BIM (Building information modeling) covers spatial relationships, geometry, light analysis, geographic information, quantities and properties of building components (for example manufacturers’ details). BIM can be used to demonstrate the entire building life cycle, including the processes of construction and facility operation. Quantities and shared properties of materials can be extracted easily. Scopes of work can be isolated and defined. Systems, assemblies and sequences can be shown in a relative scale with the entire facility or group of facilities. Dynamic information of the building, such as sensor measurements and control signals from the building systems, can also be incorporated within BIM to support analysis of building operation and maintenance .
The BIM software goes far beyond switching to a new software. It requires changes to the definition of traditional architectural phases and more data sharing than most architects and engineers are used to. Under the guidance of a virtual design and construction project manager (VDC) BIM can be seen as a companion to Product Lifecycle Management(PLM), since it goes beyond geometry and addresses issues such as cost management, Project Management and provides a way to work concurrently on most aspects of building life cycle processes.
Building information modeling can achieve such improvements by modeling representations of the actual parts and pieces being used to build a building. This is a substantial shift from the traditional computer aided drafting method of drawing with vector file-based lines that combine to represent objects.
There was a lot of attempts at creating a BIM for older, pre-existing facilities. They generally reference key metrics such as the Facility Condition Index (FCI). The validity of these models will need to be monitored over time, because trying to model a building constructed in, say 1927, requires numerous assumptions about design standards, building codes, construction methods, materials, etc., and therefore is far more complex than building a BIM at time of initial design. The American Institute of Architects has further defined BIM as “a model-based technology linked with a database of project information”, and this reflects the general reliance on database technology as the foundation. In the future, structured text documents such as specifications may be able to be searched and linked to regional, national, and international standards.