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Array ( [id_cms] => 83 [id_cms_category] => 2 [position] => 0 [active] => 1 [indexation] => 1 [proslider] => 0 [id_lang] => 1 [id_shop] => 1 [meta_title] => Understanding BIM: what you need to know [meta_description] => Understanding BIM: what you need to know - Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a term you’re likely to be hearing a lot these days. It represents a new approach to conceptualising buildings. [meta_keywords] => BIM,Construction News,Facilities Management,Technology [content] =>

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a term you’re likely to be hearing a lot these days. It represents a new approach to conceptualising buildings that is revolutionising the world of construction. From client and architect to builder and end user, BIM enables a holistic approach that makes it much easier to coordinate activities, monitor development and plan for the future. So, what exactly is it? How does it work? What are the capabilities of this software for construction and other related industries?

BIM Technology

What is BIM?

BIM is a concept which has been around since the 1970s but it has only become viable at a practical level with the development of more powerful computing technology. In essence, this process involves modelling buildings in virtual spaces, where their functional and physical characteristics can then be explored. Unlike traditional modelling, BIM makes it possible to observe these features side by side and see how they interact making it easier for the architect's vision to be interpreted by others. It also means that people with different types of expertise can quickly identify potential problems with the design or where improvements could be made.

Today’s building information models are generated using specialist software like ArchiCAD, Sonata and RECUPS. These produce three-dimensional models which are easy to navigate. Because each part of such a model is defined in relation to the other parts, changing or moving one section automatically adjusts the others. This means, for instance, that if you extend a wall in one direction you can immediately see the changes that will need to be made to other walls. You can even use this to recalculate the costs associated with the increased interior space. The level of detail required can be adjusted to meet the needs of project partners.

The Benefits of BIM

BIM is used extensively by governments, public bodies and large companies seeking to develop buildings that fit very particular specifications and can be useful over long periods of time. It’s ideal for heavily collaborative projects because it means different stakeholders can easily coordinate their priorities. For instance, engineers can work with the model to determine what is feasible, while architects assess whether it will allow enough light into key areas, and disability experts work out whether or not it will be fully accessible.

BIM doesn’t stop being useful when the construction phase is over. It remains a useful model for planning maintenance and addressing the impact of any proposed alterations in years to come. Dynamic information can be incorporated into the design to facilitate this process, so the building is looked at not just as a static object but as something which can change over time.

BIM example - showroom

An example of BIM technology in practice - Volkswagen Showrooms, Shanghai

BIM in Practice

The primary challenge associated with using BIM today is that there are several different software systems out there, with competing standards. This issue means that it’s necessary to choose one that not only provides the level of functionality required for a particular project, but that can be accessed and understood by everybody involved. The slightly different approaches taken by each team of software developers means that fluency with one system can make another feel counter-intuitive, so in some cases, each new project represents a new learning process. Different standards are now emerging in various countries, so it is international projects that tend to be the most complicated.

BIM In the Future

At the same time as this is going on, new approaches to data sharing are making some aspects of BIM more practical to use, and it is increasingly possible to access BIM models from anywhere, including on site. BIM is now also being used to calculate the energy efficiency of buildings, creating a dynamic relationship between the architecture (as it is visualised and developed) and the active life of the building. This means that, in the near future, we should see the demand for this technology in areas such as Facilities Management. With so many exciting ideas in development, this is a technology with a bright future and one that’s well worth taking the time to get to know.

Image Sources:

www.bimtecheng.com

entonginternational.com

[link_rewrite] => Understanding-BIM-what-you-need-to-know [id_image] => 83 [legend] => no picture ) 1

Understanding BIM: what you need to know

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a term you’re likely to be hearing a lot these days. It represents a new approach to conceptualising buildings that is revolutionising the world of construction. From client and architect to builder and end user, BIM enables a holistic approach that makes it much easier to coordinate activities, monitor...

