The term "Building Information Modeling" (BIM) was used for the first time by American architect Phil Bernestein, who later became Vice President of software company Autodesk.
The popularization of the term was later made by Jerry Laiserin, referring to the representation of the manufacturing process, in order to facilitate the exchange and the interoperability of information in digital format.
The first implementation of BIM technology was in 1987, from Graphisoft, and now is the strongest indication of future changes in the field of design and construction worldwide.
The term BIM is a new acronym in the field of architecture and construction, with the potential of important benefits throughout the building life-cycle.
It is potentially a very important tool for professionals who are working in the field of design, architecture and construction.
The proposed definition of the National BIM Standards Committee defines "building information modeling" as "a complete digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM model is a resource of information for a building - facility, thus forming a reliable basis for decisions made throughout its life cycle, which is available from the earliest stages of design conception to demolition".
The benefits from BIM usage in the design and construction process are mainly referred to:
Improved efficiency in the design and construction due to easy availability of information.
Direct renewal and greater accuracy of designs.
Greater accuracy of measures, cost and better study quality.
Faster and earlier energy efficiency to the study process.
Faster project delivery.
Manufacturing control leading to reduced risk and costs.
Despite all the procedural advantages that come from the advanced technology and the more efficient functionality, the true value of BIM is in the "increase in value" that betrays. This increase in value relates to all those possibilities, partnerships and relationships among, both the involved professionals and also between professional and client. This increase in value appears at each stage. BIM is essentially a platform of interdisciplinary cooperation and communication that allows the user-client and the involved professionals to actively participate to designing the project early on.
Those interested can keep track of costs, can examin the design strategies - choices and can also estimate the energy efficiency very fast, and from the early stages of the study. With the implementation of BIM, procedures and analyses that, until now have been complicated, time consuming and expensive in their reality are facilitated.
USE & APPLICATION
Building Information Modeling is a practice, an operations methodology, to get well-informed decisions, rather than CAD software, as wrongly perceived by many. BIM's integrated application contains information for the whole building, from walls to components to engineering systems and material measurements and suppliers' information, for each specific project.
BIM is based on the use of "smart" digital models which provide the necessary information to make the design and the studying of building and facilities faster, cheaper, with better quality and lower impact in the environment. The purpose of the overall BIM approach is to manage to achieve more, by using less.
However, the scope of methodology is not limited to the design and/or study. It's usage and benefits are extended to all phases of the project's life-cycle, by supporting services such as cost and project management, constructability and operations management. The final product of such a holistic process is, neither just a better building nor a simple 3D model on the computer. It is a number of information that are harmoniously attached with the - virtual and real - structured result which can be used for any future use.
The basic idea of the whole methodology is the accurate, integrated design and virtual construction of the building as it will be built - before it is built, in order to resolve any problems that may arise along the way. That is the reason that, in some countries, the same holistic design and construction methodology is called "Virtual Design & Construction" (VDC).