’s no doubt that BIM is helping to deliver better products to clients.
Internally, BIM adoption usually results in broad organisational changes based on new or different staffing needs. BIM increases efficiency, especially for construction documentation, enabling firms to do more, with less. The result is, project staffing tends to shrink slightly (usually in the drafting ranks) and more effort is expended on value added activities during design. In many cases, the expertise needed for the value added tasks may be different from what your firm currently employs.
The biggest process change that firms encounter is to do with the very act of designing. Design representations are no longer 2D drawings. Instead, designers are using 3D digital models that are assembled in the same way buildings are constructed. Using BIM, we’re able to overlap information from all of the different disciplines to come up with an integrated solution.
Designers need to understand how a building comes together as well as how design data is used by other disciplines outside your department and maybe outside your organisation. In addition, as digital design-to-fabrication strategies become an integral part of lean building design, extended design teams need to incorporate construction information and expertise much earlier in the design cycle.
One of the benefits of BIM is the ability of different professional project teams to collaborate on a project’s design and construction using digital models. In many situations, BIM makes the traditional review, comment, response process, out of date, with successful implementations taking advantage of digital design charettes and virtual project review workflows. The BIM process allows people to experiment and to get quantifiable feedback. It allows them to go outside of their boundaries and explore more creative solutions.