So what (really) is BIM?


There are many definitions and interpretations of what BIM is (and isn’t) out there in the digisphere. A widely referenced definition, in the UK, comes from the CPIC which defines it as ‘a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A Building Information Model 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’.

The problem with this definition is that it focuses very much on the digital model representation of a facility. Consequently I find that many people who are model creaters in their line of work often find it difficult to move past the idea of BIM just being for designers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For me, I see Building Information Modelling as being is all about process. In its simplest sense it is a process of digital information management to assist businesses make informed decisions through every stage of asset development to management and eventual disposal. You could argue that BIM really should be PIM – Project Information Management, as it really centers on the production, coordination and management of project information that is comes out of the collaborative building information model process.

Every member or stakeholder involved in the process of development of a physical asset can contribute to BIM, right from land surveyors to facility managers and everyone in between.

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