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Building Information Modeling FAQs

What is BIM?

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process in which architects, engineers, and construction professionals use digital tools to generate and manage characteristics of physical materials. Often with the use of 3D modeling, BIM modeling is regularly incorporated to more efficiently explore ways to design construction projects for various stakeholders well before anything is actually built.

The information gathered from the BIM process is widely used to help make decisions and anticipate structural behavior, thereby enabling those involved to make more-accurate decisions regarding materials and costs.

What is a BIM architect?

A BIM architect is a design specialist who uses building information modeling to plan and design various structures, including homes, industrial buildings, and office buildings. By using specific BIM tools, such as AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks, architects and architecture firms are able to design digital 3D models of various buildings. Doing this enables them to view and analyze a representation of what those buildings will look like and how they will operate under a variety of environments and circumstances.

Different types of architects can incorporate BIM practices, including those focusing on residential, commercial, industrial, or urban design. In each of these cases, BIM practices and tools can be used to view and understand the behaviors of various materials and design applications.

How is BIM used in various industries?

BIM can be used in various, but somewhat related, industries, such as architecture, construction, and engineering. Subsets of these industries, which can also benefit from BIM, include residential construction and commercial construction, as well as industrial engineering and mechanical engineering.

By using BIM practices and software across various industries, MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) professionals, architects, construction specialists, and engineers can share the relevant modeling information with subcontractors and others working on the project. In this way, BIM tools help ensure a smooth design process as well as identify any potential issues during operations and pre-construction.