Building Information Modeling is a problem-solving tool that communicates a plan to construct buildings more effectively. A common misconception is that BIM has to be a 3D, 4D, or 5D model (more on that later). However, BIM can be as simple as a logistics plan or as complex as a facilities management model.

2D CAD (Computer Aided Design) has dominated the industry for many years and continues to thrive as a medium to produce drawings. However, moving from 2D to 3D and investing in BIM typically requires a program like Autodesk Revit, Bentley MicroStation, or Graphisoft ArchiCAD, among others. These programs are intended to produce 2D design/shop documents while simultaneously building a 3D model in the process.

In the past, the in-house BIM group for Holder Construction would have to produce these models from scratch with the help of shop drawings, contract documents, and HD scanning as-built conditions. Now, thankfully, our design partners (architects and engineers) have implemented these programs in a big way as an alternative to traditional 2D CAD methods.

What this means is that, provided we’ve signed the proper agreements, we have access to the same design models used to produce drawings. This gives us a head start to use these 3D models for a host of purposes. And that’s just our design partners. We also utilize models from subcontractors along with our own supplemental models.

BIM is changing the way we do business, one project at a time.

Zack Creach is a senior engineer for Holder Construction in Atlanta.