July 20, 1969 memorializes the spectacular landing of the first humans on the Moon. When Neil Armstrong descended the ladder and set foot in the dusty surface, he spoke the words that passed into history:
“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Revolutions in the process of designing and construction which commenced a few years ago can be compared not only to taking a step or jump but also to using a space-shift portal into another space-time dimension.
The technological revolution
Progress and development have been with humankind since forever from the very beginning of humanity evolution. People have been continuously optimizing their work and tasks, completing them faster and with less effort. We experience the technological development on every step, from the invention of the wheel, light bulbs, through the development of computerization, mobile, and automotive.
The increase of computing power and the reduction of these devices size have already enabled us to go beyond 2D design. The possibility to take into account the increasing number of parameters to optimize the design is ahead:
3D – geometry relationship,
4D – time- or schedule-related information,
5D – cost-related information,
6D – project life-cycle management information,
and we can enumerate here nD...
In fact, over time we consider in the design more variables optimizing in making decisions using faster computers and more advanced software. Man can optimize and filter data only to a certain limit. Supposing, the computer is properly operated and programmed; it is able to assist us in making fast-paced and better decisions, in accordance with the sentence:
“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”
Time is money, optimized information is power.
In a few years in the design, we will know what is the actual or estimated for the next few months price (using financial markets) of any component. We will be also able to check the availability of this item during the planned construction. This is all to optimize and look for the best solution, taking into account many factors.
In the past, people could not imagine the design of a complicated object without a drawing board and a tracing paper. Today we cannot think of a factory design on a paper but as a minimum in 2D or 3D design. In the near future there will be no one considering working in a different way than BIM.
In 1992, G.A. van Nederveen and F.P. Tolman pictured BIM as “Modelling Multiple Views on Building” and it appeared that their estimates became real. Today we are already working in BIM in many offices. BIM is the process of building information modeling; however, it turns out that BIM is something more than a “building” information modeling. This is also the relationship with the environment (for instance, in civil engineering). And it really boils down to IM – information modeling.
Today we use the advanced tools, like the laser scanners or the augmented reality glasses. We use the mouse clicking by two fingers which often causes wrist pain. Just imagine being a designer as a pianist who designs in the air using two hands, 10 fingers... In fact, there are no restrictions, there are only challenges.
Over the last years we heard about technical novelties, most incredible devices and what happens at presence is merely the beginning.
What the next years will bring?
It is hard to predict but we have an interesting way with adventures ahead.
BIM Manager, Building Services Engineer