Computer aided design tools have long been integrated into architecture and construction processes. While many architects still prefer to draft their initial sketches with the traditional paper and pen, others have switched to using CAD tools full time. Some architects adopt a hybrid design model, using manual sketches that can then be added to and explored in greater detail using design software. Significant benefits include more visibility into intricate aspects of the design, enhanced clarity and ease of making adjustments.
BIM's advantages build on the value of CAD, but expands them beyond the architectural level. Since it serves as the digital representation of the structure, it acts as a framework for shared knowledge. As BIM expert Andy Smith noted in a recent interview with CIOL Bureau, BIM enhances coordination across the design and construction team, better diagnoses structural issues and creates a blueprint for real-world testing.