Imagine year 2050, you are sitting in one room and you have just imagined your dream home in your head. And you have just asked your mobile phone to get info about it. In no time, within a few clicks, a ‘Model’ with all the insights pops up on your mobile screen. And you realize that is nothing but the dream house you just dreamed of. This process is nothing but the act of ‘BIM’.

The Presence Of BIM: Even though BIM has firmly established itself as a building design standard, many of its most essential features are still under-utilized. While it’s true that BIM has its roots of development as a powerful design tool, at its core, it’s a communication and collaboration software. Hence, for the future of BIM, industry insiders expect to see designers and builders using BIM in stages outside design. According to Jeremy Thibodeau, AMER Leader, Construction Customer Success for Autodesk, in the future, usage of BIM will be spread more evenly through preconstruction, site construction, and operations and maintenance.

Imagine a future in which collaboration would be painless, integration seamless, and access to architecture, engineering, and construction expertise limitless. Finally, imagine a future where the ability to plug-and-play business partners into your project teams could be done with almost no effort.

At first, this might sound too good to be true. But just as BIM has significantly enhanced how Building Teams plan, deliver, and manage the built environment, cloud computing is now set to revolutionize BIM. According to “Sizing the Cloud,” an April 2011 research paper by Stefan Reid (published by Forrester Research), the global market for cloud computing will reach $241 billion in 2020. Clearly, cloud computing is poised to challenge traditional business models and create substantial opportunities globally for AEC firms.

The strategic roadmap for the BIM industry has four levels. Each level represents the extent of collaboration and the application of digitization to a construction or infrastructure project.

BIM Level 0 denotes a complete absence of collaboration between stakeholders, and projects will only use 2D computer-aided design (CAD) drafting. Distribution is either paper-based or electronic (or a mixture of both). This BIM level is pretty much obsolete today.

BIM Level 1 represents partial collaboration between multiple stakeholders and disciplines. Projects at this level use a mixture of 2D and 3D CAD drafting. Information is shared digitally using a common data environment (CDE), managed by the principal contractor and shared among team members, and projects may also use some standard data structures and formats.

BIM Level 2 projects are fully collaborative, with stakeholders using intelligent, data-rich 3D objects in a sophisticated BIM environment. In this instance, all parties working on a project can combine their BIM and design data to work together and share information through a CDE. The CDE enables users to carry out regular checks against data validation strategies to ensure the project stays on track.

One indicator of maturity for BIM Level 2 projects is the inclusion of a fourth dimension as represented by time, which enables planning of construction sequences.

Another is a fifth dimension of cost information for improved cost management.

BIM Level 3 denotes full collaboration and full integration among all disciplines and stakeholders. They’re using a single, shared project view for data integration, which all parties can access and modify as defined through process and security controls.

Projects at this level can also have dedicated project streams that inform facility management (FM). In effect, a six-dimensional model which enables improved asset management for the complete lifecycle of a building.

As we identified earlier, BIM is here to stay & add more to it, it will grow bigger & better..!!