What is BIM?

LTS Drafting & Engineering’s BIM department has successfully met the needs of our clients in this new and growing area of construction. The BIM process, among other things, provides a comprehensive virtual model of a project before actual construction takes place. Building a project in a digital format allows all trades to correct potential conflicts between building components before they become costly field issues.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the process of generating and managing building data during its life cycle. Typically it uses three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic building modeling software to increase productivity in building design and construction. The process produces the Building Information Model (also abbreviated BIM), which encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components.

Aside from constructing the building in 3D, it is also a useful tool for architects and engineers to create their documents with. BIM software uses parametric design to create drawing sheets. Basically, the sections, elevations & details you see in a set of drawings that were created using this software are views of the 3D model. For instance, an elevation view is sort of like setting a camera at one side of the building. Floor plans and sections are taken by cutting through the 3D model at a certain point and then pointing a camera at it. 

Each camera would represent a ‘view’. Since all sections, elevations, and details are ‘views’ of the model, if you change anything in the model, all of the views change along with it. These ‘views’ are copied on to drawing sheets, so the sheets are automatically updated whenever anything is changed on the 3D building model. It takes human error out of the equation.

As BIM becomes more and more prevalent in construction, producing BIM submittal will most likely be a requirement in order to win the job.

BIM and Model-Based Design are potentially the biggest changes to hit the construction submittal industry since the advent of computer based design.

As a colleague of mine says frequently, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!” That said, more and more people are moving to BIM, and are beginning to realize the very real benefits that it offers.

Please contact LTS Drafting & Engineering if you are being asked to provide BIM on a project you are bidding or if you have any questions about the process and how BIM could affect your business.

Sample BIM Drawings