Traditionally building design has relied mostly upon 2 dimensional drawings to plan out the construction process but a new concept is set to replace the traditional way in which buildings are planned from construction all the way through to demolition. The process has been labelled BIM, Building Information Modelling and stretches beyond the 3D realm. BIM does not focus on just the physical characteristics of the building, but also focuses on the function of the building through until the building is scheduled for demolition. This is where the other dimensions feature.
Time is the 4th dimension in this model and cost is the 5th, which gives a complete overall perspective of how the building is going to work, from the structure to the office furniture, office desks and office chairs. Building information models include everything from the buildings early concept design, to the buildings occupation and general function. To make sure that the information is managed efficiently, a BIM manager maybe appointed, this is very similar to a project manager that you may find being appointed to a more traditional construction plan.
The advantage of using BIM is that now there is more information, planning, coordination and communication where it was impossible to do so before. BIM is being used more and more among architects with today 6 out of 10 adopting this process. According to a recent study half of all contractors use BIM models in their building plans, which is four times the amount than the number of people who used it in 2007. This increase in the usage of BIM and the amount of information that it contains means that it can be used amongst all trades and help to resolve conflicts that previously would have been apparent before the BIM process was introduced. Below are some typical images that you might find in a typical BIM model.