6D BIM stands for 6D Building Information Modeling. It is a phrase extensively used in the AEC industry and refers to the intellectual linking of all the individual 3D CAD components or assemblies with all aspects of project life-cycle management information.
The 6D model is typically delivered to the owner when a construction project is finished so as to have the complete understanding of the project at hand. The “As-Built” BIM model is populated with appropriate building component information such as product data and details, manuals for operation/maintenance, manufacturer information and contacts, etc.
This database is made available to the users/owners through a tailor-made proprietary web-based environment. This is envisioned to assist facilities managers in the operation and maintenance of the facility, while facilitating a complete informative model to the user.
Dimensions in a 6D BIM model
3D (The shared information model)
3D BIM (Building Information Model) is the process of creating graphical and non-graphical information that is shared in a Common Data Environment (CDE). As the project life cycle progresses this information becomes richer in detail until the point at which the project data is handed over to the owner/user at completion.
4D (Construction sequencing)
4D BIM adds an additional segment of measurement of information to the BIM model in time scheduling. This data is added to components which will build in detail as the project progresses. Time-related information for a particular element might include information on lead time, how long it takes to construct, the time needed to become operational, the sequence in which components should be installed, and dependencies on other areas of the project.
With time information amalgamated in the BIM model, it is also feasible to show how construction will develop showing how a configuration will appear to look at each phase.
Drawing on the components of the BIM model being able to extract accurate cost information is what’s at the heart of 5D BIM. This information allows cost managers to easily extrapolate the quantities of a given component on a project. The benefits of a costing approach linked to a model include the ability to easily see costs in 3D form, get notifications when changes are made, and the automatic counting of components attached to a project. One can easily track predicted and actual spend over the course of a project. This allows for regular cost reporting and budgeting ensuring efficiencies are realized and the project itself stays within budget tolerances.
The cost manager may have to get used to working earlier and more iterative than in a traditional process but has just as important a role to play in overall project delivery.
6D BIM (Project lifecycle information)
Shifting the focus to better understand the whole-life cost of assets, where most money is proportionately spent, should make for better decisions upfront in terms of both cost and sustainability. This is where 6D BIM comes in.
6D BIM is also referred to as integrated BIM or iBIM. It includes the information that is required to support facilities management and operation to drive better business outcomes. This data includes information such as the manufacturer of a component, its installation date, required maintenance and details of how the item should be configured and operated for optimal performance, energy performance, along with lifespan and decommissioning data.
Facilitating all different kinds of components to the BIM model enables decision-making during the design process. In effect, designers can explore a whole range of permutations across the lifecycle of a built assets and quickly get an understanding of impacts including costs. However, it is at handover, that this kind of information really adds value as it is passed on to the end-user.
6D BIM model offers an easily-accessible and understood way of extrapolating information. Various details that would have gone unnoticed in paper files are now easily interrogated graphically. This approach really comes into its own by allowing facilities managers to pre-plan maintenance activities potentially years in advance and develop spending profiles over the lifetime of a built asset, working out when repairs become uneconomical or existing systems inefficient. This approach of planned and proactive planning offers significant benefits over a more reactive one – not least in terms of costs.
Ideally the information model should comprise of regular updates on repairs and replacements added in. In fact, what is even better is that a myriad of equipped data and diagnostics can also be fed in to inform decision making still further.
Thus, 6D models are par above 3D, 4D as well as 5D models as it contains all the attributes pertaining to the project such as the room elements (room name, number, and space type) etc. that is linked with asset, and any operations and maintenance requirements. So instead of the cumbersome encyclopedia set of three-ring binders at the end of the project, the firms can thus utilize a 6D BIM model complete with all the information their facilities’ team needs.
Divya Dave is a Senior Manager with Tesla Outsourcing Services. An engineer and management graduate, she has been working with the outsourcing industry now for more than a decade. With a passion for writing, she writes on topics that provide an insight into CAD, BIM, and 3D Visualization services for the Architectural, Structural, and MEP disciplines. Her focus is to enable architects and engineering professionals in the AEC industry to adopt the right technology so as to increase their efficiency and profitability.