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Blog 2: Building Information Modelling as an Innovation

In October Werner van der Watt skilfully presented Building Information Modelling (BIM) at the InnovationSIG launch. The InnovationSIG is a special interest group of the IITPSA. BIM started by extending two-dimensional architectural drawings into three-dimensional computer models. These models allow plans and sections, and three-dimensional perspectives, to be easily generated, updated and printed.

BIM models even allow in-building perspectives. Using virtual reality glasses, you can ‘walk’ down a passage and see paint colours, lights, plug points, safety equipment, doors, carpets, and furniture items. If the interior design isn’t working as expected, change any of these items with a few clicks and drags of the mouse. Layers of data can be added to highlight fire retardation rates, simulate room acoustics, or indicate air temperatures and flows through the building – even before the physical building exists. An added bonus, once the actual building is built and ready for inspection is that, if necessary, the inspector can leave virtual defect notes at the relevant locations for specific contract suppliers to remedy.

Innovators should note that BIM aligns with multiple predicted trends of system evolution identified over half a century ago. The dominant trend in action, is moving from increasing complexity to simplification through integration. The results in this case are higher productivity, dramatic time and cost savings, and moving from the liability of static, two-dimensional drawings, to an asset which is an accurate and easy to maintain living model which can survive from pre-cradle to post-grave of the building in question. Hard work, good software and imagination can continue to advance innovation in BIM.



InnovationSIG meetings are usually held on the first Thursday evening of each month.

Join us at the next meeting of the InnovationSIG on Thursday evening 3 November 2016 to hear about aquaculture and an agricultural jobs challenge, and to learn more about innovation and IT. RSVP at


Wayne Mallinson

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