3 ways BIM could impact future domestic life

3 Ways bim could impact future domestic life

3 ways BIM could impact future domestic life

3 ways BIM could impact future domestic life

A positive impact on domestic life?

In the architecture, construction and engineering (AEC) industries, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become the buzzword for modernisation and for making efficiencies in working practices and financial costs. Some may even say that as a buzzword, BIM has simply become synonymous with digital 3D models of digital assets.

The truth is that the heart of Level 2 BIM gives the ability for the AEC, facilities management and owner operator sectors to efficiently manage the lifecycle of their digital assets, having far reaching consequences for us all. And, it’s not a great leap of the imagination to envisage that the benefits which BIM brings to industry could be realised in a domestic context – Domestic BIM anyone?

Here are a few ways BIM could impact on our everyday domestic lives positively:

Managing your domestic appliances

Here’s a not uncommon scenario – your washing machine breaks down and after your initial disgust with this ubiquitous and inanimate object breaking down, you realise you’ll need to do the following:

  • Find out what model it is. This usually means searching high and low for some kind of manual or instruction booklet – but where is it? Who knows?
  • Find a contact number from the supplier or manufacturer to report the problem and hopefully get some idea of the repair cost, who you should call to get it repaired and how soon this can happen
  • Find out if you have a guarantee or household insurance to cover the problem. This may mean searching for receipts, a certificate or contacting your bank to search through your records for a date of purchase.

All of these things require you to find data and documentation which, let’s face it, many of us stuff into drawers, cupboards and perhaps even down the back of the sofa with the paperclips and small change.

With a digital representation of your washing machine and all other domestic appliances, all of this information could be stored and accessed easily, saving time and potentially money. Imagine being able to simply contact the correct supplier with the necessary information for them to access the likely cause, time and cost of getting it repaired.

3D Printing and BIM

3D printing and BIM have been discussed a lot recently, especially in the context of building materials and objects for larger infrastructure projects – such as in this article about structural metal nodes.

However, the potential benefits in a domestic context could also be huge if this technology becomes available cheaply and simply at home. Take your malfunctioning washing machine – you could simply input a file (which would form part of your digital representation of the object on purchase) – and print your own spare part, be it a control on the fascia or something internal. This could have ramifications for how machines are built in the first instance and from which materials they are made and it could make things simpler for any professional servicing company who may not always have direct access to a specific model’s components. Either way, access to the washing machine’s digital data could allow any part of it to be repaired more quickly, whether by 3D printing at home or by the servicing company.

Extending or renovating your home

It all comes back down to the digital data, documentation and modelling. Assuming you’ve the money to extend or renovate your home, BIM could help you do this even more efficiently.

Having a digital representation of your home has clear benefits. It would make it easier to decide what kind of structural work needs to be done to add a conservatory for example. You would have detailed information about the foundations beneath the proposed site, data about the materials already present in any existing supporting walls and information about existing electrical wiring allowing for easier decision-making when it comes to obtaining a quote from a qualified electrician.

If you wished to renovate your home, even so far as simply redecorating a selection of rooms – the exact amounts of paints and wallpapers could be understood quickly and easily because the data about the exact size of your rooms would already exist, digitally.

Digital data and a more connected future

None of these ideas are particularly difficult to imagine becoming reality – OK, maybe 3D printing is some way off domestically – however, much of the data in many cases already exists to enable digital representations to be produced retrospectively. And, where this can’t happen, it seems to make perfect sense for BIM to be applied in domestic contexts for the future.

What is interesting is that, as the first example above demonstrates, in the home, BIM and digital data can be used to solve none built environment problems and issues, making our lives easier, more efficient and potentially greener with less wasted time, materials and money.

Not only that, the potential for linking our domestic digital data with Smart City projects such as Open Data Bristol could have significant implications for improving how we live together in our built environment and manage the increasingly complex elements of our domestic lives. Copied from Paul Baguley Blog.

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