What does BIM stand for? How can it help me build better buildings?
BIM can stand for...
Building Information Modeling
Building Information Modeling is the most common use of BIM. This term describes processes, tools, technologies, and formats that revolve around digital (data) representation of Buildings.
Our buildings are only going to get more complex. BIM workflows from planning and speculation, to design and construction, and finally productized operation, are being developed at breakneck speeds to solve current and future building challenges.
Building Information Model(s)
Often called a "BIM Model". This is a pet peeve of Building Information Managers, as Building Information Model Model doesn't make too much sense. For our purposes we usually just call it the "model".
The model and its contents will have varying formats and standards depending on where in the value chain the BIM touch point is. Usually, the model is in a proprietary digital format, with Autodesk Revit's .rvt being the most common. There are open format initiatives such as IFC gaining ground as not only a data standard but also an interoperability standard.
BIM is simply the data representation of buildings or building ideas. The principles and workflows are not reliant on any single software or format.
Building Information Manager
Often called "BIM Manager", we believe this role involves more than the management of Building Information Models, but workflows and processes that ensure the quality of the Building Information Ecosystem.
The Building Information Manager can take on a diversity of tasks depending on the needs of their office. Usually, this is the person who is responsible for the implementation of BIM workflows and training their teammates. Unfortunately, this often involves troubleshooting and resolving user and IT issues as well. A great BIM enables teams by making building information workflows easy to adopt and use.
Building Information Modeler
Traditionally junior Architects or Engineers, Building Information Modelers are the modern equivalent of the draftsman. However, because of the increasing demand for building models not only in design, but upstream and downstream users has created a wide range of industry needs and requirements for modelers. A good modeler is adept at the software and platform in use while being a technical expert in their field. Advanced modelers will have a deeply integrated understanding between the data model and the building model.