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Building Information Modelling
Pavlides Associates S.A. has adopted the BIM (Building Information Modeling) method in the design process. BIM is a methodology for information management by use of various software that interact through a common language. Thus a Virtual Building is created which comprises of the sum of the parametric information of all the building elements. BIM is way more than a mere 3d visualization, as it incorporates the geometric data as well as all other data such as building materials, quantities, cost, thermal properties, fire ratings etc. The data also contains the relation between the various elements that comprise the building, allowing for live update of all the design participants every time there is an alteration. BIM depends on interoperability, relying for communication and information exchange, on the neutral IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) protocol, which is used by a wide array of software for handling information.

The Design Process with the BIM method is dived into 3 phases:

In the first phase there is the data input, i.e. the digital design of the building. The Architectural team, along with Structural and EM teams collaborate constantly and source data directly from the shared model in IFC format. The Structural team relying on this info drafts the buildings structural model. The EM team can obtain a preliminary energy evaluation and a draft MEP routing.

In the second phase, a detailed analysis of the inconsistencies and clashes between the various disciplines, takes place. For this purpose, besides traditional review and checking, specialized clash detection software is utilized. This software is capable of performing various operations on the shared model, according to general rules (for example intersecting elements), as well as customized criteria, for example the maximum length of fire route, or minimum space requirements for handicapped people. With this method the eventuality of design alteration during the construction phase, is greatly reduced, leading to major reductions on costs and overall time delays.

In the third phase, all the modifications that are considered crucial by the Design team managers are incorporated into the model, as well as any requests by the Building Owner. Every change and alteration is immediately visible to all the design teams, working with the shared model as reference. This way the holistic approach to the building is feasible, and the deliverables can be extracted from the virtual building model. In this phase all the building designs are finalized (architectural, structural, EM) and all the deliverables are produced.

A key parameter of the BIM method is the ability for every team member to use its own specialized software to produce the design deliverables, and to share information with other team members. This way there is a significant reduction in the overall time needed for the design process, vis-a-vis an elimination of inconsistencies between design disciplines.
Furthermore, the shared model can be accessed by the design team members, as well as all other stakeholders in the project (Owner, Manager, Contractor) using software freely available on the internet.
Using the BIM method, the entire life-span of a building can be managed by many different participants using different software that communicate using a common language and relying on the shared model.

Office’s work and methods on BIM are presented as «a case study» on book Implementing Successful Building Information Modeling by Erica Epstein Architect Editor ARTECH HOUSE BOSTON/LONDON page 155.