macom UK Newsletter: Digital spatial planning with BIM

The demands placed on construction projects have risen steadily in recent years. Projects are becoming increasingly complex and therefore often longer and more costly. More and more specialised fields are involved in the process. Digitalisation, intelligent buildings and the hybridisation of the working world have brought AV technology much more to the fore, for example. Issues such as sustainability and efficiency also need to be addressed.

To ensure that such projects remain feasible and economical, planning processes must also adapt to the new conditions. Holistic, digital planning methods have simplified many processes and optimised results. Building Information Modelling, or BIM for short, has been a popular and much-discussed solution for years. At macom we use BIM for these reasons when planning AV/IT projects with our clients and partners.

What is BIM?


Building Information Modelling is a methodical, digital planning approach to support the construction process over the entire lifecycle of a building, from design to planning, implementation, operation and conversion or demolition. It is used to optimise the planning, execution and management of buildings with the help of digital tools.

A cloud-based software platform, BIM-capable programs and detailed, intelligent 3D models are used. However, BIM is more than just improved 3D planning.

Rather, it is a process control method that aims to achieve end-to-end digitalised, networked collaboration and communication between all trades in the project. The data is stored centrally, and Individual departments or trades create specialist models for their disciplines. In the next step, BIM brings together all relevant information about the project and the building in a coordination model. All internal and external information on the building are coordinated here. The exchange takes place directly in the environment. All project participants can access it at any time and always have the same up-to-date information. They can work on the model in real time and immediately pass on changes and further work steps to other trades.

The BIM model not only includes building data such as construction plans, installations, equipment, dimensions, cable runs, information on assembly, thermal loads, insulation and more, but also organisational data. Costs, dates, and deadlines are also integrated to make the process as smooth as possible.

At the end, an overall model of the building is available across all project phases. A digital twin.

BIM creates added value for the entire building life cycle

And that’s not the end of it. Operating models can also be derived from the results. Information from ongoing building operations can be fed into the system to document changes and improve maintenance and repair measures, for example. BIM can also be used to coordinate the control and operation of systems in the building.

Long-term access to the data is also relevant for subsequent conversion or dismantling.

The quality of realisation is already improved during the planning process thanks to better communication and coordination and the resulting understanding. Changes can be made in real time and are automatically adopted. The BIM model is used for analysis, simulation, control, coordination and documentation, and large projects and teams in particular benefit from optimised information management. An early digital image of the finished building also offers better decision-making support for clients.

With BIM, realistic estimates can be made regarding costs, scheduling and the use of materials. This ensures greater planning certainty, schedule reliability and cost control.

Problems, errors and inconsistencies in the course of the project can be recognised early on thanks to the high level of transparency of all sub-areas – not just on the construction site when it may be too late. Any collisions are visualised in the model. As a result, those responsible have more influence on the further course of the project and can make more informed decisions. This results in fewer subsequent changes, errors and rescheduling, which often drive-up costs. BIM therefore also conserves resources. The traceable documentation also has a positive effect on project controlling.

Teamwork with everyone involved


The prerequisite for the success of BIM is that everyone involved in the project agrees on the methodology and implements it competently. Collaboration begins right from the start of the project and all trades must be involved at an early stage.

Of course, companies need to be ready and equipped for this in terms of technology and personnel, which is still a problem in many cases. The changeover is often difficult in practice. But BIM is likely to prevail in the long term. BIM is already a prerequisite for many projects, and for some it is already mandatory in UK and Europe, for example for public-funded projects.

The result is a safe and efficient planning and construction process and increased quality throughout the entire lifecycle. If you are realising a project or would like to find out more about BIM, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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