Building Information Modeling: How The Construction Industry Is Getting Smart

Are you familiar with what a ‘light table’ is? No trick question here, it is simply a backlit surface, commonly used to overlay drawings. Now imagine you have architects, engineers and builders all huddled around one. They are standing there with a stack of drawings trying to find ‘clashes’, … aka places where objects are intersecting and shouldn’t be.

This scenario is unfortunately an all too common headache brought on by the intricate systems that go into our buildings. This process has historically been a limitation for construction projects, but the days of rustling with multiple drawing and spending hours of coordination over a light table are now over. 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.

If you are to look at the traditional design process you will notice it resembles a linear work flow; a series of tasks in which one trade tends to pass their portion of a project along down the line with minimal coordination amongst each other. The client & designer will generate the overarching ‘big picture idea’, and hand it off to the designers, engineers and other various trades who then implement their idea of the ‘best fitting system’ for the project. As a result of this, you are left with an arrangement of systems designed in isolation with no relationship or integration with each other. … (read more)