Back to top

BIM – (Building Information Model)

What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM), is a term that has become abundant within the design and construction industry over the past 20 years, but where did it all begin? BIM was first discussed during 1975 in a piece by Charles M. Eastman on ‘The Use of Computers Instead of Drawings in Building Design’ which described a working prototype called ‘BDS’ or Building Description System. This prototype included ideas of 2D drawings from a model and parametric designs. From this, the discussion of BDS continued throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, as people described it as ‘Building Product Models’ in the USA and ‘Product Information Models’ in Europe. Both phrases then became one, ‘Building Information Model’, today known as BIM.

  • BIM is a digital 3D model system that incorporates and understands a range of data, where you can plan, design, construct and manage a project digitally 
  • BIM is intelligent and knows how a specified object perform, this will reduce the risks of any problems during the building stage
  • The idea is that you use this system to build your design and can add in all your specified objects and fittings. You should be able to click on the object and find out all the spec information you may need from it, i.e. Standards, Manufacturer. This is very useful for the planning/building stage
  • BIM is aimed at either the Architect, Designer or Specifier.

“BIM is not the future, it is the now, a day to day reality. This is an opportunity to engage and develop the holistic collaborative approach that BIM generates and demonstrates its real benefits to the construction process and our customers”- Mark Norton, BIMFITOUT Chair

Why BIM? – It’s a no brainer!

  • Saves on drawing times, costs and materials
  • Finds any problems early – and should actually stop them from happening down the line!
  • Savings financially  - “CLASH DETECTION” any issues should be flagged early before they become a real problem.
  • Easy to use once trained, and the efficiency for getting information is quick and simple.
  • The government like it - Standards are clear and can be met easily.
  • The overall saving once trained is worth the spend.  Its forward thinking and could be the futures one-stop tool.

BIM Library

The NBS have produced a National BIM library, where you can search 1000’s of generic and manufacturer BIM Objects. ‘My Library’ is a free tool provided by the NBS to help you sort and filter your favourite BIM Objects. The BIM 'My Library' is a tool to help you organise your Bim Library objects for quick reference, reuse of use later. Click to view more information on the BIM Library

  • 13.7K specified objects already on this database with 53K users.
  • You can add and save ANY objects, and add all the information you may need to know.
  • You can easily see the objects specs and how they comply with government standards.

BIM Compass- How ready are you?

BIM4M2 is a forum to share knowledge and experience in order to help promote BIM to it’s target market. There is a set of resources called ‘The Curve’ aimed to support those either considering BIM or have recently started their BIM journey. It is recommended that you complete your BIM4M2 ‘Compass Tool’ to help you determine the likely impact of BIM to your business. 

So how does it work?

The Compass is in the form of a excel spreadsheet with 3 tabs; the first M2 Compass. Go through and fill out the detail in as much detail as possible, ticking the boxes most relevant to your company. When you reach the end you will see the My M2 Compass Results. Once you have clicked this, the second tab ‘M2 Compass results’, takes your through your overall rating, and whether you should act upon/ start using BIM, or whether it is something you should prepare for, for the future. The results break down further with information all relevant to your company. The final tab ‘Guidance’ takes you through the Compass, introducing it and any guidance you may require.

Click here to download your very own BIM Compass

BIM Toolbox

Commercial Interiors UK have partnered with FIS (Finishing and Interiors Sector to provide top BIM knowledge to our members. FIS have created the BIM Toolbox to support the process of the BIM Journey and give Commercial Interior UK members access to any updates. 

The next stage after finding out how ready you are from the BIM Compass above, the BIM 'toolbox' has been designed to enable a specialist contractor to develop and deliver a BIM implantation plan, through an understanding of the key process documents that can relate directly to the activities of the sector, and by a page by page explanation of what is required and how to deliver it. The Toolkit provides any information you may need to get started. 

Click here to download your copy and stay up to date with the latest news from FIS

Summary of BIM

We chat to some of our very own Commercial Interiors UK members about how they quickly grasped the opportunities available to them from the early adoption of BIM and the different approaches they took to integrate BIM into their business. 

Are you thinking of introducing BIM into your business? Here are Paul Quinn’s top tips:

1. Identify your most specified products and prioritise modelling this selection.
2. Gather thorough data sheets for each selected product.
3. If you have invested in in-house software licenses and expertise create your models and host these on 3rd party websites.
4. If you haven’t invested in-house seek out an organisation which is able to assist in generating your models.
5. Visit The NBS website, their Object Standards provide an instruction manual enabling you to meet government standards.