Imagine the life cycle of a building project without contractors, engineers, and architects working together and working hard to achieve their goals while meeting customer expectations and minimizing construction errors due to inaccurate communication. It is easy for small projects, but it is not easy for large, complex construction projects to achieve the same level of cooperation without BIM software.
What is BIM (Building Information Modeling)?
What exactly is BIM? It is a complex process, including planning, design, construction, collaboration, etc., and 3D modeling. The ability to share relevant data with all project participants makes BIM an overall excellent collaboration tool.
Why use BIM software?
3D modeling is an integral part of BIM, but it cannot replace earlier types of 3D modeling such as AutoCAD. A complete BIM also includes maintenance data, project plans, cost information, etc.
You can see the benefits of BIM in projects of any size, but BIM will have a more significant impact when engaged in large-scale construction projects. In these projects, interference detection cost tracking, planning, and other important benefits. BIM itself can be used with so-called BIM objects. Components that can add to the relevant 3D model, such as pipes, electrical components, doors, windows, and other structural elements, may change the final construction result.
So far, the most crucial trend in the BIM industry is to unify and standardize. There are still too many diverse interpretations of public norms from different BIM companies to claim that the industry is standardized. However, progress is still being made every year.
How to Choose the Best BIM Software for 2021?
Since 2021, the best BIM software is no longer the cheapest, most expensive, most straightforward, or most complex version. It best suits your project scope and ambitions, as well as your budget and expectations. The important thing is to go through each process and team, and then choose the proper method and team to improve your work, rather than selecting the team with the most features.
In addition, modern BIM software also needs some essential functions. It must be open so that the BIM process can connect to other readers and systems, and it must be able to read and write IFC files (2x3 and IFC 4). Finally, it would be best to connect to (secure connection)—cloud for collaboration and information sharing. However, as competition in the software industry intensifies and many new products are introduced to the market every year, architects and designers have more choices than ever to find the right solution.
Top 10 BIM software
Here, we tried to create a BIM software list using ten different BIM systems, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Not to mention that all participants on this list are premium products and some more affordable options because the BIM industry revolves around extensive facilities, especially in countries with huge budgets.
- Autodesk BIM 360
- Allplan Architecture
- Trimble Connect
- BricsCAD BIM
It has been a long time since many design professionals compared the simplicity of SketchUp and Microsoft Word. However, for many others, this simplicity is SketchUp's best asset.
SketchUp is not a traditional BIM software, nor is it developed explicitly for architectural design. However, due to its simplicity, SketchUp has entered the vision of many architects. The software is very intuitive and accessible for one user. Therefore, SketchUp is one of the most popular 3D modeling and design visualization tools globally. Despite its minimalism, users of this handy tool can model everything from tree houses to more complex and energy-efficient apartment projects.
AutoCAD provides industry-specific functions and libraries for various disciplines of project team members. The software solution provides access to more than 750,000 intelligent objects and parts in the library.
AutoCAD reduces design time by automating routine tasks such as inserting doors and generating invoices. The designers of this software refer to several productivity studies (architecture, electrical, 3D maps, mechanics, MEP, Plant 3D, Raster Design) of different toolsets in AutoCAD, and the average productivity is 63% increased. It is a very user-friendly application, that's why AutoCAD courses so popular also mastered by people wanting to use it.
Navisworks is a project review and management software for AEC professionals and teams. This software offers two products, management, and stimulation. Navis Manage provides 5D simulation analysis, interference detection, advanced adjustment, and simulation tools.
Navisworks uses a feature called 5D analysis and simulation to analyze and communicate project details. The software is expected to improve the workflow of the project team by integrating with Autodesk BIM 360 Glue.
Even in Autodesk, Revit is a pure BIM application and is now the prominent name of the AEC Alliance. It has been with us since the beginning of this century. Revit excels in architectural planning and documentation because it allows you to include complete engineering drawings and use parametric modeling methods. That's why everyone is turning to Revit Software.
- Autodesk BIM 360
Another Autodesk product is BIM360 software, which can be used for construction management and project delivery. Integrate multiple designs, projects, and construction processes into one process. Essentially, it is a cloud-based web service that provides different teams with access to relevant data, thereby avoiding delays and improving decision-making.
You can use Autodesk BIM 360 to manage the entire project life cycle. Special functions include project review, BIM coordination, security plan checklist, problem management, and deliverable coordination.
- Allplan Architecture
As the name suggests, it is a BIM solution, mainly designed for architects. You can comfortably use this software to create professional visualization and engineering drawings while ensuring accurate costs and the number of materials required.
Allplan Architecture can easily manage work that uses only 3D or a combination of 2D and 3D. At the same time, the user-friendly interface improves the overall productivity of the architect. It makes it easy to exchange data with various planning partners to enhance teamwork and collaboration.
Buildertrend is a BIM tool under construction, very suitable for renovators and home builders. This cloud-based BIM product provides real-time project access, warranty management, change orders, photos, documents, and all subsequent data attached to your project from anywhere.
This toolset is a popular choice for home builders. It also has functions such as daily project management, customer management, financial products, and pre-sales procedures. Each of these functions includes various parts and possibilities, such as planning and budgeting.
- Trimble Connect
Trimble Connect is a BIM cloud-based product used to exchange information. Its main area of expertise is to provide the correct data to the right professionals at the right time. Engineers, subcontractors, architects, etc., can benefit from this technology. Trimble is trying to create a collaborative environment.
It turns out that the timely provision of essential information for different workflow stages. Some of the main functions are design coordination, on-site/off-site communication, and project management. It can also be integrated with many construction tools to make your work easier.
- BricsCAD BIM
Another comprehensive BIM software is BricsCAD BIM. It is a universal solution that can handle all the project processes, such as adding details, drawing sketches, and converting everything into a fully functional building information model. Regardless of the size of the project, you can freely control various elements and attributes of the project.
Another way to specify content in the model is to include other information, such as definitions, levels, etc. You can use an intelligent structural modeling function to classify linear entities automatically.
Another solution for handling BIM-specific content is Hevacomp. The software was created specifically to perform an energy analysis of buildings, and you can use predictions based on actual performance to build an energy-sufficient infrastructure.
The solution includes multiple BIM tools, such as dynamic simulation, electrical designers, mechanical designers, etc. For example, you can use dynamic simulation to create a building simulation under the British Building Code. You can simplify the construction process through a standard building model.
The construction industry is increasingly integrated with information technology every day, and BIM is the result and the future. If you want to use BIM in your company, you must carefully choose the BIM software you wish to use and our BIM course to help you learn about it.
Shaheen is a software trainer with Edoxi Training Institute Dubai. Shaheen has more than 4 years’ experience in developing and executing plans and materials for software development courses, scheduling classes into facilities, and providing software instruction. Shaheen is a travel maniac and spent most of the free time reading his favourite authors.