Building Information Modelling or BIM has been talked about quite a bit in the construction and facility management sphere during the past few years. With industry experts swearing by it, it has become imperative that those in these industries understand what BIM is all about and how organisations can benefit from it.
The US National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee defines BIM as “a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.”
In other words, BIM is an intelligent model-based process that offers deep insight in planning, designing, constructing and managing buildings, infrastructure and other large-scale projects. BIM also allows all stakeholders of the project to optimise their communication and actions, resulting in greater value via effective and efficient asset management. BIM can help you:
- Save on unnecessary overheads
- Save time
- Make accurate estimations
- Reduce margins of error
- Reduce the amount of alterations and reworks that occur as a result of miscommunication
However, all of the above cannot be achieved by simply installing a piece of software. The best part of BIM is that it brings about a paradigm shift, resulting in teams from multiple disciplines collaborating and working together.
Yes, BIM is multi disciplinary. BIM brings together all stakeholders in a large-scale project. BIM is a new and improved way of working.
As information is accessed by all stakeholders, it is crucial to implement BIM and the concept of a Common Data Environment (CDE), which plays a pivotal role. A CDE provides clear guidelines for organising information in order to minimise issues relating to inaccuracy and ambiguity. The end result is, entirely complete construction design information.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) defines CDE as, “A single source of information for the project, used to collect, manage and disseminate documentation, the graphical model and non-graphical data for the whole project team (i.e. all project information whether created in a BIM environment or in a conventional data format). Creating this single source of information facilitates collaboration between project team members and helps avoid duplication and mistakes.”
Simply put, CDE is the hub, and connected to it are all the computers, software, and tools relating to the project at hand. Thus, it is the single source of all information pertaining to a specific project. However, it is not necessary for all the data to be in one place. The data can be in multiple locations, in diverse formats, but all connected to one source. As a result, it is easy for stakeholders to search for information, collaborate and avoid duplications and mistakes. Topping it all off, a CDE brings all the information to the fingertips of the stakeholders as and when needed.
While BIM has cemented its place as an effective platform, it is rather an expensive solution due a lot of proprietary software being involved.
BIM-as-a-Service was conceived by Mitra Innovation due to its ambition to develop a platform that can run different aspects of BIM on top of it; without being too expensive. In order to achieve this tall order, Mitra collaborated with WSO2 to employ an open-source, middleware component renowned to be lightweight, robust and lean. This WSO2 middleware component is used by Fortune 500 companies such as eBay and Boeing. Since the middleware complements data and enterprise integration, it was an obvious choice for Mitra. BIMaaS is the only enterprise grade, open source platform that facilitates data integration with a variety of stakeholders of a project.
How can BIMaaS help you?
- Data Integration – BIMaaS integrates all the information you need, about every aspect of your project, making it accessible to any stakeholder for any purpose. As a result, the risk of costly mistakes and discrepancies is minimised.
- Covers the entire lifecycle of the project – Data generated using BIMaaS can be used to illustrate the entire project lifecycle of a building, from inception to completion. This even includes demolitions, design amendments and re-use of materials. Since BIMaaS is a collaborative platform it minimises or even eliminates the possibility of errors occurring at various stages of the project.
- 3D Visualisation – helps create realistic visualisation of the planned building or structure. In BIMaaS, everything begins with a digital 3D model. This model is the virtual equivalent of the actual physical building and its various sections (i.e. walls, columns, doors, etc.). As a result, those working on the project can simulate the building to match efficiency requirements and understand the behaviour before actual construction begins. Imagine, being able to see a prototype of the facility, before it is actually built!
- Simulations – A range of information, beyond architectural data, a variety of engineering disciplines, sustainability and other characteristic can be simulated to explore a variety of scenarios.
- Change management – Since all information is available at a central ‘hub’, any modification to the design or plan will automatically be replicated across all sections. This helps create documentation faster with better coordination, without compromising quality standards.
- Data management – BIMaaS also houses information that is not represented graphically, including information relating to schedules and costs. This data is useful throughout the building lifecycle helping stakeholders reduce operational and managerial costs pertaining to the project.
- Adherence to international standards – BIMaaS helps you adhere to a range of standards thus ensuring compliance regardless of where the stakeholders are from. E.g. British Standards (BS-Code), European Union Standards (Euro Code) and Australian Standard BCA.
- Open source – The fact that BIMaaS is open source increases customisability, freedom from vendor lock-ins, quality, flexibility, Interoperability, ‘auditability’, and support options while reducing the cost of using proprietary software.
- Post-management – BIMaaS can be leveraged on during AND after a project. Once the project is completed it can be deployed to maintain the assets and the facility to the standards used in construction.
The benefits of BIMaaS have been realised globally and we’ve started working with businesses and governments on various aspects of roadways, bridges, railway systems, apartments, schools, factories, warehouses and even infrastructures for water, electricity, gas and communication utilities.
Summarising the above, BIMaaS sets the stage for:
- Sharing asset data to manage projects effectively and efficiently,
- Collaboration between all the stakeholders for simplified inter-operability in multi-organisational projects,
- Analysing design maintenance and operation asset data on one platform,
- Visualising a ‘one common truth’ 3D model for buildings, infrastructures and projects
- Governing BIM standards and simplify proof of BIM governance
- Learning by using past knowledge and data to design new infrastructure projects better.
Now that you know how BIMaaS can help you, why not get in touch with Mitra Innovation via firstname.lastname@example.org to check out a demo? We are confident, that like many of our clients, you will be super-excited too!