Just to be clear, this is not another article explaining what the BIM is. If you are not familiar with BIM we would recommend you to stop reading and look “BIM” up in google search to get some basic knowledge about the topic.
In this article we would like tell you about BIM Content:
- What is it actually?
- Why should manufacturers and wholesalers care about it?
- How to properly prepare and manage BIM content?
- What BIM content really is?
BIM Content is also referred to as BIM library or BIM Object. These terms can be used interchangable and always refer to digital representation of a product such as window, door, pipe or a stove, that can be used as part of the BIM model / project.
A BIM content is made of :
- Geometry – 3D representation of the actual product including dimensions, connection points, etc.
- Metadata – attributes representing both geometrical (i.e. width, heigh) and non-geometrical (i.e. name, description, EAN code, ETIM class, etc.) features of such object
Most of you might think that geometry is the most important part of the BIM content, but it is quite the opposite. BIM object can exist without geometry (i.e. paint, structural layers, materials) but would not exist without metadata, because of it’s “I” letter (stands for Information) from the BIM acronym that matters the most and without it we can’t actually talk about real BIM.
2. Why should manufacturers and wholesalers actually care?
From its origins BIM content was always an integral part of BIM platforms such as Revit, ArchiCAD and many others. Nothing has changed ever since. Each of such solutions provides a basic / generic set of BIM libraries that designers / specifiers can use in their projects. However, at very early stage designers realized that standard components were very often not sufficient to fulfill the requirement of contemporary projects and creation of custom libraries became necessary to fill that gap. This opportunity was spotted by the manufacturers and recently also by the wholesalers, encouraged by the advent of standards like ETIM-MC – more about it here, which decided to prepare BIM libraries of their products to let designers / planners place them in their projects. This in the end increased the probability that product specified within the project would be bought in a later stage by the investor.
3. How to properly prepare and manage BIM content?
In order to understand how to properly create BIM content we need to ask ourselves a question – who is going to use it? If you are a manufacturer or a wholesaler offering your products on a specific market or markets you should prepare it to meet your target segment requirements.
You can achieve it by:
- providing technical approvals and quality certificates mandated by the local law,
- conveying the information about relevant local / international classification systems such as ETIM, omniClass, Uniclass, eClass, BIMeta, coClass
- making sure that the product information within you BIM files is always up to date
- providing language specific product information inside your BIM objects (i.e. German, Dutch or English)
- providing anonymized version of your BIM libraries that can be used for public tenders
You may think that addressing all these requirements is quite a challenge and … you are right.
However you can simplify it significantly by introducing in your company BIM Content Management solutions such as BIMStreamer. This solution has been successfully used by the new Uponor BIM Platform which is currently generating over 100 000 BIM / CAD files for over 30 countries and over 20 languages in a fully automated way (you can learn more about BIM Uponor platform from this webinar) .
BIM Content Management solution can help you to:
- automate the process of BIM content creation making it possible to adapt it to specific regions / markets
- anonymize your BIM files to make them available for public tenders
- publish your BIM content to various channels such us websites, BIM addons or mobile apps increasing probability of finding them by the specifiers
- collect statistics and provide data analytics to let you open new sales and improve your BIM content offering
If you would like to learn more about BIM Content you can listen to the lecture given at Poznań University of Technology and if you are thinking about taking control over your BIM content get in touch with BIMStreamer.