Building Information Modelling (BIM)

Image depicting building information modelling

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

On 31st May 2011 UK Government published its plans to deliver a 20% reduction in capital cost and carbon burden from the construction and operation of the built environment. At the centre of this report was a mandate for the creation of a collaborative 3D BIM environment - an environment in which all project and asset information, documentation and data are captured, stored, shared and updated electronically. The first milestone – level 2 BIM compliance – was set for March 2016.

As businesses, contractors, sub-contractors and partners adjusted to Level 2 business as usual, we witnessed a significant increase in requests for scanning of paper material. Paper archives are, by definition, non BIM compliant. However, since then, we have also seen a marked increase in requests for our data conversion and data structuring services. Having digitised their hard copy material, businesses and organisations typically turn their attention to how they might best extract the full value of the data contained within the images.

To work effectively, BIM must be structured around a Common Database Environment (CDE) with linked databases. The conversion of unstructured images to structured data models is essential to this. Typical customers include the AEC sector, local government and central government. However BIM for Heritage is already well-established as an SIG in its own right.

BIM Services

  • Conversion of scanned drawings into CAD files
  • Conversion of unstructured attribute information into structured data
  • Cleansing of unstructured datasets to follow standardised hierarchies and naming conventions
  • 3D modelling with attributes
  • Geo-referencing of scanned maps and plans
  • Feature extraction from maps and plans (into CAD or GIS file formats)
  • Web-based 3D GIS platforms
  • Virtual tours
  • High-volume data extraction through semi-automated processes (machine learning). For instance extraction of data fields from Word/ pdfs (e.g. planning applications, contracts, AIRs and EIRs)

Testimonials

I have worked with Max Communications and the team for some years. In recent work with their Archivematica iteration in the College Archives and Corporate Records Unit, and other digital work required by varying cohorts in Imperial, Max Communications have been responsive, innovative and demonstrated great problem-solving abilities. The Max Communications team, from the top down, is approachable, friendly and keen to help.

An example is in their engagement for some major confidential scanning projects. The projects were discussed, scoped and agreed to a high standard of hand scanning. Benchmarking was agreed to our satisfaction when the project started, with a fast progress time for the work. They provided rapid access to files, including digitising out of sequence, e.g. one such turn around for hand scanning, editing and proofing a large file was within 3 hours. The digital delivery was by secure online transfer, and the hard disks and hard copy delivered securely by courier.

On a lighter note, digitisation of 1960s academic cine film was carried out promptly and to a high standard, such that it can be reshown at a major conference

--Anne Barrett | College Archivist & Corporate Records Manager | Imperial College London
Image depicting building information modelling