Building Information Modeling entails the construction of a building on the computer before building it in the physical world. This virtual model is built in three dimensions and can be moved and rotated as if it were a real object (although one might not want to rotate a building in the physical world…)

Every part of the building is virtually constructed on the computer; the walls, floors, doors, windows, other architectural elements as well as the services such as the electrical wiring and plumbing.

One of the advantages of Building Information Modeling is that one can avoid ‘clashes’ while constructing the building, that is, avoid parts of the building unexpectedly interfering with each other during construction.

The other benefits of Building Information Modeling are very drafting services high accuracy in construction drawings and in the other construction documents. By construction drawings one means the drawings which builders use while they are constructing a building. These are drawings like floor plans, elevations and sections. By other construction documents one means, amongst other things, lists like material takeoffs and area statements.

Once the 3D model is done, generating drawings is an almost instantaneous and error-free process. But the specific benefit of Building Information Modeling is that when something is changed in one drawing, other drawings are correlated instantaneously and automatically.

For instance, if the architect decides to move to the front of a building forward by 10 feet, the moment he does this on the floor plan, the 3D model as well as all the sections and elevations are updated in less than a second without a single line having to be drawn by a human. In earlier days, that was not the case; if there was a change in the floor plan then the elevations and the sections would have to be updated manually, an exercise prone to human error and long turnaround times. Both these factors are practically eliminated width Building Information Modeling.

~~ The Accuracy of Other Construction Documents ~~

Documents derived from the 3D model such as material takeoffs and area statements are also generated immediately and modified instantaneously should there be a change in the 3D model. Again, in earlier times, this modification had to be done manually with all the inherent disadvantages of such a process.

Building Information Modeling will in time become as basic a tool to architecture and construction as the calculator is to school students.

If one is aware of its capabilities, one will realize that it can no longer be an option; it is a necessity.