BIM: Paradigm shift in the fields of engineering, architecture and construction

BIM: Paradigm shift in the fields of engineering, architecture and construction

BIM is a work methodology, standing on specialised software for the development and management of projects which allows designing, planning, organising and managing the construction carrying out, integrating all the information in a 3D model (surroundings, buildings, structures, installations, schedules, costs, etc.).

The model is prepared simultaneously for different specialists and contains all the necessary information for the construction of the infrastructure or building (materials, calculations, constructive systems, bill of quantities, etc.). This information is parameterised and subject to the traceability of changes.

BIM methodology has changed significantly the project planning and management concept. It is a breakthrough in the evolution towards excellence and increased use of technology in the constructive process, equivalent to the breakthrough that CAD (Computer Assisted Design) systems produced in comparison with the manual hand drawing.


In BIM environments, we speak of different dimensions 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D and 7D, understood as project processes or stages.

  • 3D: The virtual model with parameterised information that represents all the geometrical information of the project in an integrated way. Its three dimensions not only help us rendering an image but also can give us more information than the 3D programs did up until now, such as clash detection reports.
  • 4D: The Time dimension is added to the model given the detailed construction scheduling we obtain during its modelling. It allows us controlling the project dynamics, carrying out simulations of the different construction stages, designing the execution plan…It assigns a constructive sequence so that we can specify the construction stages, optimise the operations, increase productivity, etc.
  • 5D: It improves a project’s costs control and its expenses’ estimates. It is directly aimed at improving the profitability of the project. The different stages’ bills of quantities and costs are defined: from the design and construction to the operation and maintenance.
  • 6D: It gives us the opportunity of knowing how the building behaves regarding its energy efficiency. The results help in the decision-making and in carrying out improvement actions in the building in order to reduce the energy consumption or demand, depending on the project’s goal.
  • 7D: It allows managing the lifecycle of a project and its associated services. It enables a logistic and operational control of the project during the operation and maintenance of its service life, achieving the optimisation of important processes such as inspections, repairs, maintenance, etc.

BIM methodology keeps revolutionizing the field with rather significant savings by aligning all the construction site actors, from the architect to the supplier, minimising the deviations regarding both time and costs, and allowing the obtaining of a more efficient transparent and collaborative model.

Are we prepared for the new changes that this methodology holds for us?