What does the term BIM mean?

BIM is an abbreviation and stands for Building Information Modeling. It is a software for the planning and management of buildings, in which all processes from the construction phase to management are controlled centrally, thus enabling the efficient design of all building planning processes on the basis of a digital model.

How does BIM work?

BIM makes use of so-called CAD systems (Computer-Aided-Design-Systems). Special software is used to create a digital, three-dimensional model of the building that contains all the information relevant for planning and management. All those involved in the projects, for example architects and other companies responsible for facility management, work on the basis of this model in a cloud solution. BIM is primarily used for large real estate projects to accelerate construction processes and to meet time and cost schedules. The BIM manager is responsible for coordinating all processes based on the building data modeling.

BIM was already developed in the early 1970s

A keyword that is often used in connection with BIM is Autodesk. The American software company Autodesk developed the term BIM. However, the principle of BIM is older. The first digital solutions for building data modeling were developed as early as the 1970s at the Georgia Institute of Technology in America, but important impetus also came from Central and Northern Europe and Japan. In Europe, BIM only became more widespread after the year 2000.

BIM is also playing an increasingly important role in Germany. In 2017, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) presented the phased plan for the introduction of Building Information Modeling, which was intended to promote IT-supported construction planning. Since 2020, the regulations of the phased plan have been mandatory for new construction projects in Germany. In other European countries - such as Norway or Denmark - the use of BIM has been legally binding since 2007. Today, legal standards for BIM applications exist, which were formulated by the international organization buildingSMART. These standards are known as Industry Foundation Classes, or IFC for short.

What are the advantages of BIM?

Many different specialist areas and trades are involved in the construction and management of real estate. Frictions and inaccuracies in planning and communication can happen quickly - and cost a lot of time and money. By working together on basis of BIM, many of these problems can be avoided by using central, digital solutions. All data of the building are centrally bundled and permanently synchronized. This ensures that all trades work on the basis of the same, up-to-date information. All data during the entire life cycle of the building - from the initial planning phase to management and regular maintenance work - is continuously processed using the consistent model. Thus all Data of all construction phases available at any time for all parties involved. The central bundling of all information makes the exchange, contact and coordination between the parties involved easier, more transparent and more efficient, thus saving resources. In addition, the optimized data synchronization enables a productive planning and administration process and ensures that deadlines and costs are met.

What software is used for BIM?

There are many different CAD systems with different focuses that can be used for BIM. One of the oldest and most widely used software is Allplan, which is mainly used by architects and engineers and is based on the components. The CAD system Powerproject focuses on project management processes. FreeCAD is a freely available BIM software that follows a rather universal approach.