With some key changes to the way you work, you can walk the BIM walk as well as talking the BIM talk. This Cheat Sheet helps you set some fundamental goals for your BIM journey so you can get a hold of the information to start and to make progress with BIM implementation.
BIM has many acronyms and it may feel as if BIM has a language of its own. After you know what they mean, you can be speak “BIM-ese” in no time!
Unlocking goals when starting BIM
At the beginning of your BIM journey, you should set a number of goals. These goals give you a clear sense of direction and indicate key milestones to achieve and that you can use to demonstrate your progress. Here’s a list of things you should know about BIM:
What it is: Be clear on what BIM is and what it isn’t. BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and is a process for embedding digital representations of buildings and other built assets with lots of data and useful content for the whole lifecycle of a project’s use. It’s not just about software, hardware, or project management; it’s a combination of all these things and requires a behavioral change above all else.
What it can do: Consider what BIM can do for the construction industry, but more importantly, for you and your company. BIM is many things to different people. It can provide savings, certainties, and new efficiencies so various sectors have a lot to gain. From safer construction to better understanding of the built asset and what’s required to run it during its life, you can use BIM to develop clearer insight about the built environment.
What the potential return on investment is: BIM doesn’t need to be expensive. Although you’ll have some initial costs, think of BIM as a long-term resource for improving the work you do and the products you deliver. It’s not just about one project either; BIM will continue to deliver cost savings and competitive advantage as you become more skilled in applying the processes involved. You can get started now and develop longer-term strategies for when you need big-ticket items like additional resource, training, or technology infrastructure.
What requirements clients and companies have for BIM: The following can help:
Key outputs/formats: BIM is about collaboration and cooperating with other users of building information. It relies on you using open standards and formats that everyone can access and read, which may require you to change your processes. BIM is also about regular exchange of data at strategic points along the project timeline so that you can make informed decisions with your team and improve performance.
Key documents: BIM can seem quite complicated, but getting your head around the process mainly relies on some key standards and documents that the industry has produced to help you, many of which are free. Sometimes referring to these documents is a requirement for project delivery.
How to gear up to deliver BIM: Consider the following:
Influencing decision makers: You need to adopt a top-down approach to achieve buy-in from key individuals in your company with the ability to implement the change you want to see.
Implementing processes: You need to ensure that office protocols and management structures are in place to implement ideal BIM procedures.
Providing hardware: You need to have the technology and data infrastructure to support the BIM workflow and exchange information with clients and project teams.
Supplying software: You need appropriate tools and platforms to design, analyze, construct, and operate the built asset, including for the end users to understand the information within BIM.
Training people: You need to find out exactly what training requirements each person has for BIM. Some need to learn a new piece of software for modeling work, others may need to improve their strategic project management skills, or you may need training to keep your systems up-to-date. Supporting BIM users day to day can be the difference between BIM success and failure.
Where to gain insight from others: Staying in touch with what’s happening in the world of BIM is easy, because it’s a digital community with connections on social media and web forums all over the world. Also, you can attend face-to-face conferences to see demonstrations, case studies, and hands-on applications of BIM, and build your own knowledge. Find out about the future of the construction industry too, because when you can link BIM with sustainable, off-site manufacture and Internet-connected sensors you’ll be creating truly smart cities.
Your BIM acronym guide
The world of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is packed with acronyms. Keeping track of them when your company considers implementing BIM can be tricky.
Don’t know your BEP from your PIM? Take a look through the following list and familiarize yourself with the terms. You’ll be speaking like a BIM expert in no time!
4D: 4-dimensional (time)
5D: 5-dimensional (cost)
AEC: Architecture, engineering, and construction
AIM: Asset Information Model
AIR: Asset information requirements
AM: Asset management
API: Application programming interface
ASP: Application service provider
BAS: Building automation system
BCF: BIM collaboration format
BEP: BIM execution plan
BIM: Building Information Model(ing)
BIS: UK Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills
BMS: Building Management System
BS: British Standard
bSa: buildingSMART alliance
bsDD: buildingSMART Data Dictionary
bSI: buildingSMART International
BSI: British Standards Institute
CAD: Computer-aided design
CADD: Computer-aided design and drafting
CAFM: Computer-aided facility management
CAM: Computer-aided manufacture
CAPEX: Capital expenditure
CDE: Common data environment
CIC: Construction Industry Council
CMM: Capability Maturity Model
CMMS: Computerized Maintenance and Management System
COBie: Construction Operations Building information exchange
CPI: Coordinated project information
CPIx: Construction project information x-change
CR: Clash rendition
CSI: Construction Specifications Institute
DBB: Digital Built Britain
DfMA: Design for Manufacture and Assembly
DPoW: Digital Plan of Work
DMS: Document management system
EDMS: Electronic data management system
EIR: Employer’s information requirements
FM: Facilities management
GCS: Government Construction Strategy (UK)
GDL: Geometric Description Language
GIS: Geographical Information System
GSA: US Government Services Administration
GUID: Globally Unique ID (identifier)
HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
IAI: International Alliance for Interoperability (now known as buildingSMART)
iBIM: Integrated Building Information Modelling
ICT: Information and communications technology
IDM: Information Delivery Manual
IFC: Industry Foundation Classes
IFD: International Framework for Dictionaries
IoT: Internet of Things
IPD: Integrated project delivery
IP: Intellectual property
IR: Information requirements
ISO: International Organization for Standardization
IaaS: Infrastructure as a service
IT: Information technology
KPI: Key performance indicator
LOD: Level of definition (UK) or level of model detail (US – level of development)
LOI: Levels of model information
MEP: Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing
MIDI: Master information document index
MIDP: Master information delivery plan
MPDT: Model production and delivery table
MVD: Model view definition
NBIMS: National Building Information Modeling Standard (US)
NBS: National Building Specification
NIBS: National Institute of Building Sciences (US)
O&M: Operations and maintenance
OIR: Organizational information requirements
OPEX: Operating expenditure
PaaS: Platform as a service
PAS: Publicly available specification
PDM: Project delivery manager
PIM: Project information model
PIP: Project implementation plan
PoW: Plan of works
PLQ: Plain language questions
POE: Post occupancy evaluation
PQQ: Pre-qualification questionnaire
R&D: Research and development
RM: Responsibility matrix
RFI: Request for information
RFID: Radio-frequency identification
ROI: Return on investment
SaaS: Software as a service
SPie: Specifiers’ properties information exchange
STEP: STandard for the Exchange of Product model data
TIDP: Task information delivery plan
Uniclass: Unified classification system
USACE: United States Army Corps of Engineers
VA: US Department of Veterans’ Affairs
VDC: Virtual design and construction
WBDG: Whole building design guide
WIP: Work in progress
XML: eXtensible markup language