Businesses of all sizes in the construction industry are always looking for solutions to help them pursue better working methods. It all boils down to using the best tools and technologies to deliver better outcomes while keeping the operational costs optimal.
Two of the newest concepts penetrating the construction industry are architectural visualization and BIM. Thanks to them, businesses in this sector can improve their operations and achieve outstanding results in meeting project requirements with 100% accuracy while respecting deadlines.
Before you can grasp the potential of architectural visualization and BIM in this sector, you need to understand them first.
BIM stands for Building Information Modeling. It has become one of the most critical processes in planning, designing, and constructing buildings.
BIM is not a one-man process or responsibility. It’s a collaborative process that brings all key parties together, including engineers, architects, contractors, manufacturers, and real estate developers.
While BIM encompasses planning, design, and construction processes, it is vital to note that it is all done within one 3D model of a building. When completed, a BIM model contains various components called BIM objects. Each of these models can store data, have geometry, and, most importantly, be intelligent.
The “being intelligent” part implies that when you use BIM software to create a BIM model, changing one object will trigger the software to update the entire model to reflect the change. Software with BIM capabilities helps create a collaborative environment where all construction professionals can work together.
The “I” in BIM refers to information, which is the crucial component of this type of modeling. BIM relies on gathering and sharing essential information on objects and the model.
It includes information from the earliest project stages, such as conception, to the final stage (completion). For instance, a BIM model can contain various details on parts, materials, logistics, procurement practices, and finances.
Visualization refers to the practice of representing an object so that the viewers can easily understand what it is. It is one of the crucial concepts in architecture.
Since the early days, architects have used various means to represent their ideas regarding buildings and their position in the real world. Architectural visualization is the most efficient way to communicate ideas to clients.
Over time, architectural visualization kept evolving. Drawings and maquettes were the gold standard of visualization in architecture for decades. However, when you say architectural visualization today, it stands for 3D visualization.
3D architectural visualization is using software to create 3D models of a structure. There are various deliverables of 3D visualization.
For instance, you can render 3D images of a structure, a video showcasing the building’s exterior and interior, or a 3D model your clients can virtually walk through.
3D architectural visualization doesn’t only include the structure. Architects add various elements to make the visualizations more realistic and attractive, including lighting, carpets, paintings, and furniture.
Thanks to 3D visualization, architects can communicate their ideas in great detail and with accuracy. Their renders can be so realistic that viewers can’t distinguish between the visualization and a photograph.
BIM and architectural visualization have the power to facilitate the collaboration between architects and other construction professionals. They can address some of the most significant challenges architects face throughout the project lifecycle.
For instance, construction professionals and architects worked in silos in the past. They kept the data separate, and neither of the parties had insight into the complete and updated project database.
BIM and architectural visualization can enable all parties on the project to produce and share information consistently and effortlessly.
With BIM, architects can have access to all the information engineers provide. They can work together to ensure everyone meets all project requirements. More importantly, engineers and architects can check the feasibility of the design in real-time, make changes on the go, and see how they impact the design as a whole.
Without BIM, the 3D architectural visualization deliverables are just digital building representations. However, with the information the BIM brings and the collaboration it enables, a 3D architectural visualization becomes an exact digital twin of the construction.
BIM and architectural visualization can help bridge the gap between architects and construction specialists. Finally, everyone on the project can access an integrated model, which they can use to streamline management and access the realistic visualizations on-demand and in real-time.
There was only one significant challenge in using architectural visualization and BIM in the past. 3D visualization software and BIM software had limited capabilities.
However, today the construction industry can reap all the benefits of BIM and 3D visualization, whether the companies decide to use rendering software or BIM.
Modern BIM software now comes with a rendering engine. Companies can onboard construction specialists and architects during the conception phase. It enables the architects to access all data relevant to their design process, while engineers can always provide feedback and keep projects on track.
Additionally, the latest software tools in the BIM category support external plugins. It’s an excellent perk for architects used to specific rendering tools. Instead of learning a rendering engine built in BIM software, architects can use the one they already know how to use.
For instance, rendering software such as Corona Renderer, Lumion, V-Ray, Blender, and Cinema 4D all have plugins compatible with BIM tools.
Architectural visualization and BIM are changing the construction industry for the better. They don’t only help communicate design ideas to clients in an easy-to-digest way. These two have the power to enable collaboration between everyone engaged in a project, minimize the risk of error, and provide access to digital twin representations of a building.