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BIM and Architecture: Everything You Must Know About It

Pranjal Maheshwari

7 min read

April 2, 2024


Table of Contents

As a designer, have you ever wondered what is BIM architecture, who is a BIM architect, or why all this hype about BIM software? We have the answers to all these questions and more right in this blog. But first, consider this:

If you were to travel 100 kms, would you prefer to walk?

What? It is possible to walk 100 km, right? That is an option, but one you won’t choose. You’ll probably drive to your destination. But you will not walk. Why? It will just be a really long journey and you will probably be very tired afterwards.

Similarly, there was a time when architects would draw by hand every excruciating detail of their design. The drawings themselves would take many months to finish, and the construction would take exponentially more. Gradually they started using machines for the job - computer-aided designing (CAD). The drawings were the same - plans, elevations, and sections; but with CAD they could add the details, make changes and replicate the drawings more efficiently. And now we have BIM.

What is BIM in Architecture?

Using BIM for designing

Building Information Modeling or BIM is a process of creating, modifying, and analyzing all the information about a building.

But isn’t this what architects have always been doing?

Precisely. But, this process saves a lot of time, energy, and cost. BIM architecture breaks down the building into its constituent elements to understand and store information about it. It then clubs this information with aspects of construction beyond the 3 dimensions - time, cost, sustainability, operation, and safety.

Growing acceptance of BIM around the world

Read more: BIM Global Growth Rate: What Is The Scope of BIM In The Future?

5 Benefits of BIM for Architectural Design

The rise in demand for BIM architects 

BIM is rapidly shaping up the field of architecture to be more agile, efficient, and futuristic. So, let’s have a look at the key benefits of BIM for architects. 

1. Enhanced Design Visualization <H3>

Using BIM enables the generation of detailed and realistic 3D visualisations of buildings. This can help architects create immersive presentations that help clients and other stakeholders better understand the project. 

2. Improved Team Collaboration

BIM architecture facilitates easy communication among project stakeholders, including architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. With the help of a shared BIM model, professionals can work together in real-time, thereby reducing errors.

3. Cost and Time Saving

Through data input, BIM architecture enables accurate quantity takeoffs and cost estimations. This helps identify potential cost-saving opportunities and ensure projects stay within budget. Likewise, BIM facilitates the creation of construction schedules based on the project timeline, enabling better project phasing and resource allocation.

4. Sustainable Building Design

BIM supports sustainable design practices by enabling architects to assess the environmental impact of their designs. It helps in simulating energy performance, daylighting, and material usage, so architects can optimise buildings for efficiency and minimise their carbon footprint. 

5. Efficient Documentation

BIM streamlines the process of generating construction documentation. As the design evolves, drawings and specifications are automatically updated, reducing the risk of errors associated with manual revisions. 

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Architecture Projects Designed with BIM Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

BIM has been instrumental in shaping iconic architectural projects around the world. A notable example of BIM architecture is the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore designed by Moshe Safdie. This massive integrated resort complex used BIM models to coordinate the construction of three interconnected towers topped by a sky park. BIM played a crucial role in managing the complex geometry of the structures, optimizing construction sequences, and aiding coordination between various project stakeholders.

The Shard, London

Another impressive project leveraging BIM architecture is The Shard in London, designed by Renzo Piano. As one of the tallest buildings in Europe, the Shard's design and construction required advanced coordination and collaboration tools. Using BIM enabled the design team to visualize and analyze the building's intricate geometry and structural systems. These examples highlight the transformative impact of BIM in architecture.

In an interview with Novatr, Ar. Harsha Vinjam, the BIM Professional Course mentor, talks about the importance of BIM in the AEC industry and how it helps him design buildings that are sustainable.

Read more: 5 Careers and Salaries for An Architect vs A BIM Expert: A Comparative Guide

3 BIM Software for ArchitectsBIM software for architects

The link between BIM and architecture is aided through advanced computer software that make visualisation easier for designers. Mentioned below are the top 3 software for a BIM architect. 

1. Revit

Revit is one of the most widely used BIM software solutions by BIM architects across the globe. The software allows architects to create intelligent 3D models that capture building geometry, spatial relationships, and building components' attributes. 

2. Archicad

Archicad is a BIM software tailored for architects and designers. It enables architects to create detailed 3D models and generate construction documentation efficiently. The software supports open BIM workflows, enabling interoperability with other software platforms. 

3. Vectorworks

Vectorworks is a versatile BIM architecture software known for its intuitive interface and robust design capabilities. It offers a complete suite of tools for architectural drafting, modeling, and presentation with features like intelligent objects and customizable workflows. 

In Conclusion

BIM is ushering in a paradigm shift in architecture. It is well on its way to becoming a non-negotiable standard practice. Moving forward, BIM is poised to become even more integral to architectural practice, with advancements in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality enhancing its capabilities. It will likely facilitate deeper integration across the entire building lifecycle, from design and construction to operations and maintenance. 

If you are a student or professional of architecture, learning BIM would prove beneficial for your career. We suggest you check out the BIM Professional Course for Architects by Novatr. It is a one-of-a-kind course developed especially for designers to impart industry-relevant BIM skills. The program has recently undergone a curriculum upgrade and is packed with insights from case studies and real-world projects as delivered by professional experts. The participants also get the opportunity to work on capstone projects and put their knowledge to the test.

Explore the course today!

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