What is BIM and what does it mean for construction?

BIM stands for building information modelling, but what exactly does this mean? Put simply, it is the process involving the generation and management of digital representations of a construction project. Combining information and technology, the digital representation is constructed from data from various sources and this digital model is a shared resource over the course of a project’s lifecycle.

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How does it work?

There are four levels of BIM, from 0 to 3. Level 0 involves 2D computer-aided design (CAD) software, which may have little or no digital integration. Copies of plans may just be printed on paper and exchanged. Level 1 involves a mix of 2D and 3D designs, with perhaps cloud-based services for data sharing. Level 2 is currently the minimum required for public projects and involves data such as costs and scheduling, which is managed in a 3D environment for sharing. Level 3 involves fully collaborative projects, with all parties able to access and modify the data.

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Why BIM?

Small companies may be apprehensive about using BIM, as it can appear daunting and there may be concerns regarding the investment required. Even in larger cities, such as construction companies Manchester, there are many that are not yet embracing BIM.

The UK government has placed a great deal of importance on BIM for the construction industry, describing it as a collaboration between the construction sector and the software industry. This collaborative way of working, which presents opportunities for both sectors, creates a more efficient method to design and create projects.


There are many benefits BIM can provide for a project and business. The easy data exchange means higher efficiency. If all parties can access and modify a project easily rather than printing or emailing changes for others to make, this literally frees up time that can be better spent. Using BIM software can also mean better quality information and enhanced communication, not to mention the benefit of simply futureproofing your company. Businesses such as Piggott and Whitfield Manchester construction company choose to embrace BIM simply because it is seen to be the future standard of the construction industry.

BIM is changing the face of construction; as a result, construction companies should think about adopting a BIM strategy so that they can see the benefits of these technological advances.


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