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What is BIM?
BIM is a hot topic in contemporary design practice. BIM stands for Building Information Model. BIM is more than three-dimensional drawing. BIM is the next step in the development of the design process, and an even bigger revolution than the step from drawing board to CAD. BIM is a digital 3D building model to which relevant information is added. Thanks to that information the objects in the model 'know' exactly what and where they are: columns, beams, floors, walls, doors, windows, installations, ducts and so on. This information is used at all stages, from the design phase to the operational phase.


Little BIM and BIG BIM
We are referring to ‘Little BIM’ if a designer creates a building information model in the same manner as he used to make a CAD drawing. The designer adds information for the realization to the model and then hands over this model to the constructor and installation consultant. Each of them insert their own designs in the same way.
In the case of ‘BIG BIM’ the designers work simultaneously with and on the model. The information in the model is suitable to adequately perform building management in the future.


New arrangements
The BIM process is a collaboration between the designers, the client and the builders. Before the start of the project, an agreement has to be reached regarding the phasing of the design process and moments of approval by the client. The usual project phasing and planning aren’t really suitable for a BIM process. The traditional preliminary design and final design phases are blended. The project arrangements concern the level of detail (LOD) defined on a scale of 100 to 500. ToornendPartners records these arrangements in a BIM protocol. The BIM protocol also includes agreements regarding the division of tasks, responsibilities and working arrangements, the model management, clash control, presentation and visualization, change management and the like. The industry conditions DNR2011 and Standard Task Description STB2009 must be adapted to the BIM process. The same is true for the Uniform Administrative Conditions (UAV). These adaptations are currently being prepared by independent research organisation TNO.


Sustainable building with BIM
BIM can make an important contribution to sustainable design. Due to the continuously increasing demands of the Energy Performance Standard it is useful to make daylight, insulation and ventilation calculations in the early stages of the design process. Even at a low level of detailing, a BIM model enables one to do simulations and calculations early on in the design process, with regard to water storage, insolation, passive heating or cooling.


The promised benefits of BIM can only be realised through the collaboration of all stakeholders in the design and construction process. This requires proper arrangements between all stakeholders, from the client and architect to the contractors and subcontractors. These arrangements form the foundation of a successful BIM project: an elaborate design that perfectly matches the client’s needs and aspirations, an efficient execution with reduced failure costs and adequate building management.