Is Building Information Management facilitating building procurement and management ? 

Building Information Management (BIM) system, it is argued, can serve the construction process from inception to completion.  It came to be known as a system of application software meant for removing all design clashes between different disciplines as well as between different designers, builders and suppliers.  In fact, it has the ability to bring all team members of a building project together so as to iron out all imponderables out of the drawn and written documentation.

Buildings are thus designed, specified, built, fitted out and handed over under the watchful eye of the BIM specialist.  The client, architect, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, etc. and all involved feed their information into one, data-rich 3D design package.  This flow of information is obviously large at inception, brief and design stages but is also fairly voluminous at all the discrete implementation stages as well as in between.

BIM is, according to the construction software Autodesk Middle East representative, “an intelligent model-based process that provides insight for creating and managing building and infrastructure projects faster, more economically and with less environmental impact.”

He claims that using this software leads to the creation of a “reliable, and a realistic digital representation” of a building and / or a piece of infrastructure prior to any construction on site start, resulting in the documentation that is available to contractors being of the highest standard.

He adds on that “the big benefit people often refer to is eradicating clashes between disciplines and elements of the design”.  But in reality, that’s a by-product of good 3D design.  This is nowhere near as important as being able to use and re-use information created in previous stages of a project.  This information gets diluted or even lost using traditional processes.”

Another construction software house representative says this is where the real value of BIM comes in by “enabling the creation, management and sharing of the properties of a building throughout its lifecycle”.  He adds however that in order for BIM to work best, the information should be made available to work within collaborative platforms, ideally on portable devices.

“The use of handheld devices and low-cost Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity has opened up like in many other knowledge based domains, the possibility of the dissemination of data and the receipt of the processed results will see a revolutionary shift in the way organisations run their operations.”