What is BIM, its benefits, applications and role in structural engineering


BIM stands for Building Information Modeling

BIM is a three dimensional illustration of generating, distributing, transforming, transporting, manipulating and managing effective information about different structures of buildings, railway structures, roads, bridges and tunnels from construction to operation and from maintenance to demolition. BIM can identify coordination problems and is an effective solution for monitoring the health and life cycle of structural elements and their composition.

Construction industry is diverting towards digital innovation and term BIM was first coined in 1992. AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) recognizes this field of architectural and construction disciplines.

BIM and Structural Engineering

BIM is transforming the work across architecture and engineering. BIM provides opportunity to approve better project results and the application has been growing with a sudden increase after 2014. BIM gradually became popular in architecture and structural engineering. BIM implements software and information process procedures for designing, documenting and other facilities keeping in view policies, standards and regulations.

BIM provides very careful information for AEC industry. BIM adds value to Civil engineering in general and structural engineering in particular. Structural Engineering is a subset of Civil engineering. Most important benefits of BIM are coordination, consistency of data, improved visualization of problems and supervising construction activities. BIM is a recent development in architecture. With BIM technology a visual model of building is digitally constructed. This model is known as a building Information model. It helps engineers, architects and constructors to visualize what is to be built in the surrounding environment.

Benefits of BIM

Awareness of BIM results in higher productivity. BIM in areas of structural engineering starts with fundamental concepts like design, computer analysis of data structure, information management and collaboration in construction activities. BIM content is widely read and understood. BIM research is carried on modeling of structural components, automation of the assembly and dynamic structural health monitoring.

BIM is used to design and document building infrastructure and prerequisites. It provides wide range of assistance in transporting material, deploying workforce and wide range of prospects in area of execution. It facilitates both the client and engineers. Implementation of BIM principles gives rise to rapid construction execution and gives rise to effective monitoring.

BIM has no specific definition and it covers a wide range of execution aspects which facilitates site workforce in a collaborative way to share, exchange and manage throughout the entire building project including planning, designing, construction, operation, maintenance and demolition phase as well. BIM got immense popularity in the field of construction particularly high rise buildings and tall structures.

BIM enables multi-dimensional models including time, costs. material and design. Building Information Modeling is now concerned as an essential part of building design and implementation.

Applications of BIM

Application of BIM in urban environment, it helps to analyze building concepts, energy analysis,
fabrication routes and logistics. Construction detailed drawings and comprehending the physical attributes before construction is vital and are prerequisites. By implementing BIM one
understands more about the outcome of the project and visual attributes of the building site.

Applying BIM on a model building it becomes more comprehensive for a client in analyzing and mapping out the physical attributes of its area and its distance from main road and nearby surroundings. Increase in traffic noises and excessive demand of electricity, gas water system and ventilation are primary factors to be kept in view for building execution and technical evaluation.

BIM technology helps the urban development of buildings. Risk Management is kept in view. All factors affecting the sustainability of the building are kept in view. BIM is very useful in urban construction and can make a building survive in an urban environment for a longer time. BIM can be applied to various projects for better outcome and sustainability. BIM can be applied in execution of roads, high rise buildings, tunnels, housing colonies and projects of similar capacity.

Good quality of information and passing quality information regarding construction execution raises the level of construction and denoted as a quality construction project.

Project execution has changed with passage of time and there has been gradual improvement in construction execution prerequisites or in technical terminology it is BIM.  Building Information Management.

Level of automation is enhanced as procedures are digitized, record keeping is digitized and construction technical drawings are created on CAD software so it can be said it has replaced old technology. Engineers and constructors all over the world have developed new IT tools and softwares for transformation and timely procedures have been adopted for quality and timely construction execution. BIM lays emphasis on these features and so many other factors are kept in view as well.

Every prerequisite and information is important before construction execution and by using BIM phenomena engineers can perform quality construction works. Quality information and digitization of technology and its progressive application is giving rise to construction execution at urban areas around the globe.


According to the writer’s understanding BIM is virtual model for intended structure, as an initial step that comes from a planner/architect which than goes to structural engineer for the stability analysis of the different building components based on the standards and then this model is forwarded to architect for the verification and necessary changes which then is proceeded to the construction engineer for the cost and time analysis of the modeled building for the further implementation in real world. So in a nutshell, based on this single model the relevant stakeholders would be working to save time, cost and various constraints of the whole building design process.


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