Creating bespoke rooflights using BIM

What’s the most important ingredient for success in any building project?

Communication is up there. Delivering the right information at the right time, and in the most appropriate way, is what communication – and genuine collaboration – is all about. It’s what BIM is about too, giving the construction industry the tools and the flexibility to deliver information in the way best suited to each project and client.

Good communication also breeds trust. Product manufacturers, for instance, know that if they don’t help specifiers and design professionals obtain up-to-date, accurate technical specifications for their products, those professionals won’t have the confidence to work with them again on future projects.

BIM objects give product manufacturers the chance to put their specifications in the hands of not just the designer, but everybody who needs it. On larger projects that includes the end user, who inherits a detailed model that will hopefully help them manage the building through its whole life.

Unfortunately, specifiers can also believe BIM objects to contain too much information or excessive detail, especially for the early stages of a project. The dreaded phrase, “or similar approved”, means they are unwilling to commit to a firm choice, since they expect a different product to be used once construction starts. That leads them to use generic BIM objects, reducing the quality of information and decreasing certainty about specifications.

Some specifiers will consider authoring their own BIM objects to reflect the level of detail they want to include. Including generic or self-authored BIM objects, then passing on the responsibility for including a detailed object when a product is eventually selected, is not a desirable or guaranteed way to achieve data-rich building models.

There’s also a danger that architects will attempt to author their own objects if they want to do something new, something that deviates from ‘standard’. We offer our complete rooflight range as BIM objects, but there will always be projects where the ambition goes beyond off-the-shelf products. That’s where our service creating bespoke objects comes in.

As the manufacturer, we obviously need to advise on how a bespoke product will be designed to make sure it performs to the necessary standard. But rather than letting someone else translate this into a BIM object, we will also make sure it is drawn and authored accurately so it is represented correctly in the BIM model.

Going down the bespoke route with BIM objects can be done – but we think it should be done in conjunction with manufacturers, not instead of them. Getting us involved from the start means we can stay involved throughout, regardless of who takes responsibility for the overall model during construction, and means the building owner can trust the information that eventually comes to them.

You can download our standard BIM objects here or speak to our technical team for bespoke options on 01379 658300.