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With summer in full swing, now is the time for many homeowners to get cracking with their outdoor projects but not all of them have fully considered the health and safety risks that come with their DIY pursuits. No matter if you just need to give your window frames a new lick of paint, or you've got a major landscaping job on the cards for your back garden, safety should always be on your mind. Here are our tips for keeping nasty outdoor accidents at bay.

Know How to Handle a Ladder

Many outdoor projects such as clearing out gutters, painting your home's exterior or trimming back trees will require you to work at height, so you absolutely must get to grips with some ladder health and safety basics.Tool Belt - DIY Safety

  • Check the ladder is in good condition before EVERY use.
  • Never lean ladders on glass, gutters or windowsills - only walls will give you adequate support.
  • Place the ladder on a firm, level surface - wooden boards are handy if you need to place the ladder on soft ground.
  • Don't juggle tools as you make your way up the ladder - use a tool belt and maintain three points of contact at all times.
  • Always face forwards when working, and keep both feet on the same rung to avoid toppling.

If you don't feel confident working at height with just a ladder to support you (we don't blame you!) or you need to have both hands free and the ability to twist, turn and lean as you work, it could be worth hiring a small access platform for the duration of your outdoor project instead. You'll be significantly safer and won't be as physically restrained, meaning that you can get stuck into your project!

Browse Plantool’s range of Access Platforms.

Don't Overdo the Physical Labour

Major outdoor projects like landscaping often require lots of ground clearance and preparation, which means one thing - back-breaking digging. Don't be a hero and gear yourself up for strenuous physical labour unnecessarily. You may think a few hours digging is great exercise but you can do some serious damage to your back if you overdo it. Assess the size of your project carefully and be prepared to hire the appropriate equipment, such as a rotovator or digger.

Make Sure the Weather is On Your Side

Nobody really likes to work outdoors when it's pouring with rain or freezing cold, but there's another reason why you should pay close attention to the forecast before starting your outdoor DIY. Very wet, cold, windy or even hot conditions can significantly increase the risk of accidents.

  1. Consider the ground you'll be working on: will it become slippery when wet or icy? If so, you may want to put the project on hold until you have drier conditions to avoid the risk of slips and falls.
  2. If you're working at height, will you be dealing with severe winds or storms? Falling from great height is obviously not a prospect you want to be addressing, so don't take the risk if you think it's too blustery.
  3. Will you be in the sun when doing a significant amount of physical labour? It may seem pleasant to work in warm weather but excessive heat can cause dehydration, sunstroke and migraines, all of which can lead to you dropping heavy items, using dangerous machinery incorrectly, or collapsing. If you must work in hot weather, be sure to drink plenty of water, take regular breaks in the shade and wear sunscreen.Emily on Plantool's mini excavator

Tell Someone What You're Doing

If you're planning on working on your landscaping or outdoor project alone, it's wise to tell someone where you are and what you're doing and be sure to let them know, regularly, that you're safe and well. If an accident does happen and you're unable to call for help, those who know what you've been up to will be more likely to pop round to check on you and get you the help that you need. If possible, try to keep a mobile phone on you at all times so that if you do have an accident, you can raise the alarm as quickly as possible.

Always Wear Protection

If you're planning on using any cutting or grinding equipment (something which you may well do during landscaping if you're working on paved areas), be sure to wear a mask to minimise the amount of dust you breathe in. If you're dealing with heavy items or machinery, wear steel toe-capped boots to prevent injuries to your feet - if you have ever stubbed your toe then you’ll know that crushing them will be extremely painful! Working with panes of glass? Wear thick gloves and goggles.

To put it simply, always think about which parts of your body are most exposed and at risk when you start a new DIY activity and be sure to have the right protection available to minimise the chances of accidents and injuries. It's always better to be safe than sorry!

To find out more about Plantool’s safety training courses including IOSH and IPAF accreditations, visit our Training website.

