(Building Information Modelling)

Cummins + Voortman RIAI Chartered Conservation Architects, Urban Designers, Artists,

BIM Consultants, Graphic Artists, Dublin, Tipperary, Kilkenny,  Ireland

Tel: 00353 567755745 Tel: 00353 12966507


Building Information Modelling (BIM)  (by Cummins + Voortman Architects & Urban Designers)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is at the core of the Cummins & Voortman practice work processes, since its establishment in 2005. The use of the Virtual Building model at all stages of our projects allows us to maximise the design quality, a buildings energy performance, maintain tight cost control, while giving the opportunity to the client to visualise and understand the project properly before key decisions are taken. BIM technology is implemented in all our projects, large and small. Although Building Information Modelling is a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland, it has been in use for the last 12 years and the senior directors within the practice have a combined experience in Building Information Technology of over 25 years. The practice is the most advanced in it’s use and implementation of BIM in Ireland. (The practice regularly lectures on the subject of BIM and carries out specific related training-see below).

Building Information Modelling Technology benefits all our projects including commercial, urban design, sport infrastructure and residential projects (such as new houses, extensions, refurbishments and renovations). The process involves the creation of a 3 dimensional model of the site and all existing structures, which allows for an in depth analysis of the existing site constraints and opportunities, the formulation of precise objectives to respond to the brief and the optimisation of design strategies. BIM technology allows us to convey to our clients a precise design intent at the early stages of the design, and provide us with the tools to the create a performance driven project with thermal performance analysis and energy usage simulations being run at the early design stages. Energy efficiency is key to long term cost control, as 80% of the total cost of buildings resides in their operational cost rather than the cost involved at the design and construction stage. As the building documentation is well coordinated and accurate, this results in an efficient construction process with little or no variations which maintains the project within the allocated project costs.

BIM Consultancy:

In early 2011 Cummins & Voortman  entered into a strategic alliance with Project Programme Management  http://www.ppm5d.ie/, to provide extended Building Information Modelling services, to include 4d (time), 5d(cost) and 7D (Facilities & Asset Management) services.

Our alliance assists contractors in their aim to become BIM enabled, and thus maximise their tendering opportunities. BIM benefits the construction process by enabling the contractor to produce cost estimates with a high degree of precision. By an early and efficient conflict resolution before construction starts on site, this process reduces the amount of errors and on site waste in both labour & time, and benefits the process by allowing more efficient site management in relation to temporary structures & construction machinery. During the construction process project management benefits from BIM as the information model provides a visual medium of the project program, both projected and current and a visual record of variations. Should the design team not be BIM enabled, we assist contractors in the conversion of 2 dimensional CAD documentation into an accurate Building Information Model and provide assistance in relation to BIM IT technology.


We also provide training and support to help companies use BIM and better integrate with others through BIM. We collaborate with Elevations BIM Ltd to again include 4D, 5D, & 7D training where required. This is carried out in Ireland and Internationally.

Ongoing research:

Through our membership of Construction IT Alliance (Bernard Voortman is a Director of CITA) and the RIAI BIM Practice Committee, we dedicate time and effort on a voluntary basis to contribute to the promotion of the BIM agenda in Ireland. We are committed to continuous research into the evolving concept of BIM, the rapid evolution of IT and the emergence of new collaborative processes. We have for instance presented our findings of new research and extensive experience using BIM during BIM presentations to the Office of Public Works, GMIT, Planning Planet in London (September 2011) & CITA  (Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin. Nov. 2010).

We strongly believe that BIM plays a major role in finding appropriate & efficient solutions.

The BIM phenomenon started to gain momentum more than 10 years ago, and we are at the point where

it has reached a high level of maturity.

At this stage there are no technical barriers to BIM implementation, in relation to software, hardware, data exchange protocols and improved collaborative agreements.

Remember BIM is not just a case of creating a 3d model from 2d information...

• It involves the creation of a complete virtual building model,

• A virtual model with intelligent parametric 3d objects with embedded data properties that can be quantified, modified and tracked

  1. All Elevations, sections and object schedules are associative and bi-directional within the model.