Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an approach to building design that is currently gathering significant momentum across the entire construction industry.
BIM is a process that creates a single 3D model to represent an entire construction project. All of the information for that project resides within this single model, which drives significant efficiencies for all involved parties.
Building Information Models are made up of intelligent components that contain all their required information, from dimensions to performance data and beyond, incorporating specification and even cost data. The value of this information increases throughout the life cycle of the project, as it is a common resource for designers and clients/occupiers.
In 2011, Paul Morrell, the governments chief construction adviser, stated that BIM use will be mandatory on government projects within five years. With government projects accounting for 60% of all construction projects, construction companies who refuse to adopt BIM would be cutting their potential client base drastically.
Whilst the design & build professionals have been gradually moving towards BIM, it seems manufacturers have been slow coming out of the blocks. However, many of the large contractors are starting to request their suppliers work in BIM, and if this trend continues, we can expect manufacturers to start taking notice.
Whilst it may be scary for manufacturers to start the journey, the benefits will surely make the transition worthwhile:
BIM enables specifiers to easily embed a product in to their plans - and once in the model, they become an integral part of the proposal and so less likely to be de/re-specified further down the build process.
By providing BIM objects, specifiers have the convenience of being able to 'drag and drop' your product in to their designs. And once BIM becomes compulsory, if you don't have BIM objects, you aren't going to be specified.
Your BIM object will ensure occupiers and facilities managers know who manufactured the original light fitting or window etc. - and so are much more likely to come to you at the point they need to replace or repair the component.
Manufacturer's should see BIM as a massive opportunity. If you are an early adopter, you can gain a significant advantage over your competitors
Zehnder, a leading manufacturer of designer radiators, concluded the sooner they adopted BIM the better.
UK brand manager Louise Harris comments,
"Its great news for our firm as we believe that no other radiator manufacturers have BIM components for their products so we would be the first. It will no doubt be a great boost to our own sales and marketing strategy.
Zehnder approached bimstore.co.uk to produce their BIM objects, and within 3 weeks their entire product range (52,683 products in 15 families) was BIM ready.
bimstore.co.uk not only create the BIM objects, they also host them and through their eco-system, distribute the objects for promotion on a variety of other platforms, including Barbour Product Search.
As part of their investment, Zehnder also decided to opt for a bimstore microsite. This is a portal into their bimstore product range, giving them the flexibility to supply their content directly from their own site - without having to worry about managing two sets of content, hosting packages or dealing with any amendments to their own (global) website. Because the microsite is unique to them, the design and styling is all their own and fits into their website seamlessly.
If you are a building product manufacturer, and are considering adopting BIM, please do get in touch with one of the Barbour team. We'll be very happy to go through the technology, and we can put you in touch with the right people to build your objects for you.
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