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What is B.I.M?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is defined by the government as a ‘collaborative way of working underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets.’

BIM embeds product and asset data alongside a 3D computer model designed to help those involved in a project manage it throughout the life-cycle.

In simple terms, it’s a method of digital project management.

The government mandated the use of BIM earlier this year.

Why is this important?

Put simply, the use of BIM will help to increase efficiency within the construction industry. Many companies across the UK still deliver projects late or over budget: effective use of BIM can help make projects more predictable and as a result easier to control.

The government estimated that effective use of BIM could help save the UK construction sector at least £2bn per year.

Since being introduced in March 2016, BIM has applied to all centrally procured projects, with no trigger threshold in place for value, size or complexity of project.

Currently, the government is working at ‘Level 2’ BIM.

Level 2 promotes the sharing, analysis and re-use of information, and provides information in well-known document formats (emails, drawings, schedules, certificates, etc).

(More information on the principles of Level 2 BIM can be found here).

How can BMI be used to aid flat roof construction?

BIM as a whole offers a range of potential benefits for project managers, all of them relating to flat roofs:

  • They enable managed access to information. As with all projects – and more so in some cases – flat roof construction needs to adhere to multiple regulations. BIM can help provide the relevant information to all those involved in the project.

  • They enable accurate model creation. For more complicated projects, the ability to plot out models and representations of the roof can be invaluable.

  • They allow for manoeuvring around models, offering a 360-degree, complete view of the environment.

  • They allow for risk management. Again, more complicated projects can sometimes mean more risk. BIM allows for more research and exploration up front, lowering the risk inherent in the final project.
  • They allow for sharing of models. Because BIM is now mandated, businesses across the UK have already begun to share model information for a number of different flat roof projects, such as ballasted, adhered or mechanically fastened roof systems. For businesses looking to research projects such as this, resources like the National BIM Library are invaluable.

Essentially, the ability to transition information more effectively can allow for more efficient automation in complex projects. Though BIM does still need to be managed, it can be a substantial time and money saver.

Finding out more about BIM

There are a number of other resources available on BIM, these two below are certainly worth exploring:

  • BIM4SME The BSI Group, meanwhile, lists a series of comprehensive specifications and standards for BIM, all of them ideal for anyone seeking more details on the principles and processes.

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