Why BIM is the Key to Understanding Your Designs

 Step away from the drafting desk – buildings aren’t 2D, so why would you design them in 2D?

Till just a few years in the past, we did not have instant visuals or higher representations for the designs we made on CAD. Our wild west wanted a cowboy, and BIM software program turned out to be precisely what we would have liked. 

Mainly, BIM is a software program know-how that enables constructing design professionals to design, assemble, check, and handle new infrastructure.

BIM software program merchandise at the moment are continuously used within the structure and development industries as a result of these industries are totally centered on constructing giant constructions. Since these industries make up the overwhelming majority of BIM software program customers, these options have a tendency to supply device units particularly for customers in these fields. 

One other factor to notice is that BIM instruments are in style in these industries as a result of their 3D design capabilities take drafting a step additional than conventional 2D design. BIM software program permits customers to visualise their buildings’ look upon completion.

Who makes use of BIM?

BIM software program is not only for architects. These instruments retailer huge quantities of knowledge inside the platform, making them relevant to customers in many various fields inside the constructing business.  

AEC (Structure, Engineering, Building)

AEC professionals are probably the most obvious group utilizing constructing design instruments. Consider every little thing within the constructing and design lifecycle from preliminary ideas and ideation of designing constructions to post-construction administration of that infrastructure to maintain up with upkeep. 

MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing)

Individuals in MEP create inner programs inside a home, corresponding to electrical or plumbing. BIM software program helps these customers to estimate programs rapidly and precisely. They scale back danger and waste in order that customers can drive higher MEP fabrication.

Structural engineering

These engineers can make the most of BIM instruments to make sure the buildings they’re engaged on are as sturdy as doable. BIM software program lets these customers streamline workflows to attach design to detailing and enhance the standard of your design.

Why use BIM?

The purpose of utilizing a BIM answer is to create a 3D mannequin that customers can manipulate. A 3D mannequin permits customers to grasp relationships between areas, supplies, and varied programs inside a bodily construction. BIM software program can be utilized for each step of the method, from planning to design to development. Each step of the method is important to customers constructing a construction in the true world.


A BIM consumer begins by drafting an preliminary design inside the software program platform. BIM options make it doable for a number of customers to concurrently work on a design on the similar time. This ensures that as many eyes as doable will see the design earlier than it’s authorised. After the preliminary design is full, customers can current designs to purchasers for approval to maneuver ahead.

3D modeling

A typical false impression is that BIM software program is only a design device. The design facet is just the start of the BIM course of. These instruments supply customers 3D modeling capabilities. As soon as a consumer has created a 3D mannequin, it’s doable to simulate and visualize varied components of the bodily constructing.

BIM offers perception into how real-life components will influence a constructing as soon as it’s constructed.

sunlight 3d model BIM                                                                     Source: Archicad

For instance, through the use of varied guidelines of physics, BIM options present how daylight will hit a constructing in several seasons, how the daylight will have an effect on a constructing’s power efficiency, and extra.


When it’s time to maneuver ahead with development, BIM options let customers sequence the steps and components of the constructing course of, together with the supplies and crews wanted to finish the development.

Building administration crews can overview the 3D mannequin inside the BIM platform and carry out conflict detection to make sure that the design will work in the true world. Customers can simulate the development course of, analyze and resolve points, and be sure that the venture is accomplished in a well timed method.

Options of BIM software program

The next options can sometimes be present in any BIM answer:

Import/export 2D designs

In case your group is making the swap from 2D to 3D drafting, BIM options can ease that transition. Many BIM options allow customers to add their 2D drafts and proceed to design in 2D, or replace the design to 3D.

3D modeling

This is likely one of the most vital options of a BIM answer. 3D modeling is the method of designing a three-dimensional software program object that ultimately turns into the idea for a constructing or construction. 3D modeling permits customers so as to add as a lot element as doable so the mannequin will carefully mimic the finished construction.

3D rendering

To visualise a 3D mannequin in a totally realized digital surroundings, the mannequin have to be rendered. The rendered mannequin’s graphical settings allow customers to scale, navigate and work together with their 3D mannequin. BIM customers can design particulars as intricate as home windows, doorways, and extra.  

