The term ‘Digital Transformation’ is not recent, but it is here to stay. More than a process, it is a way of being in a given industry, company or service. New technology has influenced all business sectors and having a communication process in line with the digital universe is just the first step.
Societies are changing and the areas of architecture and construction are facing new challenges today and tomorrow. The innovation and digitalisation processes and trends, which some believed would be nothing more than a fad, are today indispensable in all project and construction phases.
Profitability and efficiency are crucial in the sector, and they can only be improved by optimising the processes, technologies and policies that generate data throughout the entire project. In this article we focus on the importance of BIM technology in the digital transformation of architecture and the subsequent adaptation of the architecture and engineering software.
What are BIM Objects?
The BIM model is a methodology that allows you to carry out digital simulations, involving the creation of 3D models of buildings, including the full range of associated products and materials, as well as all the processes linked to the sharing and modelling of information.
Associated with the 3D model of the building project is a set of data that describe its behaviour, and in conjunction with the laws of geometry, allows simulations to be carried out: quantification of materials and costs, energy analysis and consumption, among others. As such, the BIM methodology incorporates a fourth and fifth dimension (time and cost).
Sharing and managing all the information relative to the enterprise during its life cycle, from design and construction to the management of the asset and its possible demolition, is the essence of BIM. The methodology allows the whole life cycle of a project to be managed with the advantage of automating the concept, programming, analysis, documentation, production, logistics and construction processes.
BIM projects allow the inclusion of real products and materials that are then used throughout the workflow and in the construction process, incorporating all their features, specifications and acquisition information. This allows collaborative work among architects, clients, constructors and engineers, transforming all the phases into a single intelligent process. BIM objects therefore comprise an essential and strategic tool that brings benefits, avoiding errors and omissions in the design phase and in the construction.
With regard to architecture, the most widely used software packages when working with BIM are Revit and Archicad.
How the software has adapted to BIM Objects
With the growing use of BIM Objects, the major software houses for the engineering sector have been forced to adapt and develop modules that enable the software to integrate BIM Objects. Programs and tools for 3D Stress and Deformations, such as SAP2000, ETABS and SAFE are now prepared for this integration.
Thanks to the creation of these modules, the software can upload data, such as the geometry of the buildings, based on BIM objects created by the Architecture projects, which are converted in the calculation programs. This technological advance has led to an optimisation of time, given that 50% of the execution time of a structure project involves the construction of the Calculation Model, which through these integrations, are incorporated for the most part.
Thus, the most important aspects for the implementation of BIM are the continuity of the information flow throughout the value chain and a cohesive work process, which generates value from the client’s point of view.