At the end of the 1900s, construction design gradually evolved from hand-drawn plans to computer-aided design (CAD). However, these drawings were still primarily visual representations, which made it difficult for different players to work collaboratively and share construction project information.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) brought the building industry into the Information Age. BIM enables the creation of a shared data model available for all concerned; from the designers of the building to the construction company, and finally the property owners and managers.
Architects and construction engineers use BIM to create 3D models of a complete and furnished building. These models can also contain forward-looking information related to the life cycle of the building and its expected maintenance requirements. Information such as time planning (4D) and cost estimates (5D) bring additional dimensions to BIM models. BIM models can be combined with AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) to achieve more modern and effective visualisations.
Today there are millions of active BIM users across the globe. The majority of them use software such as Revit (Autodesk), MicroStation (Bentley) and Graphisoft Archicad, Allplan and Vectorworks (all part of Nemetschek Group).