What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling ( BIM ) is Building Information Modeling, and involves creating an integrated digital model of all disciplines spanning the building's lifecycle. Parametric 3D modeling and interoperability are essential features that support this concept. It can be understood as a "evolution" of CAD, with its 2D drawings, but through 3D collaborative models, BIM goes beyond, which means that changes are processed in real time throughout the model, preventing the propagation of errors and streamlining the upgrade processes.

And what's the difference between BIM and CAD? BIM is more than just a 3D CAD, more than just a 3D model of a building. BIM solutions use interrelated database technologies to integrate information and relationships between models, creating "smart models."



Research among building professionals who have already moved to BIM lists several short and long term benefits.

Short-term benefits of BIM:

  • Reducing Errors and Omissions in Documents
  • Creation of New Market Opportunities
  • Reducing Rework
  • New Service Offerings
  • Reducing the Cycle of Production of Specific Workflows


Long-term benefits of BIM:

  • Maintain Similar and Repeated Business
  • Reduction of Project Duration
  • Increase Profits
  • Reduced Construction Costs
  • Decrease of Claims / Judicial Issues


The various dimensions of BIM (BIM 3D, BIM 4D, BIM 5D, BIM 6D, BIM 7D) can be understood as "layers" of information that are added. Here is a brief description of them:

Use of drawing of curves and two-dimensional figures, area analysis; the 2D Study that heads several projects still have a valid place within BIM thinking.

BIM 3D - Three Dimensional Space

Solids and three-dimensional space. Normally associated to geometric modeling and its analyzes. BIM requires 3D minimally, but 3D can exist without BIM as simple objects devoid of intelligence. The BIM 3D consists of the consolidation of the projects of the work in the same virtual environment, in three dimensions and with all the necessary elements for its characterization and spatial positioning. In it, clash detection is performed, that is, the identification of collisions and spatial inconsistencies. Ex: Air conditioning pipe colliding with the structural beam.

BIM 4D - The Time

Phases of the project, its stages, its sequence of construction. Adding the time dimension to the model, we have the graphic elements of the building that can be attached to a work schedule, which makes it possible for the manager to follow the physical progress of the construction, and also makes it possible to check clashes that may happen over time.

BIM 5D - The Cost

If a quantifiable element exists in space, and is measurable through time, it can then be added to the "layer" cost. Each element of the project is now linked to budget data.
Thus, each dimensioned element is "linked" to its composition, inputs, services. And any change in size in the plant makes it possible to update the budget.
The 5D model allows project participants to view the progression of construction activities and their time-related costs.

BIM 6D and 7D - Sustainability and Maintenance

The concern for sustainability is also growing, with projects for energy analysis via DProfiler, EcoTech, LEED, among others. The BIM 6D encompasses this concern.

"Facilities management" and "AsBuilts" make up the BIM 7D, that is, the BIM lifecycle management in question. You can control the equipment warranty, maintenance plans, manufacturer and supplier data, operating costs and even photos. It is the increasingly common requirement of owners and operators of commercial buildings, hospitals, airports, colleges, effluent treatment plants and industries for their buildings.


With regard to "post-BIM", such as the 6D and 7D, there is still no definite consensus regarding nomenclature, and many also call them EIM, Engineering Integration Management, in some cases also defined as Enterprise Information Modeling, ie , Engineering Management Integration, or Enterprise Information Modeling.

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