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Dunham-Bush develops BIM objects

Designer and manufacturer of temperature control solutions Dunham-Bush Ltd has engineered an in-house solution to provide end users and specifiers with building information modelling (BIM) 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, by enabling 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 revolutionising the way companies design, construct, maintain and decommission buildings. It involves creating a BIM object that contains a 3D models and a product data sheet (PDS), which 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 it has developed in partnership with the private sector.

The PDS within the BIM object is typically an Excel spreadsheet that contains project and product-specific information; this becomes fully populated as the building design develops. Manufacturers are only able to provide the product-specific information that 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 product models to minimise data storage and processing time in the building model. Currently, there is no standard format for these files as designers are using different packages. However, Dunham-Bush is able to create and export RVT, DWG and IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) files.

Managing director Mike Holding 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 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 that contain exact product specifications, links and so on that 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.”

To find out more about BIM and Dunham-Bush Ltd visit or call the Havant-based head office on 02392 477 700.

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