BIM: The Parallel Universe

“BIM is a parallel universe where building design and construction take place virtually. It’s a virtual 3D model of a structure, loaded up with information and data related to each and every element involved in the design and construction of a facility.”

—Kyle Hudson, Project Manager and Professional Engineer, VIATechnik


BIM of the Lolli and Pops candy store in San Francisco

BIM, or building information model, is a 3D visual database of your project. The BIM process allows designers, engineers and architects to foresee and correct design and construction issues virtually—before construction or reconstruction begins. BIM is the backbone that allows all stakeholders (owners, subcontractors, specialty contractors, engineers and architects) to visualize, coordinate, simulate, study and ultimately improve design during all facets of the construction phase.

Building information models have two elements: 3D visualization and detailed information. BIM is an excellent platform that supports coordination, modification, fabrication, plan production and simulation.


Interior section of a BIM of the Good Samaritan Hospital

Building information models are created using an industry-leading scan-to-BIM process that ultimately saves time and money in construction. Using 3D laser scanning, professionals develop a BIM of your existing project using your specifications and industry standards. This is a collaborative process between 3D scanning companies and the design team. The scan-to-BIM process is quickly becoming the gold standard in the A/E/C industry.


BIM LOD from the BIMForum

Building information models can encompass several different levels. Five commonly used levels developed by the BIMForum are 100, 200, 300, 350 and 400. These levels are also known as LOD or level of development. Each level provides a different depth of information about the building and amount of detail displayed in the model. Depending on your project needs, you can choose which level is optimal.


A BIM created from existing conditions is incredibly valuable to the entire delivery team. It can be used by the architects and engineers during plan production, the contractor during construction and the facilities manager after construction.

  • Contains all design and construction details
  • Allows you to virtually see and build your project without mobilizing a single crew
  • Ensures confidence when making decisions
  • Reduces design and construction issues
  • Improves communication between the design and construction team
  • Supports the collaboration process

“The value of BIM spreads to all levels of the A/E/C workflow—from coordinating existing and proposed work and estimating projects more accurately to simulating construction techniques and virtual design immersion. BIM is the state-of-the-art workhorse of the modern built environment.”
—Kyle Hudson, Project Manager and Professional Engineer, VIATechnik


Building information models have become increasingly popular over the last decade. According to the post A Brief History of BIM in ArchDaily, BIM grew in popularity from 28% in 2007 to 71% in 2012. The A/E/C industry has seen an even greater increase in the implementation of BIM over the last few years. In fact, the UK government now requires that all building projects have a building information model. The ArchDaily article also discusses the earliest usage of BIM back in the 1960s.

“BIM is the most widely used design tool in the A/E/C industry.”

—Carlos Velazquez, President/CEO, Epic Scan


To get started using BIM and integrating it into your design and reconstruction process or for additional information, contact us at 415.524.0516 or Feel free to email or call us with any questions regarding BIM, 3D laser scanning or documentation.

Epic Scan would like to thank Anton Dy Buncio, Kyle Hudson and the entire marketing team at VIATechnik for participating in an in-depth interview about BIM.

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