What is Building Information Modelling (BIM)?

23 April 2018

What are BIM objects?

A BIM object describes physical and geometry characteristics. They also describes the visual and behavioural data which makes up objects commonly used in building. They can be further separated into ‘component’ and ‘layered’ objects. Component objects are fixed objects such as doors, windows or boilers. Layered objects are not a fixed shape. Furthermore, these can include carpets, roofs, walls and ceilings. Another categorisation is ‘generic’ and ‘specific’ objects. Generic objects are used in an initial design as a placeholder. They allow more accurate placement of objects later on. Specific objects represent a manufacturers specific object. Specifically, BIM objects can be created in a range of file formats. They are used over a range of different platforms used by a range of stakeholders.

What information is contained in a BIM object?

A product is represented in an effective way by combining product data with dimensions & functionality. It is useful to understand how a product works in order to represent it in a virtual environment. Such information is used by facilities managers throughout the lifecycle of a building.

Standards of BIM objects are set by the NBS who create quality standards across the industry. This is done in order to encourage collaboration & consistency. Objects that meet these standards contain accurate information which exists in a consistent, structured & easy to use format.

Where can BIM objects be found or created?

The majority of BIM objects can be found within the NBS library. This is an on-line portal used to store manufacturer files. Objects stored here contain all the necessary information which can be used across a range of platforms. Contrastingly, design practices usually have their own library of these objects.

The use of the national BIM library is recommended. BIM objects stored here can support the whole project lifecycle and multiple stakeholders.

The NBS has produced a feature about standards & useful data regarding BIM objects. This can be accessed here. Similarly, this article is useful & demonstrates how to digitise manufacturers objects. The Graphisoft library part maker tool allows you to create objects without understanding the geometric description language or programming.

Phoenix Design Man offer a BIM level of service

This means that we can offer draft material take off on walls and floors etc. This can be used by builders or clients to obtain prices from builders merchants. This helps provide a more accurate price than an estimated figure that could increase as the job continues. For more information about our BIM level of service, contact us here.

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