Why Do Manufacturers Need To Provide BIM Object Files?

In 2019, “The Rock ‘N’ Roll Dream Tour” featured moving holograms of Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison singing and playing guitar on stage. Reviews of the concert raved about how realistic these 3D moving characters appeared. They were three-dimensional representations that fit and moved perfectly among actual live band members, appearing as if they were actually part of the band.

Everything we see in our daily lives is in three dimensions, and these real, tangible things make our world easy to understand. For architects and specifiers, their life is made much easier and “real” when they can see from every angle and position how building materials will fit into their plans and how those materials will actually function in a building’s final construction.

This is where building information modeling comes into play.

how manufacturers provide BIM models Nusser bench

According to the National Institute of Building Sciences/buildingSMART Alliance™, “a Building Information Model (BIM) is a [three dimensional] digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle from inception onward.”

BIM is a method of providing organized, collaborative data in order to develop a digital depiction of a structure/project throughout its lifecycle.

Since the BIM process provides three-dimensional digital models and logically-controlled data for building and infrastructure projects, it imparts a source of collaboration with all parties and organizations in the supply chain.

It is the quintessential digital process for construction and asset management.

There is growing support for BIM mandates by governments and organizations globally to implement technology systems that ensure safe and cost-effective structures while providing future benefits to maintenance and operations.


The Importance of BIM in Construction Product Manufacturing

BIM Site Furnishings: NUSSER Now Provides 3D BIM Objects of Urban FurnitureFor construction product manufacturers, BIM reduces the potential for disparities and loss of data when transferring product information to other team members in the chain. BIM is frequently mandated in order for products to be considered in building projects. In fact, 75 percent of AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) professionals say they will only work with construction product manufacturers that provide digital product information via BIM software.

More and more, BIM is required of virtually any manufacturer of building products, such as:


· Electrical products · Precast concrete · Kitchen and bath products
· Piping and plumbing · Fenestration · Structural components
· HVAC · Flooring materials · Insulation
· Roofing products

· Site Furnishings

· Lighting

· And much more


To ensure they fit into the workflow, the utilization of BIM objects by manufacturers is expected among many participants in building construction, including architects, engineers, contractors, developers and even facility managers.

For ongoing maintenance by facilities management, BIM objects provide a reliable digital twin to help effectively operate and maintain a building’s infrastructure well after project completion. The building’s HVAC and lighting systems are good examples.

BIM objects provided by manufacturers facilitate construction management by delivering information that helps with planning when experiencing expedited timelines, budget restraints, building plans that may contain contradictory information, and demand for skilled labor.

As building product manufacturers deliver BIM objects with the appropriate level of detail, they should first remove elements from the product 3D CAD model that would not be pertinent to the AEC firm. They then export a “BIM version” from this smaller file to simplify its inclusion in the final plans. However, this is only reasonably applicable for products that come in just one size.

More often, a product comes in many different sizes or configurations, and each possible geometry would need to be pre-built and maintained in separate files, a process that would take an unreasonable amount of time. This is especially the case when a manufacturer has an abundance of configurable products.

Providing BIM objects is necessary to be considered for specification, and like the architect and contractor, building material manufacturers need to be profitable too, and nimble. When a manufacturer has an abundance of configurable products, it is faster and more cost effective to simplify the native BIM for each given product line and then configure the specific products for the project.

In other words, if there are 50 configurations of the same product (i.e., different sizes, colors, material grades, etc.), and the project only needs three of the 50, it’s easier for a product manager to configure the three to suit the specific project needs.


Don’t Overdo It: Selection and Use of BIM Software

BIM applications can take a lot of bandwidth, and they can bottleneck even high-performance data systems. Selecting the right BIM delivery tool includes ensuring file sizes can reduce overlay of unnecessary geometric detail or parameters that can slow down the system, and instead follow standards that streamline content.

Standardized processes facilitate the automation of design, labeling, and collation, yet if a manufacturer’s content can’t quickly negotiate these processes, their data will only hinder the system.



Today it takes more than chasing Dodge Reports to get to the right architect before the competition, and more than throwing your hat in the ring of a blind bid request where the one who presold the project wins the deal.

Instead, to get specified into projects, building product manufacturers need to make it easy for all stakeholders to share information across platforms.

Architects, surveyors, structural engineers, building owners, facility managers and everyone in between must be able to render, incorporate, view, and share the same 3D modeling. This is especially crucial when stakeholders are located hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Everyone must be able to speak the same language in real time.

Providing BIM content that carries the precise level of detail required for the project makes your products easy to work with and more likely to be spec’d by architects and specifiers.


Final Tips To Avoid Being an Also Ran”

From government bids to commercial building projects, to obtain information on “blind” RFPs (requests for proposals), call and ask the project coordinator or ultimate decision-maker some questions. “Just to be sure you’re bidding apples to apples.

  • Who is the ultimate customer on the project who needs our products, and may I speak with them?
  • Who currently provides this product to your organization (or ultimate customer)?
  • What do you need from us to be a serious contender?
  • Where does the product need to be delivered?
  • What is the budget range for our product?
  • When is the RFQ (request for quote) deadline, and when do you require delivery of the product?
  • How will our product be used?
  • How did you learn about our company?

Some of these questions may be rhetorical, and some you may not get answered. However, you’ve at least shown the initiative and shown that you’re interested in the job, and you may be able to get some clues about whether they’re serious about asking you to bid, or if you’re just being “shopped.”


See more inbound resources for marketing to architects.


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Content Marketing Manager at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Strategic Communications graduate from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Shelby has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.