“BIM” is a three-letter word


BIM, better known as Building Information Modeling, is an oftentimes misunderstood term – but let’s break it down to its components.

What are we really talking about when we use the term BIM? I see BIM as representing the following:

(B) Building

The manifestation of project goals and intentions. Simply put: the overarching end product of all discipline and stakeholder input.

(I) Information

Non-graphical data representing the attributes of a building’s components or assets. This data is critical not only for the design and construction of a building but also its operations and maintenance.

(M) Modeling

Geometric, graphical elements representing user interface and experience with the building.

Now, I have to admit: I have ulterior motives for writing this post. In truth, I really want to bring to light the fact that – in my own opinion – the big “I” in BIM is an oftentimes overlooked piece to the design-construct-manage puzzle. Why is it that, as architects and designers, we become so infatuated with the development of “sexy” models that accurately represent the spatial characteristics of a building, but totally fall short when it comes to incorporating substantial information necessary for the management of the building beyond turnover?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a concrete answer for you – but I do believe it is absolutely critical we all keep in mind that BIM is actually a three-letter word.

Happy designing.

*image courtesy of Autodesk.

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