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Dunham-Bush Develops BIM Objects

Oct. 22, 2014 — Dunham-Bush Ltd., a UK-based designer and manufacturer of temperature control solutions, has engineered an in-house solution to provide end users and specifiers with BIM (Building Information Modeling) objects and families not only for standard but also for specially designed heating and cooling products.

The BIM data from Dunham-Bush makes design easier for customers and specifiers, and it enables designers to incorporate the physical, and eventually the performance attributes, of the company’s products into the overall building design. This provides a more accurate and flexible presentation of a project to clients and contractors.

BIM is revolutionizing the way companies design, construct, maintain, and decommission buildings. It involves creating a BIM object that contains 3-D models and a Product Data Sheet (PDS); this assists in making the best decisions from design to demolition. It is becoming so essential that from 2016, the government will require all public sector projects to be completed using BIM-supported designs, as part of the industrial strategy which it has developed in partnership with the private sector.

The PDS within the BIM object is typically an Excel spreadsheet which contains both project and product-specific information; this becomes fully populated as the building design develops. Manufacturers are only able to provide the product specific information, which then must integrate with the designer’s PDS. Product selection is possible for simple items of equipment but complex selections such as fan coils are some way off as these need to reference fan curves, acoustic data, and thermal data simultaneously.

The models held within the BIM object are simplified models of the product to minimize data storage and processing time in the building model. Currently, there is no standard format of these files as designers are using different packages. Dunham-Bush, however, is able to create and export RVT, DWG, and IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) files.

Mike Holding, managing director at Dunham-Bush, explained: “We have upgraded our Autodesk Inventor software to enable the export of the necessary simplified models directly into the designer’s software, such as Revit. A number of our team members have been trained in the software, and we are now able to produce BIM models for customers as required.

“BIM objects offer much more information than a CAD drawing as they are data rich items which contain exact product specifications, links, etc., and which can be embedded with other elements in a project. This way, they can be used to track the project design against predicted measures, to more easily see relative scales, and identify potential clashes.”


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