BIM ExplainedIf you are involved in construction, the acronym BIM will already be familiar to you. For the uninitiated, it is a process of managing information gathered throughout a construction project. This is to be collated into a common format, from feasibility planning through initial design, onto construction, operation and, if necessary, demolition. This uniformity ensures that those involved in the project are able to efficiently use and interpret all available information. The BIM process is made up of three elements:
- Consistent labelling and naming of all documents and collected data: This is crucial for finding relevant data throughout the lifespan of the project, ensuring all those involved in the workflow are following the same procedure.
- A process in place for storing and extrapolating information: This involves the use of 3D representations of the structure in fit-for-purpose modelling software. Fundamentally, the BIM process offers a shared representation and spatial database for recording the location and attributes of every part of the project.
- A method for exchanging or issuing information (e.g. construction, operation, performance and maintenance): This part works exactly how it sounds, involving the exchange of drawings, documents and data. When using BIM, this process is streamlined as the information is generated directly from the Business Information Model, rather than numerous separately prepared documents that could lead to confusion and costly mistakes.
BIM Maturity LevelsBIM isn’t a catchall system, there are different levels of implementation which are known as ‘Maturity Levels’. Here is the outline for each of these levels to give you more of an idea of the scope covered by the BIM method:
- Level 1: A project team using 2D CAD drafting with paper-based or electronic print information and data exchange are considered to be operating at Level 1.
- Level 2: When using a mixture of 2D or 3D CAD supported by a common data environment for the sharing of drawings and data with a standardised structure and format, you’ve reached Level 2. However, collaboration is limited amongst the various project teams with each controlling and disseminating its own information.
- Level 3: Collaborating across all disciplines with all teams using 3D CAD models that are integrated but not shared as a priority. Design info is shared via a common file format such as IFC or COBie to keep everyone on the same page throughout the project.
- Level 4: The peak of BIM operation, Level 4 is a fully collaborative workforce sharing all information across all disciplines using a single, shared project model which is stored centrally and is accessible by all the stakeholders to allow for essential modifications and data sharing.
Drones & BIMAs has been the case with a growing number of industries over the past couple of years, those in the construction sector have been quick to embrace the potential of drones. So, it’s no surprise to see an increasing number of companies employing unmanned aircraft to support their BIM methodology. Proving themselves to be an asset for this type of data-driven approach, drones can undertake the following tasks to aid the BIM workflow:
- Site inspections and land surveying before construction begins
- Point cloud scanning to aid Building Information Modelling
- Aerial photography at different stages of construction for marketing campaigns
- Monitoring site activity to ensure an accurate, issue free workflow
- Conducting structural inspections to ensure safety procedures are in place
Which Drones are Suitable for BIM Modelling?While, if properly customised, a large range of aircraft could be set to work on a construction site. However, speaking from experience and contact with numerous clients, we believe the following drones are best placed to carry out the range of data gathering activities need to successfully meet the requirements laid on in the BIM methodology.
The DJI Inspire 1DJI’s original workhorse. There’s a reason these versatile aircraft proved so popular with professional operators and it’s mainly down to the wide range of compatible cameras which include the ever-growing X5 series and DJI’s thermal sensor the Zenmuse XT. Couple this with a robust design, depth of functionality and ease of use and you’ve got yourself one highly sought after bit of kit. LEARN MORE HERE
The DJI Inspire 2An upgraded follow-up to DJI’s hugely successful Inspire 1 quadcopter, the Inspire 2 was created based on user suggestions received throughout its predecessor’s lifespan. While it’s primarily geared towards professional filmmakers, the Inspire 2’s access to the Zenmuse X4S and X5S cameras make it the perfect tool for capturing high-quality imagery and footage to help create effective BIM data. The aircraft itself has been upgraded while retaining all the features that made the original so popular. LEARN MORE HERE
The DJI Matrice 600 & M600 ProDJI’s Matrice 600 (and it’s ready-built successor the M600 Pro) sets the standard for heavy-lift drones. Designed for use by both industrial professionals and filmmakers, the M600 is compatible with DJI’s Ronin-MX gimbal allowing for a huge variety of camera configurations. A hexacopter with the ability to carry heavier payloads that the other models on this list, if you’re looking for an all round industrial-grade solution to aerial imagery, you can’t go wrong with the Matrice 600. On top of this, there’s the M600’s multi-battery redundancy meaning it’s not only great to fly on-site, but also very safe. LEARN MORE HERE
The DJI Matrice 200 SeriesThe DJI Matrice 200 series displays the Shenzhen manufacturer’s commitment to entering the commercial market as a serious contender. With three models available (200, 210 & 210 RTK) you’re able to decide which best suits your needs. If you opt for the 210 or 210 RTK you’ll be able the dual mount cameras (e.g. a Z30 zoom and XT thermal capturing data simultaneously) or alternatively top-mount a camera for activities such as bridge inspections. The top tier product (the 210 RTK) also comes with Real Time Kinematic GPS positioning for up-to-centimetre accuracy. This also has the added benefit of protecting the aircraft from strong RF / EMF interference such as power lines, radio towers. LEARN MORE HERE
Get in TouchIf you would like to find out more about how drones can be a real asset on-site with construction companies, you can get in touch with our team by calling 0191 296 1024 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
…Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more insights into the commercial applications of unmanned aircraft and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.