3 Reasons You Should BIM
BIM, the acronym for building information modeling, is transforming the architecture and design world. It is quickly becoming the standard for conceptualization, client presentation, and building engineering and construction. So, why is the AV community so far behind in embracing these trends and supporting 3D models?
BIM is a process of creating and managing build data during development. An accurate digital building model allows the design and construction of a structure to be simulated, visualized and evaluated prior to actual construction. In order for a BIM process to be effective, the building components used in the project must be available as 3D objects. This represents a fundamental shift from the use of traditional computer-aided drafting of 2D vector-based files that combine to represent objectives. BIM adoption has grown 500 percent in the past years among architect, engineering and construction professionals and research indicates that up to 80 percent of firms have adopted BIM.
The ability to visualize a space without lifting a hammer creates valuable benefits to architects, structural engineers, contractors, fabricators and their clients, minimizing potentially expensive errors and rework. 3D visualizations can also improve client approval rates and increase project budgets because clients can envision a space in its entirety before value engineering the innovation out of the project. As evidence, BIM is consistently ranked by architects as a top way to improve their return on investment in technology with 62 percent of users perceiving a positive ROI.
Yet with all of these benefits, building product manufacturers have been slow to provide models of their products for easy integration into BIM. Even fewer audiovisual suppliers have joined the BIM wave. Planar was one of the first in the AV industry to embrace BIM and is actively encouraging its network of integrators to do the same. 3D models of our Clarity Matrix, Planar Mosaic, and Planar UltraLux displays are available for no charge on Autodesk Seek, an online design content library. (AV-iQ, InfoComm’s online product catalog, includes a BIM repository of 830 BIM objects from AV equipment manufacturers.)
Without proper 3D models from the manufacturer, users of BIM software have to create their own models, which can be difficult and time-consuming. With 3D models, the software automatically creates a bill of materials, including a schedule of part numbers required for that system — this can be a big advantage as projects progress.
Certain project types lend themselves to the use of BIM. In general, the larger the project, the more the benefits of BIM are realized. This is why projects in healthcare, higher education, corporate and hospitality are utilizing BIM to a greater degree than projects in retail or entertainment, where the project lifecycle is shorter and the construction scope may be more limited. But even in shorter-turn projects, the use of visualization tools is becoming standard in the workflow and has been shown to aid communication, collaboration and project decision making.
Peter Lawrence, Planar product manager and lead on our recent BIM announcement, shared that in his interactions with architects, designers, builders and other specifiers, he heard time and time again that it was critical to their workflow for Planar to have BIM-ready objects available. Making AV equipment, especially complex and configurable products like videowalls, easier to visualize and specify is key to full-scale adoption. Using BIM tools like Autodesk Revit and 3D models made available by manufacturers sets integrators apart from their competition for new business.
Here are three reasons why integrators should embrace BIM:
- The ability to capture imagination in the design phase of a project is important for any AV integrator. Designers and specifiers are finding the benefits of BIM key to client relationships for repeat business, faster budget approvals, project delivery and unique designs that keep competitors locked-out. The same benefits can be realized by integrators as well.
- If everyone in the building design and implementation process is using an interoperable platform, like BIM, it can significantly reduce errors, rework and litigation that can be commonplace in multiple-contractor environments. AV integrators protect themselves from errors by utilizing the same tools and processes as others who are working on the project.
- As the world becomes more competitive and AV integrators strive to defend their value beyond installation or post-sales support, the ability to be a partner in design, consultation and system integration, and skills like BIM, can be key differentiators, allowing them to attract, retain and win business more quickly.
Better outcomes through collaboration is one of the key advantages of BIM and can be a winning proposition for AV integrators.