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Building Information Modeling (BIM) - Energy:Minute

Building Information Modeling is a computer-based simulation of a construction project, linked with a database of information about the project. (podcast) (transcript)

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Transcript

Building Information Modeling is a computer-based simulation of a construction project, linked with a database of information about the project.

Don't we already get that with computer-aided drafting? Not quite. CAD creates 2-dimensional drawings, and it can produce a 3-dimensional rendering.

With building information modeling, or BIM, the very detailed 3-D representation is only part of the picture.

Architects and engineers gather a lot of information, during the design stage, about materials, construction methods, fixtures, you name it.

That information is useful in later stages. To keep from losing track of it, BIM serves as a vehicle for information -- the "I" in BIM.

As the project progresses, contractors and owners don't have to re-gather and recompile all that data. The model becomes a guide to construction, and a reference for operation and maintenance.

An energy model can be created directly from BIM, to show how a building is likely to perform. Designers can experiment to find the most energy-efficient design, then check the finished building against that model.

A basic premise of BIM is collaboration by stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of a building. Early collaboration reduces costly conflicts between the systems in a building, and generally makes for better design.