A The essence of BIM
BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a building (Arayici, 2010). As a rule, BIM involves a shared knowledge of all the information related to the construction project between all stakeholders (Aouad & Wu, 2007). In fact, BIM involves the use of software which helps designers to model the future project and to introduce changes in the project at virtually any stage of the project development. At this point, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the project is created virtually and work on the project carries on until all the issues are agreed upon and the owner of the building or customer agrees on the proposed project. Unlike conventional construction projects, BIM implies the elaboration of the complex plan of the project that focuses on the entire life-cycle of the building. This means that the project involves all stages from the design of the building to its demolition.
B The emergence of BIM
BIM emerged due to the progress of new information technologies and the development of modern telecommunication systems, which facilitate information sharing between stakeholders involved in construction projects and allow creating 3D projects of buildings (Bazjanac, 2003). New technologies have opened larger opportunities for planning and designing buildings, while designers have got larger opportunities to communicate with contractors and customers. As a result, the introduction of BIM became a new stage in the development of the contemporary design, architecture and construction. The wide introduction of BIM results from the high efficiency and numerous benefits BIM brings not only to customers but also to designers and contractors, who complete the construction of the building and can maintain the building during its life-cycle until the demolition of the building.
C Reasons for BIM popularity
At this point, the analysis of BIM benefits can help to uncover the potential of BIM in the contemporary construction industry and reveal major reasons for the growing popularity of BIM among designers, contractors and customers (Smith, & Tardif, 2009). In fact, BIM is very efficient and its benefits attract many customers above all because BIM helps customers to understand better what they are actually about to receive upon the completion of the project, which they order. More important, BIM allows the permanent communication between stakeholders throughout the elaboration and implementation of the project. However, these are just a few benefits of BIM to mention.
D BIM and three dimensional representation
On analysing numerous benefits of BIM, it is worth mentioning the fact that one of the advantages of BIM compared to conventional construction models is the fact that BIM provides three dimensional representation of the building (Fischer & Kunz, 2003). In the past two dimensional representation of the building were used in the construction design and projects (Carr, et al., 2010). However, owners of buildings could not always understand adequately how the buildings will look like upon the completion of the building (Aranda-Mena, et al., 2009). Moreover, many important details could have been omitted in a 2D construction project. Instead, 3D models of the future building have proved to be more efficient not only for customers but also for designers and contractors because they could plan in details every aspect of the future building and every detail could be taken into consideration. In fact, the three dimensional representation of the building provided by BIM gave the real life view of the new building. The higher realism of the projected building helped designers and constructors to forecast possible difficulties and eliminate them before the project had started.