4BIM is a £1.2 million project jointly funded by the Technology Strategy Board and its commercial partners. The goal of the project is to provide capabilities that will help the construction sector to meet the UK Government’s target for all public sector construction projects to be utilising collaborative BIM by 2016 (Level 2 on the Bew-Richards BIM maturity index).
4BIM is a Building Information Modelling (BIM) online tool that uses Cloud Technology to deliver a range of BIM Services, in order to facilitate collaborative working between different project teams using open-standard data: IFC files.
By extending its existing Saas (Software as a Service) cloud technology hosted by 4Projects, and using xBIM for the processing of IFC files, the 4BIM tool will deliver the following services:
- A browser-based Viewer for 3D BIM models, supporting open Industry Foundation Class (IFC) model files, as well as secondary support for industry standard 3D BIM formats. This will allow any project member to review and interact with 3D BIM models without the need for any significant training, nor any specialist software to be installed. No software installations or plugins will be required to use this viewer, apart from a modern web browser.
- A browser-based Review System allowing items and assets within an IFC model to be reviewed, tagged with data (such as energy usage / specification documents etc). This will allow any supply chain member to collaboratively review, annotate and comment upon a model, as well as associate data with elements of the model.
- An integrated Model Server, allowing multiple BIM files from multiple disciplines and organisations to be merged together for collaborative viewing, review and further processing. This model server will provide accountability and audit trails, to ensure that the latest versions of models were being used by the team, and gives visibility of changes in a model, and will use a form of social-media ‘wall’ which will keep members informed of changes to the models. Support will also be provided for CPIC, BS1192:2007 and upcoming BS1192:OPEX/CAPEX standards.
- A BIM Reporting System to allow the interrogation of model data both within the project, and across many projects, enabling decisions to be made, and knowledge to be re-used by future teams. The reporting engine will provide a range of capabilities, such as production of Bill of Quantities, Clash highlighting and the ability to extract relevant data from a larger model.
- A Facilities Management handover service, enabling O&M and other BIM data to be collaboratively captured, combined with data in the models, and made available (to clients etc.) using the open COBie 2 data interchange format.
- Mobile application for accessing BIM data in 4Projects (for Android and iPhone/iPad devices), including the ability to view 3D models and interact with data in the project.
4BIM is a collaborative project involving commercial lead partner 4Projects, academic lead partner Northumbria University/BIM Academy, and with the help and expertise of consortium partners AEC3, VINCI Construction and Kingspan Ltd.