Allan Joyce Architects have been using Building Information Modelling (BIM) as part of our design process since 2012. We have already completed a number of projects for public sector clients and contractors who have adopted BIM to improve the construction process and the end product. This is ahead of the Government requirement for all publicly funded construction projects to achieve 'level 2' BIM by 2016.

BIM involves the production of a computer model of the building at an early stage of the project which can then be shared with other consultants, contractors and the client. The model starts off as a simplified representation of what the client wants and is gradually refined through the design and construction stages to contain additional detail and information on materials and services. This comprehensive model can then be passed to the client at the end of the project to aid them in future management and maintenance of their building. Our CAD software is certified for import and export of industry standard IFC files, allowing us to collaborate with users of other software. There are a number of free view software packages available, which allow the client to interact with the model, without having to purchase software.

AJA believe that BIM has a number of benefits for architects, clients and contractors. A basic model can improve the consistency and speed of drawing production reducing mistakes and ensuring any changes are reflected across all of the information. Very detailed models can be used to automatically produce, and update, schedules of areas, window or doors; either as part of our work, or by another person using the shared model. Sharing the building model between other consultants allows conflicts between architecture, structure, services and details to be resolved quickly, ensuring a smoother construction phase. We feel BIM can offer time and cost savings at all stages of the construction process and result in a well resolved and carefully thought through building.