Sequencing steps

BIM software program permits customers to plan every step of the development course of with fashions and sub-models. Customers can sequence the steps and embody particular particulars, such because the crews and supplies wanted for every part of the development course of. 

BIM demonstration                                                                           Supply: Revit

Some BIM options even allow customers to animate every step.

Doc storage

Designing a big construction takes a big staff. Many individuals will contribute ideas, designs, edits, and extra. A BIM platform facilitates doc storage and permits different customers to entry them at any time when they should.

MEP fabrication detailing

Many BIM options supply MEP fabrication detailing. Customers can create a mannequin of whichever MEP system is required to allow them to see how the system integrates with the constructing design.

Benefits of utilizing BIM

BIM provides an a variety of benefits for customers. The next are simply a few of the benefits a enterprise will notice from utilizing a BIM answer:

Precisely seize actuality

2D drafting works, nevertheless it can not mannequin the bodily elements of a constructing and the way that constructing will work together with exterior components. Due to its 3D modeling functionality, BIM software program can combine with mapping instruments, permitting customers to seize actual world data like aerial imagery, scans of present infrastructure and elevation.

Go inexperienced

By going the 3D route, there’s no must waste paper on rework and duplicate designs. BIM software program permits customers to do the identical designing and annotating that they’ll in 2D, however do it extra rapidly and effectively.

Monitor venture historical past

BIM software program provides customers the choice to trace their complete venture historical past. The knowledge supplied in a BIM platform turns into a single supply of reality. Each design model is saved inside the BIM platform as an alternative of an limitless stack of 2D-drafted designs. The BIM software program shops each model of a design, so nothing is ever misplaced.

Enhance collaboration

There are various arms that go into designing a brand new constructing, so BIM ensures that colleagues can simply collaborate with one another. Many BIM instruments supply venture administration performance in order that the staff can monitor who’s engaged on what and look at one another’s design notes. BIM’s overview and markup performance maintain collaboration neat and orderly.

Rapidly resolve battle

By designing with BIM software program, customers can establish and resolve issues earlier than the precise construction is constructed. For instance, BIM automates conflict detection in order that development crews received’t be stunned by a design that requires ductwork to run by means of a beam. By catching these errors earlier than constructing begins, firms can save vital time and cash.

Design from any location

With BIM software program, design can occur anyplace, not simply within the workplace. BIM is usually cloud-based software program, that means that customers have the ability to entry designs remotely and out of doors of normal enterprise hours.

Challenges of utilizing BIM software program

Whereas each software program has its benefits, there are some elements that may come off as an obstacle on the subject of BIM.

Modeling software program

Going by means of with the preliminary mannequin development and its modifications requires a major funding in BIM software program, plus computer systems designed to course of the substantial information load that BIM requires.

Employees coaching 

Educating and coaching staff to make use of this software program is certainly required, and so is hiring new workers members particularly to deal with mentioned coaching and even to simply use the BIM software program. Extra house and sources can be required as effectively, on this case.

Incompatibility with companions 

BIM utilization has quickly elevated internationally. Nonetheless, many development contractors are but to undertake this method.  Many nonetheless favor CAD software program as their bread and butter. 

The very best BIM software program

Your structural designs can come to life following the model-based course of utilized in BIM software program. For instance, this software program can take CAD designs and precisely symbolize how they might look as soon as constructed.  For sure, this class consists of some CAD software program that has been tailored to incorporate BIM, in addition to devoted software program. 

To qualify for inclusion within the Constructing Design and Constructing Data Modeling class, a product should:

  • Present 2D or 3D computer-aided design instruments 
  • Embrace collaboration performance that enables a number of staff members to work concurrently
  • Provide instruments to optimize constructing efficiency with efficiency information and superior evaluation engines

And whereas it might appear to be one other subscription or buy to make, 82% of corporations obtain a constructive return on funding after utilizing BIM software program. One other 14% attain break-even. It is protected to say that BIM is right here to remain.

Let’s transfer on to a few of the finest BIM software program available in the market immediately and what makes them stand out.

