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How Building Information Modeling (BIM) is Bringing the Construction Industry into the 21st Century

Posted by Jeff Hopper on Oct 20, 2016 10:31:06 AM

Traditional construction design processes resemble a linear work flow: a series of tasks among various trades each passing their portion of a project down the line with minimal coordination amongst each other. The result of this is an arrangement of systems designed in isolation with no relationship or integration with each other. This lack of initial communication generates more conflicts later in the design and building process.  

The traditional linear building process:


According to Popular Science Blogger Sure House:

We are at the brink of a time in which an entire project can be designed, managed and executed all in one location, on a single file. This process is called Building Information Modeling (BIM) and it is bringing the construction industry into the 21st century.

By adopting an integrated design approach, all the coordination is started at the initial phase of the design process. This is achieved by essentially front loading the process and bringing all the various parties to the 'table' from the very beginning. This provides opportunities to be much more efficient with time, create coupled systems that work together and ultimately reduce the need for costly changes later down the road.

A building information model is essentially a comprehensive 3D file that incorporates all the components that make up a building. This allows for what is called the integrative design process, enabling everyone to contribute to the project from inception:


BIM is similar to a cloud-stored text document that allows for multiple people to make and view edits, but with 3D objects instead of words. This is significant because cost elements in addition to design elements can be incorporated into a BIM model. With this associated data, previously daunting tasks (like recalculating your project costs or how many beams you're using) are now done automatically as updates to the design are being made. 

BIM is rapidly becoming the tool of choice for many architects. The AIA estimates that half of all design firms currently use BIM.  Given BIM’s proven cost savings this number is only going to grow. One of the challenges facing the design/construction industry with BIM is the outputting of (BIM created) 3D data onto a 2D environment such a traditional large format construction document. Because of their complexity, BIM documents reproduced in black & white would be unreadable and therefore would need to be reproduced in color for optimal readability.

Until recently the printing of color construction documents was prohibitively expensive and time consuming. This is not longer the case. LDI Reproprinting Centers offers extremely fast turnaround on the printing of color construction documents and at pricing comparable to what you would normally pay for a black and white construction plan. For more information on how LDI color prinitng along with building information modeling (BIM) can help bring your company into the 21st century click here. Contact any LDI location to see how easy it is to get started on a color print program for your company.

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