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Following the Golden Thread: The Role of Coatings in BIM

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Following the Golden Thread: The Role of Coatings in BIM

Building information modelling (BIM) has been around for some years in the design and construction industry – and it’s going nowhere. In fact, statistics from Dodge Data and Analytics has highlighted that around half of built environment professionals in the UK and Ireland are already using BIM on 50% or more of their projects, with 82% reporting that they plan to do this within the next two to three years.

This increase in the use of BIM can in part be put down to a general move to more digital ways of working across the sector but, crucially, there has been a concerted effort from the government to encourage BIM adoption. Rightly so, there is a growing need to accurately record data around the materials, equipment and processes used on a project, from the planning and design stages through to the end of construction – a concept known as ‘the golden thread’. But at which point should coatings be considered?

The importance of BIM  

In essence, BIM is a 3D modelling process that allows architects, as well as engineering and construction professionals, to conceptualise, design and build with intelligent, data-driven insights and efficiencies. By using a BIM workflow, architects and specifiers have the ability to regularly and accurately record data throughout every stage of the development of a building.

This process isn’t just a ‘nice to have’; it’s a vital way of working in today’s design and construction industry. Health, safety, wellbeing and environmental impact are at the top of the agenda for everyone involved in the built environment, from government bodies and associations to architects, contractors, product manufacturers and end users. We as industry professionals must prove how the decisions we make are addressing each of those concerns. Likewise, in order to meet or qualify for sustainability accreditations from the likes of BREEAM, WELL and LEED, architects and designers must work closely with project managers to ensure the recorded specifications of a material, piece of equipment or process used at any stage of the development is accurate.

One such material that needs to be recorded in this way is coatings, and it’s becoming more important for the right paint to be specified early in the design phase.

Integration of coatings

The coatings specified for a building serve much more of a purpose than just making the space look good – they’re a key part of the building’s design and contribute to improved health and safety, wellbeing and environmental impact just as much as any other material or process used on a project. Johnstone’s Trade Air Pure, for example, is a bio-based wall and ceiling paint that improves indoor air quality by removing up to 70% of formaldehyde from indoor air, while PPG’s STEELGUARD water-borne intumescent coating provides cellulosic fire protection. Similarly, all of PPG’s water-based and low-VOC paints are contributing to improved air quality.

At PPG, we’ve made it easier than ever for you to include coatings in your BIM workflows and to prove the impact those choices can have on the overall impact of the building. We offer a collection of BIM-ready paint material files for Johnstone’s Trade, GORI and PPG Protective Coatings product ranges in both Revit and IFC format, and they’re all ready to view on the NBS National BIM Library, with direct connection to NBS Chorus for fast and easy inclusion into the specification.

We’ve also partnered with BIMsmith to allow you to design and visualise the exact colours of our paints as well as access and download the relevant technical documents, ready to render and apply to your project’s BIM model with complete accuracy.

Technical support

Ensuring the golden thread of information on a project is maintained has never been more important and we’re here to help you seamlessly integrate PPG coatings into your BIM workflows for a complete and accurate digital record of data about the products being used. Our online tools and team of technical specification experts are on hand to support you in the creation of specifications.

Find out how PPG can help integrate coatings into your BIM workflow here.

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