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Building Information Modelling

September 2016

As we reflect on over a decade of using Building Information Modelling (BIM), we feel that it’s about time that Hyphen told the world how the way we work has changed and share the future potential that BIM holds for us.

BIM is a process of designing a building collaboratively using one coherent, intelligent and coordinated computer model rather than as separate sets of drawings. The model incorporates information for each of the building elements. These can include physical, cost, environmental and operational data. In simple terms BIM is one digital model that can integrate all the information needed for design, construction and management processes.

At Hyphen we use Revit as our BIM tool of choice. The Revit platform is the industry leader in terms of market share. Many consultants use Revit so we are generally able to work on one platform without the need for complicated file sharing associated with using Industry Foundation Class (IFC)* collaboration.

We initially used BIM in our commercial, industrial and data centre work. In these high complexity, highly serviced projects the clash detection, environmental analysis, and automated co-ordination that comes with 3D integrated models have become irreplaceable. This data-heavy set up means that clients can have rapidly scheduled information of long lead in components such as curtain walling or security doors. We quickly realised that other sectors could also benefit from the advantages of Revit and BIM.

Our clients value cost certainty, quality control and working to time constraints. Creating one information source allows less space for error, resulting in higher quality work which in turn is much more time and cost efficient. The advantages are just as applicable to retail as we found them to data centre projects. For several years now we have used BIM as a tool for the design of multiple luxury retail brands. A good deal of effort goes in up front. We first develop a Brand’s design standards within Revit in a way that ensures that the output is fast and accurate and provides information critical to each brand. Millwork components, marble floor tiles, lighting fixtures are each developed such that they can be automatically scheduled as soon as a design is agreed. With this careful development from the outset the BIM content reflects the Brand design concept, its construction and procurement strategy. It is then available to all projects designed thereafter ensuring they each benefit from a reduced time schedule, better cost certainty and achieved a higher quality result.

Having almost construction level information at your fingertips in initial stages can make all the difference in time management and accuracy.

*Open source data model used by all software makers to offer interoperability across the board.