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3 Tips For Students New To Building Information Modeling

September 10, 2013 Building Information Modeling, IADT General 0 Comments

Tips For Building Information ModelingNew to BIM?

BIM refers to “building information models,” which are digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. The models are created in a database that constructs a visual image and an information base. According to the National BIM Standard, “A BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility…. [that] serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility.”

This allows a variety of people to communicate about a project and stay up to date. Designers at any level of the project can work with the database, updating information regarding the structure of the building, the exterior design, the materials they intend to use during the building phase or the interior design decision they intend to make after construction is complete. It is a powerful tool that allows many individuals from various companies to work together to reach a shared goal: the final product.

Whether you’ve just joined the BIM program, you’re starting a new project for one of your courses, or you need a refresher after a long summer, we have the tips for you to prepare for working towards that final product.

1. Know Your Database

The most important thing for your BIM courses is to have the right software. Different software programs exist and you must make sure you learn how to use it correctly or you might not be able to share your data with your classmates and instructors.

The second most important thing is to be familiar with that software. Knowing how it works and how it creates the database is important because it affects how you interact with the software on an advanced level.

Some programs, such as the one The American Insitute of Architects (AIA) uses, include the pre-set development of traditional drawings – like floor plans and sections. When a designer works with the model, they can easily transition between the standard program screen and the design rendered in a traditional drawing, explains AIA member Glenn W. Birx.

Birx says, “the views of the building are ‘bi-directional,’ which means that a change made in any view is automatically made in all views.” This means that architects working with BIM can edit on standard screens, on traditional drawings or on section cuts.

These drawings and resources are important for architects. Because BIM designers can work in many different corporations, they have to understand how to work with various programs.

2. Check the “Families”

Ken Schriever of the Engineering & Architectural Planning, Design & Consulting firm Ross & Baruzzini emphasizes the importance of “families” in BIM.

Schriever’s company uses Revit, the BIM program designed by Microsoft. The program features something called “Revit families,” which are intelligent 3D blocks used to build your BIM model. They refer to specific materials that can be used on the ceilings, walls and floors.

Check out which families you have access to. Using specific materials – rather than generic labels such as “wood” or “concrete” – can provide insight into the sustainability of your project.

Schriever encourages students and professionals to “continually test the parameters” of plane-based families. He believes that you can find new ways to implement families, making your designs more interesting or more pleasing to the customer.

Though IADT’s program might offer free families, BIM professionals typically have to develop partnerships with manufacturers to access their families.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Resources

Your instructors at IADT can provide you with more information regarding BIM software programs, databases and material families. They can even share more complex information for you that can help you develop your design as you move through the various levels of your project. Learn what the degree program staff and what the campus in general has to offer you including resources at the library and within your department.

You can also find important BIM resources online from building information modeling organizations. For example, the National Institute of Building Sciences provides free resources on their website. Resources include access to their publications, fact sheets, reports and standards.

These documents can provide you with insights into the industry. They can allow you to work by standards that BIM professionals are currently following, meaning you can implement professional techniques into your work as a student. This can improve your professionalism and your skills as a BIM student.

Familiarizing yourself with these resources is also a great way to stay up to date on the latest BIM news including changes to guidelines and standards. Combined with your courses, you’ll be able to keep yourself in the know at IADT.


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