The Evolution Of Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Construction projects are becoming more complex due to tighter project schedules, increasing cost and quality pressures, and associated continuous change during the execution phase. Technical requirements are also increasing, and the division of work between the various technical experts involved is highly fragmented. This results in construction projects with unreliable schedules, cost overruns, and defects resulting from the lack of coordination on-site.

If you attended a conference or participate in professional development related to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, Built environment, and Sustainability development-related you would surely hear Building Information Modeling (BIM). It’s become a popular buzzword in reference to the many different ways to boost productivity in the AEC industry.

The AEC sector is embracing the digital age, the processes involved in the design, construction, and operation of built assets are more and more influenced by technologies. There are many developments in technologies and innovations that are going on in the world, especially in the AEC industry. Such as hardware, software, more types of sensors, IoT, AR, VR, MR, drones, additive manufacturing, robotics, modern surveying technology, BIM, and digital twin.

BIM Is An  Evolution

There is no technology or tool that is developed overnight itself, everything developed over a period of time. Everything started with fundamental knowledge and tools only. The concept of BIM has been in development since the 1970s, but it only became an agreed term in the early 2000s. Development of standards and adoption of BIM has progressed at different speeds in different countries; standards developed in the United Kingdom from 2007 onwards have formed the basis of international standard ISO 19650, launched in January 2019.

The definition of BIM has been changing with time and industry use cases. In every definition, we can find some particular keywords.

Some BIM definitions over the internet internationally

There are many definitions of BIM. Some say BIM is a type of software, some say BIM is a 3D virtual model of the building while others refer to it as a process. The table below highlights just some of the definitions of BIM currently in circulation.

Explicit Definition of BIM

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D- a model-based process that gives Architecture, Engineering, and Construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design. Construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

NOTE: The application/implementation of BIM is not limited to buildings and infrastructure only, it has vast scope in other industries also. As we are more concerned about the Construction industry now, so given definition related to the construction industry.

Mean this time BIM is dominating in the AEC industry, especially in the Built Environment projects as well as greenfield projects.

No matter in which phase /stage in the construction either it is Planning / Design / Construction / Operation & Maintenance ! BIM is there.

Brief History  of famous  BIM and its supporting tools

However, the terms ‘Building Information Model’ and ‘Building Information Modeling’ (including the acronym “BIM”) did not become popularly used until some 10 years later. In 2002, Autodesk released a white paper entitled “Building Information Modeling,” and other software vendors also started to assert their involvement in the field. By hosting contributions from Autodesk, Bentley Systems, and Graphisoft, plus other industry observers, in 2003, Jerry Laiserin helped popularize and standardize the term as a common name for the digital representation of the building process. Facilitating exchange and interoperability of information in digital format had previously been offered under differing terminology by Graphisoft as “Virtual Building”, Bentley Systems as “Integrated Project Models”, and by Autodesk or Vectorworks as “Building Information Modeling”.

2002 – Revit bought by Autodesk and rest of the things…..We all know well…It is dominating the Construction industry as BIM software.

1970 – BIM term first used,
1982 – First version of AutoCAD released and Graphisoft founded (Graphisoft is a software design company),
1983 – First version of AutoCAD released for Windows,
1985 – Bently founded,
1987 – First version of Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD released,
1997 – Revit founded, the First version of IFC released,
1999 – Revit first released,
2002 – Revit bought by Autodesk and rest of the things…..We all know well…It is dominating the Construction industry as BIM software.


from CAD to BIM is carrying many developments. In the late ’80s, due to the advancement of computer graphics, the AEC industry started to adopt 2D CAD to replace hand-drawing for creating engineering drawings.
The fundamental 2D representation of engineering information remained the same but only the tool was changed to 2D CAD software on a computer.
So, 2D CAD is like the digitization of engineering drawings.
Later on, when 3D CAD was introduced, an architect was able to use it as a design tool to express his or her design ideas directly in a virtual 3D space.
A 3D CAD model is just a combination of geometric entities such as points, lines, and faces. Unless these entities are grouped and specifically defined, the computer has no idea what the combination of these geometric entities or objects really represents in the real world.
But for a BIM model, is composed of the predefined object components that correspond to the real-world objects.

What we have in the CAD model

In a building, we have beams, columns, floors, windows, doors, etc. In the CAD model of the building, only geometric face or surface entities are used to construct the geometry of all these beams, columns, floors, windows, and doors.

What we have in the BIM model

In the BIM model, we actually have BIM objects(3D model elements with enriched information) in the digital model that correspond to the beam, column, floor, window, door objects in the physical world. We just use those predefined objects to develop a model in the computer. In this way, the computer can understand the components or objects the model has. So the computer can automatically calculate and report the quantities of all these elements for us. Also, we have information attached to these 3D elements.
So, a BIM model is more than the CAD and BIM is more than models.

Author Credit: Naveenkumar Nagipogu | IIIT RKV – STEM – Digital Engg & Con-Tech – BIM – Multidisciplinary Approach.

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