Publication: SA Builders Hub

Author: Theresa Bernardo

What is Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software?

Building information modeling (BIM), refers to a process that is supported by different types of tools and technologies, which is also supported by the current generation and at the hands of the management of the digital depiction of both functional and real characteristics of places.

BMI are files that include proprietary formats which contain supporting data. This type of data can be used, exchanged and networked, to support the decision-making process of built assets in different industries and sectors.

Who Currently Makes Use of BIM Software?

Thanks to the digital age, BIM software has been designed to support various industries, providing them with adequate support. This type of software gets integrated and used by individuals, governmental agencies and businesses, all with similar goals in mind that includes the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of a broad range of infrastructures.

Needless to say, BIM software thus, supports the operations and maintenance of valuable resources, including water, electricity, gas, refuse, different means of transportation systems such as roads, railways, ports, tunnels, and bridges. It also supports digitalized communication systems.

BIM Software Supports the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industry (The AEC Industry)

Business industry modeling supports the architecture, engineering and construction industry at a large scale and at a significant point that permits major corporations and countries to make the decision to mandate this software platform, primarily for large-scale construction projects.

Unless one has a diverse understanding of integrated technology and software development, BIM software is a complex and difficult software to understand. It has revolutionized from a concept in the mid-1980s, up until now with the digitalization of all industries. In 2002, Autodesk released something called, “Building Information Modeling”, which is referred to as a white paper. This raised interest among other software vendors, who followed with similar ideas, such as Graphisoft and Bentley Systems. At the time, the software was best known as the digital representation supporting the building process.

BIM Software for South Africa

Over the years, countries from all over the world, including South Africa, have adapted to the digitalization of different sectors within their countries. Even though South Africa has moved at a slow pace, adopting advanced digital software far later than other countries, they eventually caught up.

In 2015, the South African BIM Institute gathered technical experts to curate digital construction solutions within the sector, which was referred to as the South African BIM Protocol. Up until 2015, no mandated practicing BIM standards had ever been implemented in the country before, which is why the industry requires the integration of technology to thrive and remain relevant in the global industry and market. BIM software will thus, support the growth of the construction industry in South Africa, as well as other industries, once they catch up with the digital age.