BIM, (or Building Information Modelling) is the ‘next big thing’ – the latest innovation in the construction and surveying industries. It aims to simplify and streamline the process of designing, building, and maintaining a building over its life by using a coherent system of 3D modelling rather than showing floorplans, elevations and other building data via a discrete series of 2D drawings.

This is coupled with assigning metadata containing details regarding construction materials, costs, service details etc. to the linework. The main advantage is that the same model can be used through the life of the building by surveyors, architects, builders and any interested party, cutting down on information loss and ensuring a common baseline for planning work.

Traditional drawings can still be produced, but as a 2D projection of the 3D model rather than as an entity in their own right.

BIM is now required for UK Government contracts and this will undoubtedly lead to wider adoption of BIM through the industry. We are well-placed to adopt BIM methods, due to our extensive use of 3D CAD and laser scanning.