The benefits of BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is changing how buildings, infrastructure, and utilities are planned, designed and built.

The move from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to BIM has been heralded as an evolutionary advancement in building-design technology. This new approach promises to turn building plans into virtual libraries of equipment data and requirements – including, for example, product specifications, electrical connections and clearance requirements. BIM software provides a robust framework for building out complex 3D representations of building systems, and it has already had a significant impact on the electrical contracting industry.

The main aim of the BIM strategy is to reduce waste and create a more efficient programme delivery. This should improve the contractor’s margins and reduce contractual conflicts as it breaks down the work silos and promotes collaborative working environments. There are numerous economic gains and other efficiencies on offer through the use of BIM. A number of the cost-saving examples have been centred around clash detection and waste reduction, both at the design stage and construction. Going forward, there will also be financial benefits in the facilities management of the building, thanks to defined maintenance and repair cost reduction.

The driving technology behind BIM is more advanced when compared to other IT related design tools such as 3D modelling. Of course, 3D modelling and clash detection form an important part of BIM, but BIM is much more than that. BIM Level 2 is a set of coordinated information which is both geometric and data centric. It is produced in a collaborative way across all of the disciplines and trades, and delivered in an electronic format. Recently, Schneider Electric partnered with BIMobject, Europe’s largest digital content management system for BIM objects. This partnership provides engineers, architects and designers with access to a range of Schneider Electric products through the BIMobject Library.

The industry as a whole is just beginning the BIM journey, with many still needing to get on board. Those who are not BIM-ready, or not actively using it, may well start to find that their pool of potential projects starts to dwindle. However, Ireland has a window of opportunity to capitalise on the success of its domestic programme and to become an advocate of BIM on a global scale. By embracing BIM, we can enhance the global image of Irish designers, contractors and product manufacturers as a whole, and drive industry-wide growth opportunities for all involved.

For more information, telephone (RoI) 01 800 805 800 or (NI) 00353 1 800 805 800 or visit