Virtual design tools such as 3D modelling and simulation are becoming increasingly sophisticated and integrated. We believe their potential is best realised when they feed into an advanced design process that brings to life the interactions between designers and between each design element.
This process, known as building information modelling (BIM), is transforming the way that we design cities, buildings and systems to perform throughout their entire life cycle.
BIM can be thought of as a virtual prototype – whether of a building, a site, an infrastructure system or a city. It allows any aspect of a design’s performance to be simulated and assessed before it is built – helping us to understand the design more completely and much earlier.
That virtual prototype becomes a reference for better construction. And it continues to evolve, even after it passes to the asset’s owners and operators. BIM achieves all this because it is not simply a 3D animation: it is an intelligent project model in which information is embedded so it can be shared between stakeholders throughout the whole process.
An intelligent model brings greater precision to project feasibility, cost and schedules – becoming a 4D model when factors of programme and time are added in, and 5D with quantity and cost. It also helps us make considerable gains in the sustainability consulting of construction and operation.
By advancing BIM, we are closer than ever to realising the ‘completedesign’ of systems and structures.