What is Building Information Modeling?

The Term Building Information Modeling (BIM) describes a method of optimized planning, construction and management of buildings with the help of software packages. There all relevant building data are captured, combined and linked digitally. The building is also visualized geometrically as a virtual building model.

Building Information Modeling serves as an information platform which stores all building information in a central database. Therefore BIM creates the basis for seamless communication and cooperation in the area of construction as it provides coordinated information for all parties involved. From the building model each partner generates the data needed for his purpose directly and without loss of information. Changes and additions are updated in real time and coordinated among themselves. Thus it is guaranteed that the building model remains correct, up to date and consistent. This applies to all disciplines that are to be dealt with: all areas are interlocked – whether surveying, design or executive planning, visualization, engineering or statics as well as HVAC planning, building physics or facility management. Potential conflict are recognized and resolved at an early stage.

Right at the beginning of a project the general conditions are precisely defined together with the client. At the same time all technical planners involved bring in their know-how. Thus everybody knows exactly what the matter is because all aspects are discussed and recorded directly on the building model. Here alternatives are run through in real time and procedures are simulated long before the construction works are started. In the further course of the project all members of the construction team access a single data source: the digital building model in the BIM system. The architect, the structural engineer, the site technician e.g. have access to the same data to plan the building, to calculate the statics, to design sound insulation and reinforcement and to integrate building services. For this reason it is guaranteed that all partners use information of highest quality, the individual trades are prepared ideally and coordinated perfectly.

Programs for building physics surveys use BIM data as well as software for HVAC planning, building electrics, budgeting and controlling, scheduling, for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structural optimization using the finite element method (FEM).

Also for building simulation BIM is ideal, as all data necessary for thermal, energetic, acoustics and lighting surveys are already included in the building model, respectively can be added gradually.

Because of the improved data exchange the productivity of the planning process concerning costs, deadlines and quality is supposed to be increased.

Characteristics and advantages of the methodology:

  • Improved data quality because of a common database that is continually synchronized.
  • Immediate and continuous availability of all current and relevant data for all parties involved.
  • Improved information exchange between planning partners.
  • Continuous data processing during the whole life cycle of a building.

Scope of work BIM-management:

  • Setup and maintenance of a central data model.
  • Coordination between all parties involved during both design and execution phases with respect to compliance with standards, data conformity and exchange of building model data.


In spite of various interfaces, BIM can only work with a coordinating instance ensuring that the common data model remains up to date, consistent and clearly structured. Compliance with standards (component, layer, symbol and reference structure, interface settings, etc.) is examined and on-line availability of the model is provided for all parties.




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