What is Building Information Modelling?

This page is part of our BIM and the CWMF section.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project throughout its whole life cycle.

It is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets. Properly implemented, BIM delivers projects to a higher quality and safety level.

One of the key outputs of this process is the Building Information Model, the digital description of every aspect of the built asset.  This 3-D model draws on information assembled collaboratively and updated at key stages of a project.

Creating a digital Building Information Model enables those who interact with the building to optimize their choices, resulting in a greater whole life value for the asset.

Internationally, the BIM process and associated data structures are defined in the ISO 19650 and 12006 series of standards.

Benefits of BIM

Building Information Modelling and BIM certification can offer the following benefits:

  • A powerful design tool which allows clients to interact, reducing wasteful design revision.
  • Better design and information co-ordination for the construction stage, this will reduce time spent in redoing work.
  • Potential programme and cost savings to the client
  • Significant time savings at the tender stage in evaluating contractors’ offers where a BIM model is used as a tender document.
  • In procurement it offers the potential to tie down products and materials pre-award.
  • BIM offers scope for a more collaborative approach where risk and waste is better managed through the model.
  • A valuable information asset to manage the performance and maintenance of the completed facility, reducing whole-life costs
  • Controlled environmental data
  • Reduced on-site waste
  • Improved safety

BIM in action

Watch a video of BIM in action (Courtesy of NBS)

BIM Learning Resources

Find out more on our BIM Learning Resources page