Back to basics: BIM

Back to basics: BIM

What is BIM?

BIM quite simply stands for Building Information Modelling. It involves a 3D virtual model of an object (‘BIM Object’) that forms part of the construction of a building, for example Tradeline Standard C Stud. This may sound like your normal CAD model; however BIM is more intelligent than that.

BIM is more than a 3D model

Not only is BIM a virtual representation of a building, but a digital process of a building’s life, from design and construction to the end user and facility management. Behind the model sits data about each object. For example if a contractor viewed the BIM model of a planned new office block, they’d be able to identify that Tradeline Standard C Stud has been used, along with the nominal dimensions and the technical data about that metal stud. However the level of data doesn’t stop there, for the end user and the on-going maintenance of the building, information such as the installation date, the warranty on the item and the life expectancy of the metal stud is also available.

What are the advantages to using BIM?

Having such high levels of data available behind a digital model, accessible to everyone working on the construction of a building, improves the work-flow and approval cycles between different stakeholders. Along with a reduction in wastage, as the data behind each model gives you an accurate amount of materials needed and allows you to find problems with the design and build before work begins on site. This reduces time and costs whilst also improving safety measures. This transparency provides full control of the materials used within the build and peace of mind that a project is complete on time and to budget.

2016 Government requirements

Part of the government’s strategy to make the construction industry fully collaborative includes all public sector buildings to be built using BIM Level 2 or higher by April 2016.

  • Level 0 – 2D CAD drafting
  • Level 1 – 3D concept work and 2D CAD drafting
  • Level 2 – 3D CAD Models with BIM objects in an IFC (Industry Foundation Class) file format. Objects built as an IFC can be used across different software platforms allowing for collaborative access to the object data
  • Level 3 – Also known as ‘Open BIM’ has a government target of 2019 and is the idea of a single shared BIM model which is held centrally and accessible by all

Beyond Level 3 looks at 4D models, taking into consideration, time, costs and facility management.

For more information visit the BIM Task Group, a government initiative set-up to support delivering the objectives of the Government’s Construction Strategy.

SpecFinish Comment from Lee Parker

SpecFinish Comment from Lee Parker

When it comes to choosing the correct tools and appropriate fixings for compliant drywall applications, even the most experienced installer can fall prey to time consuming and ultimately costly errors. Lee Parker, Category Manager for Drywall and Accessories at CCF, explains how using quality products can bridge the gap between output and a long-lasting result.

It’s no secret that having the right tools for the job makes delivering fit for purpose applications much more simple. However, with the variety of drywall fixings on the market it can be difficult to identify which solution is going to deliver the best results. This is why, despite brand promises, proof of regulated test performance and a full system warranty (in accordance with the project specific installation guidelines) are the only way to be confident of effective, long-lasting, and fully compliant results.

Furthermore, it’s important that each tool or fixing adheres to the core safety performance needs. Ensuring that fixings are compliant with the relevant British safety standards, such as EN14566 ‘Drivesure’ which covers ‘reaction to fire’ and ‘flexural strength’, is of paramount importance.

It isn’t just testing performance and the ability to meet regulations that should be taken into consideration. In fact, recent product developments mean that modern tools and fixings also contribute to faster application times and cleaner finishes.

For example, the Tradeline range of fixings, which is exclusive to CCF, has been developed to offer an extensive choice of sizes and materials such as zinc and black screws to ensure optimum workability. Not only will this guarantee that the screws are sharp enough to penetrate plasterboard and metal effectively, but that they will provide a high-quality, lasting finish for years to come.

Similar innovation is being seen across finishing essentials such as abrasives, tapes, and compounds. For instance, Tradeline’s ready mixed joint compound saves time and effort when applied to paper joint tape or when finishing gypsum panel joints. This is due to its lightweight and all-purpose nature which ensures low shrinkage, easy sanding, and excellent workability.

By choosing a reputable brand, such as Tradeline, specifiers and installers have additional access to technical handbooks that highlight testing based on accredited UKAS Reports, whilst being confident that they are selecting engineered solutions that are fully compliant with their requirements.

Tradeline is the dedicated drywall solutions range exclusive to CCF, one of the UK’s leading distributors of insulation and interior building products to the construction industry. For further information on Tradeline visit For further information on CCF or to locate your nearest branch visit Follow CCF on Twitter via @CCF_UK and on LinkedIn at