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What is Building Information Modeling (BIM)? Discover How BIM is Shaping Modern Commercial Real Estate

Explore the revolutionary impact of building information modeling on project efficiency and cost management

Sofia Jaramillo //April 16, 2024//

Man holding home in palm. Hand drawn style.
Man holding home in palm. Hand drawn style.

What is Building Information Modeling (BIM)? Discover How BIM is Shaping Modern Commercial Real Estate

Explore the revolutionary impact of building information modeling on project efficiency and cost management

Sofia Jaramillo //April 16, 2024//

Building information modeling, or BIM, is more than just an industry trend in commercial real estate — it is a game-changing technology that is redefining how properties are designed, built, managed and sold.

If you’re involved in commercial real estate, harnessing BIM’s potential can streamline the development of your projects and give you an edge over your competitors.

But what really is BIM, and what are its practical uses in a real estate setting?

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The basics of BIM

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process used to create and manage digital models of buildings and properties. However, these models are more than simple visual representations — they also reflect a structure’s physical and functional characteristics.

BIM works by processing data and converting it into a virtual building that perfectly reflects how it will look and perform when built.

As design development progresses and data continues to accumulate, a BIM model also takes on the role of an information database that can be referenced by architects, engineers and various other stakeholders to create building documents, compile construction takeoffs and acquire permits.

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Key benefits of implementing BIM in commercial real estate projects

The transition from traditional 2D building plan sets into dynamic 3D models represents a considerable shift in commercial real estate development. BIM has the potential to streamline both the design process as well as the marketing and management of a facility. Some Key benefits of BIM implementation include: 

1. Better stakeholder communication

One of BIM’s many stand-out advantages is its ability to promote effective communication among all project stakeholders.

By providing a data-rich centralized model, BIM allows architects, engineers, contractors and facility owners to work more cohesively by ensuring everyone is on the same page. This inclusive working environment reduces inconsistencies, eliminates information silos and ensures projects are completed on time and within budget. 

2. Digital-age marketing strategies

From a real estate standpoint, marketing facilities to a modern demographic can be challenging. Buyers and investors are no longer satisfied with building specs and a few photos. They want to be able to envision their company functioning within a facility. 

BIM models cater to modern buyers by presenting them with hyper-realistic renderings and digital walkthroughs of a facility, both inside and out. Additionally, with revolutionary virtual reality (VR) technology, potential buyers can visualize and even simulate in the first person what working in the space will be like. 

3. A competitive advantage

Adopting BIM gives a competitive edge in the commercial real estate landscape.

Projects designed and built with building information technology are higher quality, more energy efficient and more adaptable to future changes than their traditionally designed counterparts. For modern property developers, taking advantage of BIM’s benefits brings a greater return on investment and a reputation for innovation, both of which are critical parts of staying ahead in a competitive landscape. 

Leveraging BIM for project cost estimation and management in commercial properties

With labor and material prices changing on a daily basis, accurately calculating costs is becoming increasingly difficult for project and facility managers. Fortunately, BIM takes the guesswork out of the estimation process. Here’s how.

1. Budget planning

When working with BIM, estimators and project coordinators can calculate their building takeoffs and cost estimations based on data derived directly from a 3D model, facilitating accuracy and precision.

For example, after a BIM model is complete, the software can automatically generate a list of quantities and square footage for building components like doors, windows, and tiles.

This automated process minimizes the margin for error by eliminating the need for manual calculation, allowing for the creation of balanced budgets and significant savings. According to a case study published by EDP Sciences, implementing BIM into a company’s design and construction process has the potential to cut costs by as much as 52.36%.

2. Facility maintenance

With commercial real estate projects, BIM’s usefulness doesn’t stop when construction comes to a close. Modern facility managers can leverage BIM to transition from a reactive maintenance strategy into a more proactive one.

By integrating real-time data and analytics provided by on-site sensors, facility managers can use BIM to calculate the optimal moment to perform routine maintenance and upgrades to building systems. This preemptive approach promotes better use of allocated resources, improved safety protocols and reduced downtime needed to conduct preventative maintenance.  

BIM, driving commercial real estate into the future

There is no denying that building information modeling is having a revolutionary effect on commercial real estate.

By taking advantage of BIM’s collaboration, estimation and management tools, real estate professionals and business leaders all over the world are discovering new ways of improving efficiency and lowering their project costs. As construction and real estate progress further into this age of technology, BIM will continue to evolve and adapt, further securing its place as a cornerstone in modern architecture.


Sofia Jaramillo is an Account Executive at Microsol Resources and supports all architecture, engineering, and construction clients across the U.S. with Rhino, V-Ray, and Enscape software. Sofia is also an Autodesk Account Executive for the West Coast and the Florida market. Born and raised in Colombia, and has found a new passion within the field of design and construction.