A Vital Design Tool for Interior Designers

Building Information Modeling is being increasingly adopted by interior designers as a major design tool for various interior design sectors, including retail, commercial, the workplace, hospitality and the educational sector. The traditional design-bid-build process typically involved architects and engineers to represent the shell and interior architectural components using two-dimensional architectural drawings. Later, these architectural drawings were placed over other discipline's engineering drawings and checked for coordination and errors. As there was no automated process to detect collisions, this process often resulted in re-work, project submission delays and unexpected costs. However, the situation is completely different after the advent of BIM.

According to Autodesk, BIM is a process that involves creating and using an intelligent 3D model to inform and communicate project decisions. It has become an indispensable tool for interior designers, architects and other design professionals involved in the interior design process. BIM has made it possible to design an interior 3D model very quickly and easily. It allows designers to evaluate the space, experiment with different design options and visualize the model thus giving them an advantage to understand the real-world performance of the desired space.

The designer can easily compare various design options in a single model. For example, a designer may need to compare an open and modern office layout with a bright colour scheme and lighting to another compact office layout with bold colours. All these design options can be shown in one single BIM model. This helps the client to easily evaluate the different design options and give a faster consensus on the design that suits their requirements. Also, with BIM being a single database driven model, it coordinates the information across all representations of the project. Thus, any changes done are accurately reflected in all the related schedules, views and drawings.

Unlike CAD, BIM facilitates interoperability and easy coordination between architects, interior designers and engineers. Each of them can work on the same file whilst being updated about the changes made by any of them. This transparent method of information sharing builds trust and enhances collaboration between team members whilst providing the owner with both cost and time benefits. Utilizing BIM, interior designers can easily place, document and schedule furniture and other necessary equipments accurately. Every object present in the model has information about it, including model number, cost etc. If the information entered in the model is correct, the schedule will be accurate and simultaneously updated every time the floor plan is altered.