How architects use building information modelling software

Architects are using building information computer software to improve how buildings are designed and managed.

Computer Aided Design Software

Computer Aided Design (CAD) software applications are used to create two dimensional drawings, and have replaced those done with pencil and paper. Later developments of CAD added 3D displays, which could convert two dimensional drawing to 3D models that can be rotated and re-positioned to get a feel of what the finished building looks like.

Building Information Software

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is used in similar ways to CAD to create drawings and 3D objects, but it can do so much more. It aids the design and the construction operations, as well as helping to manage existing buildings.

At the heart of BIM software is a database which contains intelligent objects. If an object is changed, then the software automatically updates any views of it. Objects from one project can be re-used in another.

The software can be used by anyone working on a project, including the architects as well as the construction team. As all partners are using the same information, this streamlines communication and enables problems and issues to be dealt with efficiently.

Energy analysis

BIM software can create an energy consumption analysis of a building. By changing elements of the design and re-running the energy analysis, the projected energy consumption can be reduced.

Visualize data

BIM software can be used to visualize data after a building has been constructed. For example, the sales data for a retail building can be imported into BIM software and the floor diagram colour coded to display which shelves in the store sell the most products.

BMI software has the potential to evolve the role of the architect from being only a designer to that of spatial problem solver.

Posted by Matt Hughes
October 2, 2015

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