The short answer is: Absolutely
BIM is a concept, BIM is a framework, BIM is a procedure, BIM is a theory, and BIM is so much more. I think almost any profession can utilize the core concept of BIM. As I think this is still an evolving concept, so I will take the luxury of describing it slightly differently than how it may be understood in mainstream engineering (I do not really know how it is being utilized in mainstream engineering currently).
Let’s suppose my next project was to construct a small frame in my backyard, with which I wanted to attach a punching bag. I will start modelling this project in a modeling / analytical software. In between generating that model, I may have a sports gear supplier who has all his gears available in a digital format from which I can simply insert the 3D representation (including the exact dimensions, connections, colors etc) of the punching bag, and also other information such as weight of the punching bag. Using this weight of the punching bag, I can analyze the frame for stresses. Again after the analysis, I can have a steel section manufacturer catalog from which I can chose steel sections which can withstand those stresses. I can select information like rust proof coating on the sections, any paint I want to have that section colored with and the connection types of the frames, lets say I have at least one arc weld in my frame. Then I can choose the base plate, bolts, anchors etc which would be required for the foundation along with concrete volume. With all this information entered, and approved, I think I can easily do the following:
- Place the purchase order of the supplies directly from my Information Model – I will get exactly what is available from the supplier and I will eliminate any human error in transmitting this information
- I will know exactly when will my supplies reach on site and I can make sure each supply is unloaded at a location where I want it to be
- I will know exactly which type of labor I will need, and exactly when will I need him, and which tools he should have when he comes to work. For example, with the supplies here, I will need a labour for concrete foundation, I will need a welder for x number of welds etc.
- Knowing all this, I can schedule the project accurately, I can know the cost accurately.
- At any point in time, everyone gets to see the same information working on a single project. For example, the architect, or the structural engineer of a project that is being designed changes a certain supply. Say instead of 5 mm glass for all windows with grey tint, the architecture wants 8 mm glass with dark blue tint. He makes this change for the window object, and the whole project gets updated – both spatially, and in terms of information like cost, thermal conductivity etc. This updated information is instantaneously available to all stake holders.