BIM everywhere: The Shower Room
OK so I can’t switch off from BIM: I eat it, breathe it, sleep it, talk about it and can’t help from seeing the application of BIM everywhere… even a recent trip to a bathroom showroom…
I found myself in a rather smart bathroom showroom yesterday with my long-suffering wife discussing designs for our shower room. Apparently my DIY job of 15 years ago has served its purpose (and in our corporate colours, too!).
So, the collaboration began. The client (=my wife and I) and the contractor (=shower room designer) met following the site visit (to measure up). Three elements were addressed:
- Confirmation of the project brief
- Proposals to meet the client requirements
A virtual 3D model of the proposed design allowed us to check against the brief. We could pinpoint and discuss tricky elements at this early stage. The process was so much slicker and quicker with this intelligent, object-rich, 3D model.
The Data-Rich Model
We discussed options. We looked at alternative products. We considered ‘what if’ scenarios created as a natural part of this exercise. Because the inserted ‘products’ were intelligent, data-rich objects from the manufacturer, new schedules were easy to generate at any stage for evaluation and re-evaluation against the budget (which was, as always, being stretched!)
Errrr… what’s this got to do with BIM?
Everything. Here’s why:
- There is an existing asset which forms the basis of the BIM: measurements, accesses, windows/openings, existing service locations/runs (hot/cold water, drainage, wiring and fittings, extractor ducting etc).
- There is a brief to deliver a new project including specific requirements that need to be met and a budget to work to.
- There is a lead designer with responsibility to deliver proposals that meet and can be tested against the project requirements and to be able to communicate this efficiently to an appropriate level of detail at defined stages with the client in an agreed and accessible format.*
- The Supply chain is fully engaged in the process as product manufacturers have made available intelligent, measurable objects that can easily be incorporated and interrogated in the virtual model.
- Accurate information can be extracted from the model at any stage for budgetary purposes or to provide take-offs, worksheets for associated trades.
- Everything is controlled via a single, data-rich, virtual model of the asset.
[* I’ll be honest: I did not define any particular ‘information requirements’ that may have dictated how the model was created, managed, maintained or delivered but most clients do not necessarily define this and often it is up to the design team to agree and adhere to the information requirements for a particular project.]
Information and Collaboration
Clearly, the above is a rather simplistic project as the ‘design team’ is hardly complicated. A more traditional and complex design team will require a significantly more sophisticated methodology for collaboration. Remember that the need for collaboration throughout the design, construction and build phases (BIM) will probably be very different to those required for the client to manage the ‘asset’ going forward.
BIM, BIM Everywhere
If I decide to open my chic, new wet-room as a business to the public, I will want tools and the technology to help me manage the Asset Information Model (AIM) in use. And a whole new set of tools to help me save my marriage!