*Beneath are the highest 5 main BIM software program from G2’s Fall 2022 Grid® Report. Some critiques could also be edited for readability.

1. AutoCAD

AutoCAD is thought for the pace with which it calibrates your necessities. You’ll be able to work with specialised options & libraries to spice up this as effectively. As many are acquainted with the software program for CAD functions, it helps ease the training curve.

What customers like:
“This system is simple to make use of, agile, with versatile instructions, glorious visualization, and a really interactive command line that’s simple to grasp. Perfect for all inside design initiatives, engineering, structure, and different areas. It’s going to by no means be out of date, it’s Autodesk’s finest product as a result of it solves our issues. AutoCAD is a world the place I solely know 10%, sufficient to convey 2D layouts to my purchasers.”

AutoCAD overview, Paulo C.

What customers dislike:
“The software program nonetheless makes use of an age-old consumer interface and is not matched effectively to the newer 3D operational instruments. I might prefer to see a shift on this software program to usability for newer customers.”

AutoCAD overview, Josh D.

2. Revit

Autodesk® Revit® software program is particularly constructed for constructing data modeling. It has varied customizations that will help you arrive at your required design. 

What customers like:
“This software program is so huge, elaborate, and has so many numerous choices one can play with. [It] makes 3D & BIM modeling very simple and handy. The interference and conflict detection is the very best device for designer engineers coping with a number of self-discipline fashions inside Revit.”

– Revit overview, Lakshya G.

What customers dislike:
“That is nonetheless a growing software program and though it’s sturdy, it nonetheless wants plenty of additional instruments to develop the capabilities in addition to make it multithreaded for many of the duties. The one issue slowing down the software program is that it runs on a single core for many duties.”

Revit overview, Swapnil M

3. SketchUp

SketchUp is a well-liked 3D modeling device that customers can use to design something they need – from treehouses to energy-efficient buildings. It has BIM capabilities and design choices inside the similar software program.

What customers like:
“The entire software program is the very best, however its texture-applying methodology is great. You’ll be able to simply apply textures and edit fashions with out shedding their properties. The second smartest thing is that its file can simply import and export in some other file format, making it simple to work with different software program.”

SketchUp overview, Syed Mustafa A.

What customers dislike:
“On the subject of designing small, elegant particulars SketchUp is not that nice. It’s important to use one other rendering engine as a result of SketchUp rendering is not good. Additionally, typically these errors seem out of nowhere. Plugins are helpful however do not all the time work correctly and you may’t work out the issue.”

SketchUp overview, Ecemnaz Y.

4. Navisworks

This software program is nice for venture overview and BIM causes, particularly as a result of it permits for collaboration between architects, engineers, and development professionals. 

What customers like:
Navisworks is a whole bundle for conflict detection, markups, rendering, and walkthroughs. I’ve labored on many initiatives, and never one would have been full with out Navisworks.”

Navisworks overview, Amul P.


What customers dislike:
“The free model can not append new information. When utilizing the supervisor device, the conflict detection system could be fairly complicated and time-consuming to generate a clear listing of clashes.”


5. Archicad

Archicad is a one-stop workstation for professionals who wish to maintain their work scattered throughout completely different software program. It has an built-in design workflow that enables for easy collaboration between venture stakeholders.

What customers like:
“The great factor about ArchiCAD has all the time been its potential to create 3D fashions that successfully talk design ideas to your purchasers. The bonus has been that after a design is authorised, it does not take very a lot time to maneuver onto manufacturing drawings, or sharing information with key consultants.”

Archicad overview, Edward W.

What customers dislike:
I would really like higher zone tag performance that may enable for higher labels in part views that match up with zones the place I’m reducing by means of.

Archicad overview, Jonathan G.

BIM is the second

Understanding BIM is turning into important on the subject of fields like AEC or MEP. It is turning into an business customary as a result of it makes life simpler when designing constructions. Additionally, no extra operating from one heavy software program to a different. Your CPU will thanks.  

For those who’re fascinated with how engineering and design can create an influence on the world, learn extra about how one can leverage environmental engineering for your enterprise.

This text was initially revealed in 2019. It has been up to date with new data and examples. 

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