Building Information Modeling is a design process where characteristic data of components is directly integrated into a digital model. The result is an accurate expression of size and characteristics. In advanced BIM workflows, elements are digitally linked to equipment schedules. When designers make modifications, such as a change in equipment model number, the equipment schedules update automatically.
In addition, BIM projects supplement traditional 2D drawings by providing three-dimensional modeling. With a 3D building model, designers and building owners can visualize a relatively accurate sense of the final product, giving them direct involvement in the design process. This can be helpful in coordination with other disciplines and preventing construction delays.
Some data that might be stored inside a BIM design element includes:
- UL Listing
- AHRI Number
- Equipment Model Number
- Physical Dimensions
A BIM project will still have conventional printed design plans, and the printed plans are not discernibly different from a project designed without BIM. However, the engineering work to produce those drawings is quite different.