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  • Writer's pictureJohn Russo

What Is BIM and Why Is It Important?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a new technology transforming the construction industry. Building information modeling (BIM) is a software modeling process that engineers, architects, and contractors can use to work together and collaborate on a building’s design, construction, and operation. It involves the creation and management of digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of a building project. In this post, we will look at what BIM is and how we use this technology to provide reality capture services.

What is BIM?

BIM is a process that creates and manages information for a construction project throughout its lifecycle. It involves creating a digital model that contains all the necessary information about a building, including its geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities, properties of building components, and more. This model serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle, from earliest conception to demolition.

The Difference Between CAD and BIM

CAD, which stands for Computer-Aided Design, is software used to create 2D and 3D models and designs. It optimizes and streamlines the designer's workflow, increases productivity, improves design quality, and enhances documentation and communication. While both CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and BIM involve the use of digital tools for designing and creating construction projects, there are major differences between the two:

CAD is primarily focused on creating 2D or 3D drawings, while BIM creates a comprehensive digital model that contains all the information about a building project.

CAD drawings are static and independent, while BIM models are dynamic and interconnected, with changes in one part of the model automatically updating other related parts.

CAD is primarily used for drafting and visualization, while BIM is used for planning, design, construction, and facility management.

CAD is often used by individual designers or small teams, while BIM more easily enables collaboration among multiple disciplines, including architects, engineers, contractors, and facility managers.

BIM Levels

BIM is often categorized into different levels based on the degree of collaboration and information sharing among project stakeholders:

l LOD 100: Conceptual; which is an overall massing indicative of the area, height, volume, location, and orientation.

l LOD 200: Approximate geometry; which includes generalized systems or assemblies with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, and orientation.

l LOD 300: Precise geometry; involving specific assemblies accurate in terms of quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation.

l LOD 350: Detailed geometry; that encompasses elements precisely defined with interfaces between building systems.

l LOD 400: Fabrication; which involves elements are modeled as specific assemblies for accurate construction detailing.

l LOD 500: As-built; that is, field-verified representations reflective of the actual constructed condition.

What is a BIM Family?

A BIM family is a digital representation of a physical building component, such as a door, window, or equipment. It contains information about the component's properties, such as size, material, manufacturer, and cost. BIM family can be created by manufacturers, software vendors, or BIM modelers and inserted into a model using BIM modeling to represent the actual building components.

The Importance of BIM Modeling

BIM is becoming increasingly important in the construction industry due to its numerous benefits, including:

1. Improved collaboration and communication: BIM enables all project stakeholders to work together on a single, shared model, improving communication and reducing errors.

2. Reduced costs and time: BIM can help reduce project costs by identifying and resolving issues early in the design process, reducing rework, and improving project scheduling.

3. Enhanced visualization: BIM models provide a realistic, 3D representation of the final building, allowing stakeholders to better understand and visualize the project.

4. Increased efficiency: BIM automates many tasks, such as generating construction documents and cost estimates, improving efficiency, and reducing errors.

5. Improved sustainability: BIM can help improve the sustainability of buildings by analyzing energy performance, optimizing building systems, and reducing waste.

The Future of BIM

As BIM continues to evolve, it is expected to play an increasingly important role in the construction industry. Some of the key trends and developments in BIM include:

1. Increased adoption: As more and more construction projects require the use of BIM, its adoption is expected to continue to grow.

2. Integration with other technologies: BIM is expected to become more integrated with other technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things, enhancing its capabilities and applications.

3. Expansion into new areas: BIM is expected to expand into new areas, such as facility management and infrastructure projects, sometimes referred to as digital twins, providing benefits throughout the entire building lifecycle.

4. Increased focus on data and analytics: As BIM models become more complex and contain more data, there will be an increased focus on using data and analytics to optimize building performance and inform decision-making.


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a powerful tool transforming the construction industry. By enabling improved collaboration, reduced costs and time, enhanced visualization, increased efficiency, and improved sustainability, BIM is helping construction professionals deliver better projects more effectively. As BIM continues to evolve and expand into new areas, it is expected to play an increasingly important role in the future of the construction industry.

At ARC, we are committed to staying at the forefront of BIM technology and providing our clients with the best possible solutions. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping our clients leverage BIM to improve their projects and achieve their goals. We offer reality capture services and much more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your BIM needs.

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