Building Information Modeling isn’t glamorous phrase. It doesn’t conjure up images of the turbo-charged start-up, full of enthusiastic coders adding another market-cap with every keystroke. It is a sector though, that is attracting the interest of tech investors – and that’s generally a clue as to the importance of an emerging industry. Building Information Modeling isn’t a new sector, the concept has been around for almost forty years, but it was only a decade ago that BIM became an ‘industry’ following a publication by CAD company Autodesk. With BIM software you create models of buildings or facilities – but not just the CAD images traditionally used by architects and builders, but models that display other characteristics of buildings, for example the functional characteristics of a site. So you add digital images or files that show the air-conditioning system due to be fitted but what if you could get the manufacturers of various air-con systems to give you digital files for various types and capacities of cooling system? The power consumption, physical and aesthetic impact of building facilities can be examined, or ‘modeled’. What if you could add images and accompanying technical information about the walls that will be erected inside the building, and on those walls you could digitally ‘paint’ the exact type of covering or paint to be used. With manufacturer information integrated into the design and modeling process you could end up knowing how a building will look, feel and even sound when people are in it. Data assisted decision making from concept, through design and construction right through the life of a building and how its eventual demolition p will impact a landscape, and community.
The construction industry has a had a difficult five years, but it’s changing. More projects are being commissioned but back-room techniques are changing how the industry works. BIM isn’t the only technology transforming the construction industry though. Integrated Project Delivery is a principle of collaborative alliance across all the stakeholders in a project that is only now feasible given the development of cloud services and Software as a Service; it’s difficult to collaborate if your Gigabytes of 3D drawings are on your own server behind a firewall. Infrastructure has enabled an entire philosophy. And it is this infrastructure that will enable the next phase.Technology companies are becoming the bright spot in the economic outlook based on their increasing role within macro-economic environments, 2013 has demonstrated the sector's vibrant activity and its contribution to the global economic recovery.[/su_quote]
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