What is BIM design?

BIM-design in the translation of Building Information Modeling, that is, Information modeling in construction. The abbreviation BIM also means the object of this modeling – the building information Model.  Countries have developed their own abbreviations as a result of translating the term (TIM-information modeling Technology, construction information model, Etc.). Information modeling technology for construction projects), but so far they have not really taken root, and more often they use the original version – BIM.

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How did the technology evolve before?

How did the technology evolve before? The main prerequisite for the emergence of BIM was the development and distribution of computers. Until then, the word "model" had two main meanings when applied to construction projects and design:

  1. a mock-up of a building, a smaller copy made of various materials, intended mainly to demonstrate to the customer the future architectural appearance of its object as the architect sees it
  2. the calculation scheme used to determine the forces in structures, the flow rates of liquids or air, etc. For this purpose, the model was depicted on paper as an abstract schematic representation of the building elements, that is, the scheme on paper only illustrated some abstract calculation model.

With the widespread adoption of computers, programs have emerged that allow you to combine both modeling processes in design:

  • the prototyping process moved from ordinary reality to virtual reality, which allowed us to save on materials, reduce the time required to complete the layout, and make many different options – just as digital photography allows us not to save film and remove unsuccessful shots without regret. A very important difference between a computer layout and a paper one is that in a computer layout, you can develop a table of parameters for each element and material (density, cost, chemical composition, specific heat capacity, electrical conductivity – the parameter can be any that you may need for calculations). Elements where parameter values are filled in and stored in the computer's memory can become the source data for calculation schemes.
  • abstract calculation schemes have also moved to virtual reality. Special programs were created to record them, and in this form it became possible to exchange such calculation schemes, work with them for several specialists, and use the power of computers to calculate them using numerical methods (which is almost impossible to do manually). The logical result was that the necessary data for calculation schemes (geometry, material characteristics) became possible to get from the virtual layout, automatically. The first and second types of models were combined into a single construction information model.

This way of developing the information model led to the presence of a certain duality, as in the quantum of light, which is both a particle and a wave. When designing a model, on the one hand, it is a collection of objects, and on the other – a set of their parameters, which is combined into a database. Depending on what is put at the forefront, approaches to information modeling are divided into object-oriented (that is, the primary objects of the model) and data-centric (that is, the main element is considered to be the database of elements). Various information modeling software uses both approaches.

How is BIM design used now?

Software for information modeling in construction has come a long way since its introduction. Now, when designing a virtual building layout, you can automatically get drawings that fully meet regulatory requirements, so that you can transfer them to the construction site after designing. The geometry and physical properties of elements from the layout can be transferred directly during design to calculation programs that use finite element methods to determine the strength, stability and deformability of structural elements, hydraulic and aerodynamic parameters of engineering systems, calculate the acoustic parameters of a building and its illumination, simulate traffic flows on urban highways and the time of evacuation of people from buildings.

This virtual layout can be used not only in the design process, but also during the construction process - to control the volume of work performed and the quality of construction (for example, compare the design model with the result of scanning the structure actually erected).

In the parameters of engineering equipment, you can record its service life and limit values of parameters (coolant flow rate, current strength, etc.) to automate the comparison of these values with sensor readings during operation and quickly make decisions about replacing or repairing equipment. Often, design is now a joint work of various specialists on information remotely, using special cloud services for data storage.


Standards in information modeling still exist, and the efforts of an interstate organization have created and are improving the format through which models can be re-saved from one program to another. But so far, this universal language of communication is more like the human language Esperanto: created artificially, it "has no homeland", and is not native to anyone. Thus, its development takes place only artificially, and as soon as the efforts for this development are stopped, it will stop. In addition, it is not a format for making changes to the model for any program, so models in the format are still more like "casts" from models in the original formats, devoid of a large number of characteristics for the sake of universality.

What are the prospects?

Despite all the technical difficulties, more and more participants in the investment and construction process-developers, investors, surveyors, designers and builders – understand the benefits of switching to more advanced technologies, and BIM is no exception.

Therefore, now the immediate prospect is an increasingly widespread use of information modeling in construction. Many people compare the situation now with the transition that took place 20 years ago from drawing on paper to designing with the help of a computer. Most likely, those who do not learn how to benefit from information models in time will not be able to continue working in the changed environment. Therefore, strategically, all participants in the construction process now plan to use BIM in their work. At the same time, it is the design of mep bim services where the technology is most actively used, and most successful cases of its application still exist in project activities.