In brief – BIM has proven advantages and overseas
acceptance, but many are wary
While some argue that the improved methods of electronic design,
construction and communication made possible by Building
Information Modelling (BIM) will improve coordination, efficiency
and quality for all project participants, others are concerned that
this new single digital data repository of project information is
costly to procure and implement and may result in lost intellectual
What is Building Information Modelling?
Building Information Modelling is a process of maintaining an
integrated repository of all information relevant to a building or
construction project throughout the lifecycle of that project. This
repository facilitates the storage, integration and visualisation
of all the data that emerges for a project as it is developed and
A Building Information Model uses both geometric and
non-geometric data in two and three dimensional modelling software
to allow principals, contractors and consultants to interact
digitally by bringing together all aspects of a project in one
A Building Information Model is used for the creation and
management of all building systems, design, development and
analysis including architectural, structural, mechanical,
electrical, plumbing and fire aspects of a development.
What are the advantages of BIM?
BIM is attractive to many principals as it allows data relating
to all stages of the lifecycle of a project to be stored and
accessed at any time to ensure maximum operational efficiency and
optimal management of a building or development over the life of
BIM has also been championed by some who use it for greater
accuracy and efficiency in both the design and construction
process. This is a desirable outcome for any project participant,
but particularly in light of the increasing design complexity of
many of today's developments and the often stringent energy
efficiency rating requirements imposed on new projects.
Legal and contractual considerations around BIM
The use of BIM alters the legal landscape at all levels of
project participation, at the very least where intellectual
property rights, liability and insurances are concerned. For BIM to
be effective and achieve the levels of efficiency and cost savings
many associate with its implementation, it is critical to ensure
that the protocols, timeframes and rights and responsibilities of
each project participant are considered in the early stages.
All these need to be recorded properly in contracts to ensure
that all commercial objectives are achievable and that no
participant is vulnerable to suffering detriment as a result of
their participation in BIM on a project.
BIM increasingly in use in projects overseas
BIM is now in use world wide, including in Macau (City of
Dreams), the UK (London Hospital Project) and the US (Freedom
Tower, New York City). In the UK, the government has issued a
mandate requiring the implementation of BIM across projects over a
certain monetary value.
BIM is also taking off in Australia, with some high profile
projects adopting the use of BIM in some form, including
Sydney's newly completed 1 Bligh Street, the Ark in North
Sydney, Eureka Tower in Melbourne, the Victoria Desalination Plant,
the UTS Dr Chau Chak Wing building designed by Frank Gehry and the
Adelaide Oval upgrade.
In October/November 2010 the Australian Institute of Architects
BIM in Australia 2010 Report, which highlighted the
importance of federal government initiatives in driving the
implementation of BIM in Australia.
It remains to be seen what 2012 will bring for the expansion of
BIM in Australia and whether State or Federal governments consider
that the productivity gains warrant its wider application, as
mandated by the government in the UK.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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