Dealing with processes, digital tools and their application in the design and construction of a building means working with many acronyms that identify micro or macro-topics, areas or disciplines and at the same time, perhaps for their very nature, that generate various interpretations and some misunderstandings.

One of the first and most important acronyms, widely spread in the 1980s and then discussed for more than twenty years, is the acronym CAD and its intrinsic dualism between Computer Aided Drafting and Computer Aided Design. This dualism – which can be considered outdated as well as unsolved – was interpreted as Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD) and Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) depending to different authors and contexts.

The most recent and popular acronym is BIM (Building Information Modeling). Depending on the context, it can be understood at the same time as a process, as a set of digital tools or as the result of both. In BIM there are many other acronyms subject to interpretations. Just to make an example: LOD (Level of Development) vs. LoMD (Level of Model Definition) that is the integration of LoD (Level of Detail) and LoI (Level of Information). Both now should migrate to LoIN (Level of Information Need). The term “Level” is often used in various ways and it is sometimes misunderstood.

It is what it is.

This trend will pass as many others and we will have clearer ideas in a few years…

This article does not propose definitions, which would stratify uselessly on others and could be the starting point for others again. It does not even intend to provide clarifications on the “BIM thing” which is in continuous transformation.

In this article, the word BIM will appear using italics, and telling what the author learned in recent years, addressing the digitization of information in the processes of design and construction of bespoke facades, built internationally, in very different markets.

Christian Florian, BIM Manager di Permasteelisa S.p.A.
e-mail: c.florian@permasteelisagroup.com