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Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM is a partnership method in which the various stakeholders in the construction sector integrally work together in a 3D Building Information Model (BIM). To do so, all the parties use the same database model that links data from the architect, client, installer and contractor. In this model, it is directly visible how the different disciplines behave in relation to each other. A Building Information Model is NOT a single model: it is a series of files linked to each other at certain moments, with information being read from all of them together. They may be model files, but can also be databases, Excel sheets and so on.

This puts VK’s adage “Designing together” into action at a virtual level as well, because BIM demands integral and integrated cooperation from all the parties involved. There is not yet any legal basis for BIM in Belgium, which means that this is exactly where the greatest challenge lies: in working together and exchanging standards!

However, there are countless advantages

  • faster and more efficient working process: information is shared automatically and can be reused.
  • better design: designs can be turned inside out or benchmarked. The process allows innovations and adjustments to be made more quickly within the designs.
  • life cycle cost and environmental data: the model allows improved predictions of the impact of environmental factors and the impact on the LCC.
  • better construction documentation: the output documents for the contractor and installer contain more information.
  • automated assemblyl product data can be directly linked to production lines for assembling structural systems or building components.
  • life cycle data: all the data concerning design, construction and operational performance of systems and operations can be used in facility management.

Specific advantages for the architects and engineers

  • BIM makes it possible to export data to the calculation model
  • the compatibility of BIM with design software such as REVIT saves large amounts of time
  • sharing knowledge between architects and engineers occurs in a natural way

VK’s track record with BIM

  • 2008: first roll-out of BIM in our architecture team
  • 2010: BIM start-up in Civil & Structural Engineering
  • 2014: BIM start-up in M&E Engineering

Our experience has taught us that intelligent application of BIM leads to better designs. However, we often warn the client against overusing BIM. For example, it is fairly pointless to aim for a 100% clash-free model in the design phase in M&E Engineering: the contractor is often not yet known, the material brands are not known …

Thanks to its experience with BIM, VK is the ideal partner to guide the client through this process in projects in excess of 100,000m². In the UK, the use of BIM is already obligatory for government tenders.