Of BIM and renderings

Confusion between BIM and renderings is frequent. Mainly by it’s detractors, BIM is normally pointed out as being only a method of rendering production, fit for mass consumption.

This comparison can only be based on ignorance.

If there is something for which the BIM is not suited, it would certainly be for producing synthetic images.

The integrated model (virtual building) that we develop aims to:

Automatic drawings production
As such, it has to incorporate two-dimensional graphical information, for example wall contents in plan, and textual information, for example legends.

Thermal, acoustic, solar and safety verification, to mention but a few
To be able to test our model, we have to input all the data, like inertia and thermal resistance of the materials, weight, fire classes and many others.

Compatibility between specialties
To guarantee that all the specialties coexist in the same model, without colliding, we have to shape everything that one sees and that is not seen, for example structure, electric and water nets, HVAC, etc.

Quantity takeoffs
To extract from our model quantity takeoffs, we have that to introduce unitary prices.

All the above mentioned information has no utility to produce renderings. Such images do not need prices, thermal resistance, pipes and sewer, dimensioning, and a lot of other basic data resident in our BIM model.

Thus, to use BIM modelling methodology to produce renderings would be a nonsense, a waste of time.

Also, to reduce BIM to renderings presentation is, at the very least, fruit of an enormous ignorance.

Now just to cloud the issue: Despite BIM modelling not being suited for rendering production, that does not mean that we can not use our BIM model to extract photo realistic images from it.

After all, although architecture’s aim is not to make pretty images (hopefully), that does not mean we can not photograph buildings.

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