Image Sources:

www.donleyinc.com

[link_rewrite] => Staying-Safe-During-DIY-Projects-Outdoors-The-Basics [id_image] => 82 [legend] => no picture ) 1

Staying Safe During DIY Projects Outdoors: The Basics

With summer in full swing, now is the time for many homeowners to get cracking with their outdoor projects but not all of them have fully considered the health and safety risks that come with their DIY pursuits. No matter if you just need to give your window frames a new lick of paint, or you've got a major landscaping job on the cards for...

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Maybe you need to landscape a holiday home or a rental property. Maybe you simply have too many work or family responsibilities to spend every Sunday pottering around the garden. Even a small outdoor space can improve your quality of life so why not make the most of it. The good news is that there are many plants out there that require relatively little from you in order to thrive to give you a bit of greenery to look out on.

There may be no such thing as a no-maintenance garden, but there are quite a few ways to cultivate a tidy, enjoyable outdoor space without spending hours on it every week.

Here are Plantool’s ten recommendations for the plants to go for if you’re after a low-maintenance garden:

 

Evergreens

1) Shrubberies – There are many varieties of ornamental evergreen shrubs available, in a surprisingly wide variety of colours and self-limiting sizes. Just make sure the one you plant won’t grow much larger than your space allows, and you may never need to trim or care for it again.

2) Dwarf Junipers – Good for smaller spaces as they tend not to get too monstrous! They provide a lovely bit of green as well as delightful, tiny, blue berries. Dwarf Junipers are often chosen for bonsai trees but can get along just fine without complicated pruning. These shrubs like dry soil, and generally needn’t be watered.

3) White Cedar – This evergreen Conifer is actually a type of Cypress, so it does very well in the UK’s wet climate. It is a fairly common ornamental tree, and can live more than 1000 years in the wild with no maintenance at all!

 

Perennials

Pasque Flowers

4) Sedum – There are many variants of ornamental sedum, and they all thrive with little or no attention. They grow back reliably every year, bloom throughout the late summer and autumn and even attract butterflies.

5) Agastache – These tall plants have beautiful flowers, and are known to be quite drought-resistant, perfect for anyone who doesn’t have time to water the garden. They come in blue, purple, red, pink and even orange varieties, so you could populate an entire bed with them and still have a colourful, floral display.

6) Coreopsis – There are both annual and perennial types of coreopsis, so make sure you buy the right one. These lovely orange, red and pink flowers are almost entirely self-sustaining, though you may have to fertilise the beds every few years.

7) Pasque Flowers – These unusual small plants have quite large purple and yellow blossoms. They require little care or watering, yet look like they require a great deal of effort.

 

Bulbs

8) Allium – An ornamental garlic variety, Allium typically bloom in late spring, and have very distinct spherical flowers. Pink, yellow, white and purple varieties are common, as well as a giant variety which could grow taller than the average man in the right soil. Allium are also highly pest-resistant.

9) Daffodils – The ultimate zero-maintenance plant, Daffodils will survive the winter in the ground easily, and come up again year after year without any help at all. They’re resilience withstands the most brutal of lawnmowers. This is why they seem to pop up everywhere in spring, even in the most neglected places.  

10) Hyacinth – Truly lovely flowers, available in yellow, orange, blue, purple, pink and white varieties.  The flower has a truncate bulb. Truncate bulbs (like daffodils, tulips and onions) will not normally divide on their own – so you won’t have to worry about them spreading.

 

Of course, which plants you choose should depend most on your own individual tastes and the features of your garden. So long as you choose something that you like and is reasonably well-suited to your soil and local climate, your garden should provide many more hours of enjoyment than it requires from you in up-keep.

 

Image sources:

www.landscapes-shakespeares.co.uk

flowerinfo.org

[link_rewrite] => top-10-plants-that-need-the-least-maintenance [id_image] => 80 [legend] => no picture ) 1

Top 10 Plants That Need the Least Maintenance and Care

Maybe you need to landscape a holiday home or a rental property. Maybe you simply have too many work or family responsibilities to spend every Sunday pottering around the garden. Even a small outdoor space can improve your quality of life so why not make the most of it. The good news is that there are many plants out there that require...

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