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 quick 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 wanted. 

Principally, BIM is a software program know-how that enables constructing design professionals to design, assemble, take a look at, and handle new infrastructure.

BIM software program merchandise are actually ceaselessly used within the structure and building industries as a result of these industries are solely targeted on constructing massive constructions. Since these industries make up the overwhelming majority of BIM software program customers, these options have a tendency to supply software units particularly for customers in these fields. 

One other factor to notice is that BIM instruments are well-liked 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 data throughout the platform, making them relevant to customers in many alternative fields throughout the constructing business.  

AEC (Structure, Engineering, Building)

AEC professionals are probably the most obvious group utilizing constructing design instruments. Consider all the things 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 methods inside a home, resembling electrical or plumbing. BIM software program helps these customers to estimate methods rapidly and precisely. They cut back threat 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 attainable. 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 know relationships between areas, supplies, and numerous methods inside a bodily construction. BIM software program can be utilized for each step of the method, from planning to design to building. Each step of the method is significant to customers constructing a construction in the true world.


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

3D modeling

A standard false impression is that BIM software program is only a design software. The design facet is solely the start of the BIM course of. These instruments supply customers 3D modeling capabilities. As soon as a person has created a 3D mannequin, it’s attainable to simulate and visualize numerous parts of the bodily constructing.

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

sunlight 3d model BIM                                                                     Source: Archicad

For instance, by utilizing numerous guidelines of physics, BIM options present how daylight will hit a constructing in numerous seasons, how the daylight will have an effect on a constructing’s vitality efficiency, and extra.


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

Building administration crews can assessment the 3D mannequin throughout 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 certain that the venture is accomplished in a well timed method.

Options of BIM software program

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

Import/export 2D designs

In case your group is making the change 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 without doubt one of the most essential options of a BIM answer. 3D modeling is the method of designing a three-dimensional software program object that finally turns into the idea for a constructing or construction. 3D modeling permits customers so as to add as a lot element as attainable so the mannequin will intently mimic the finished construction.

3D rendering

To visualise a 3D mannequin in a completely realized digital setting, 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 section 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 every time 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 gives an a variety of benefits for customers. The next are simply a number of the benefits a enterprise will understand from utilizing a BIM answer:

Precisely seize actuality

2D drafting works, but it surely can’t mannequin the bodily elements of a constructing and the way that constructing will work together with exterior parts. Due to its 3D modeling functionality, BIM software program can combine with mapping instruments, permitting customers to seize actual world info like aerial imagery, scans of current 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 will in 2D, however do it extra rapidly and effectively.

Observe venture historical past

BIM software program provides customers the choice to trace their whole venture historical past. The knowledge supplied in a BIM platform turns into a single supply of fact. Each design model is saved throughout the BIM platform as a substitute 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 a lot of fingers 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 observe who’s engaged on what and consider one another’s design notes. BIM’s assessment and markup performance preserve collaboration neat and orderly.

Shortly 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 building crews received’t be shocked by a design that requires ductwork to run by way of a beam. By catching these errors earlier than constructing begins, firms can save important time and money.

Design from any location

With BIM software program, design can occur wherever, not simply within the workplace. BIM is usually cloud-based software program, which means that customers have the ability to entry designs remotely and outdoors 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 in relation to BIM.

Modeling software program

Going by way of with the preliminary mannequin building and its adjustments requires a major funding in BIM software program, plus computer systems designed to course of the substantial knowledge load that BIM requires.

Employees coaching 

Educating and coaching staff to make use of this software program is unquestionably required, and so is hiring new employees members particularly to deal with mentioned coaching and even to only use the BIM software program. Further house and assets could be required as effectively, on this case.

Incompatibility with companions 

BIM utilization has quickly elevated the world over. Nonetheless, many building contractors are but to undertake this method.  Many nonetheless want CAD software program as their bread and butter. 

The most effective 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’d look as soon as constructed.  Evidently, 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 knowledge and superior evaluation engines

And whereas it could 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 number of the greatest BIM software program available in the market at this time and what makes them stand out.

*Beneath are the highest 5 main BIM software program from G2’s Fall 2022 Grid® Report. Some opinions 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 conversant in the software program for CAD functions, it helps ease the educational curve.

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

AutoCAD assessment, Paulo C.

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

AutoCAD assessment, Josh D.

2. Revit

Autodesk® Revit® software program is particularly constructed for constructing info modeling. It has numerous customizations that can assist you arrive at your required design. 

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

– Revit assessment, Lakshya G.

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

Revit assessment, Swapnil M

3. SketchUp

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

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

SketchUp assessment, Syed Mustafa A.

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

SketchUp assessment, Ecemnaz Y.

4. Navisworks

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

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

Navisworks assessment, Amul P.


What customers dislike:
“The free model can’t append new information. When utilizing the supervisor software, the conflict detection system will be fairly complicated and time-consuming to generate a clear checklist of clashes.”


5. Archicad

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

What customers like:
“The good 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 accredited, it would not take very a lot time to maneuver onto manufacturing drawings, or sharing information with key consultants.”

Archicad assessment, 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 chopping by way of.

Archicad assessment, Jonathan G.

BIM is the second

Understanding BIM is changing into important in relation to fields like AEC or MEP. It is changing 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.  

In the event you’re all in favour of how engineering and design can create an influence on the world, learn extra about how one can leverage environmental engineering for what you are promoting.

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

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