Learn more about Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software

Best BIM Software

BIM software refers to a 3D visualization of building design that includes a plan, elevation, and a section of the building. BIM is a significant designing tool in the AEC industry, helping in the analysis of the quantitative and qualitative facets of the construction, such as cost estimation, time requirement, and component procurement. Moreover, BIM software also enables to undertake operations related to the project post-completion, which include maintenance issues and project lifecycle management.

Top 10 BIM Software

  1. AutoCAD 
  2. Revit 
  3. SketchUp 
  4. AutoCAD MEP 
  5. Navisworks 
  6. ARCHICAD 
  7. AutoCAD Arch 
  8. Vectorworks Arch 
  9. BIM Track 
  10. Civil 3D 


AutoCAD
 is a digital modeling and designing software. It is developed and built by Autodesk. The program has been recognized internationally as the best modeling tools used in the oil refining sector, as well as in classrooms, colleges and utilities. Read More

Revit is a platform for designing of buildings and is used for those that construct buildings. This is used mainly in Building Information Modeling (BIM)The app helps building professionals to model and grasp a building's layout, and how they communicate with each other before they eventually construct it. Read More

SketchUp is among the world's most prevalent 3D modeling and design software. The app helps highlight the imagination everywhere whenever online. SketchUp also lets users imagine and modify the 3D models via the mobile app interface. Read More

AutoCAD MEP is a computer-aided design program (CAD) developed to assist mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) businesses in planning, measuring and constructing 2D and 3D construction structures. This uses protected DWG archives to hold all the details entered in a sketch, which is one of the world's most precise modelling which program architecture. Read More

Navisworks is a product design system developed to enable experts in the fields of architecture, engineering and construction to analyze interconnected templates and data with partners to help track project performance. Read More

ARCHICAD is the pioneering software system for Building Information Modeling (BIM), which architects, planners, engineers and contractors use to effectively plan, record and cooperate on construction projects. The program provides technical and construction approaches, which help architects to easily construct which reliably, develop models. Read More

AutoCAD Architecture provides architectural design, reporting, and scheduling functionality, as well as automating drafting activities. Using advanced software, construct floor plans, rooms, elevations and other architectural sketches for buildings. Certain elements include walls, screens, and doors. Read More

Vectorworks Architect is the first BIM modeling, scripting and reporting program designed for the business with a view to the design process. The app helps developers to address complicated 2D and 3D designs, improve design specifics, maximize energy usage, and streamline costs. In contrast, high-quality renditions can be effectively and immediately generated within files. Read More

BIM Track is a cloud-based collaboration platform that empowers the team with improved workflows for collaboration from planning to production. Data is now accessible through simple integrations, and one can view the data anywhere, wherever, from either a web or mobile device. Strong analytics help to understand performance monitoring issues through specific KPIs. Read More

Civil 3D lets civil project practitioners enhance project execution, rising threats, mistakes and omissions and adapt more effectively to adjustments in the project.  Additionally, consumers can optimize time-consuming processes with different software and flexible construction specifications, such as corridor planning, (road and rail), intersection construction, parcel configuration, site leveling and piping. Read More

What is BIM Software?

BIM software is a advanced 3D modeling method used in powerfully planning, designing, constructing, and managing buildings or infrastructure. With its centralized platform it enables all the employees, management teams and other members related to the project to stay on one page. It is a digital demonstration of physical and efficient character. BIM software is a common information resource for data in relation to a facility creating a dependable basis for decisions throughout its life.

Mainly, the BIM software provides 3D modeling features that help AEC (architecture, engineering, and design) and other construction professionals with an extensive range of tools. It provides a variety of functionalities that improves designing, planning, constructing, and project management. BIM software mainly comprises collaboration functionality that allows multiple team members to work on the same project model at the same time. The best BIM software also offers tools to optimize building performance with performance data and advanced analysis engines.

COMPETITIVE LEADERSHIP MAPPING TERMINOLOGY

COMPETITIVE LEADERSHIP MAPPING TERMINOLOGY

The competitive leadership mapping section provides information regarding key vendors offering BIM software and outlines the findings and analysis as well as rates them accordingly based on vendor performance within each evaluation criterion. The evaluation criteria are based on 2 broad categories, namely, Product Maturity and Company Maturity. Each category encompasses various parameters based on which vendors are evaluated.

Parameters considered under Product Maturity include breadth and depth of product offering, product features & functionality, focus on product innovation, product differentiation and impact on customer value, and product quality & reliability.

Parameters considered under Company Maturity include geographic footprint/presence in emerging markets, breadth of applications served, channel strategy and fit, the effectiveness of organic growth strategy, and mergers & acquisitions strategy.

The BIM software vendors are placed into 4 categories based on their performance and reviews in each criterion: “Visionary leaders,” “Innovators,” “Dynamic differentiators,” and “Emerging companies".

VISIONARY LEADERS

Visionary leaders are the leading market players in terms of new developments such as product launches, innovative technologies, and adoption of growth strategies. This quadrant receives high scores for the most evaluation criteria. They have a strong service portfolio, a robust market presence, and effective business strategies across the world. Visionary leaders primarily focus on acquiring the leading market position through their strong financial capabilities and well-established brand equity.

DYNAMIC DIFFERENTIATORS

They have an innovative portfolio of BIM Software and have an extensive network of channel partners and resellers to increase the deployment of their services across various vertical markets. Over the years, the Dynamic vendors have been consistently generating positive revenue growth in the BIM Software and their market position is enhanced by organic and inorganic strategies undertaken by them over the period.

INNOVATORS

They have an innovative portfolio of BIM Software and strong potential to build strong business strategies for their business growth to be at par with the Vanguards. These vendors have been providing server rack offerings as per their customer demands. Innovators have been forefront in deploying their solutions for niche and custom requests by their clients requiring the processing of high-performance workloads.

EMERGING COMPANIES

The emerging players are specialized in offering highly niche and tailor-made BIM software solutions and services to their clients. A majority of the emerging vendors have been undertaking multiple acquisitions and boosting their sales capabilities in various regions to offer their integrated services to a wide range of clients.

BIM software based on organization type

Enterprise

Small / Mid Business

AutoCAD

SketchUp

Revit

BIMx

Navisworks

Tekla Structural Designer

Archicad

Vectorworks Architect

 

What’s driving the BIM software market?

Building information modeling is extensively used in building applications to cut the cost expenditures and save time that helps in reducing the postponements in the project. By using various tools such as 3D modeling and clash detection, it is possible to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings. Buildings account for a larger share of the building information modeling market compared with any other application because of the increasing number of buildings or construction projects, along with business centers, shopping centers, and retail shops. It is a step forward in leveraging building information modeling toward the innovative presentation of projects in the form of informative and simulations models.

Important terms for BIM Software

  1. 4D, 5D and 6D

2D and 3D aspect is well known in BIM modeling. 4D has its own meaning in mechanical physics. 4D BIM model contains scheduled data regarding the construction sequence. For 5D & 6D the meaning differs a little bit but they most usually reference cost and lifecycle data. 5D BIM delivers data of object as well as its price. The 6D BIM model offers additional data regarding the project lifecycle.

  1.  AIM and PIM

AIM and PIM are divisions of a BIM data but are used differently.  Asset Information Model (AIM) is name that is occasionally known for a BIM post designing and pertain to the data comprised in representation meant to assist along the maintenance and process of position. Project Information Model (PIM) is contradictory, the BIM data required to take on the building project.

  1. CIC BIM protocol

This is the collection of legal rules placed by the Construction Industry Council in 2013 that allows a joint work environment at the same time as still maintaining the IP rights of the dissimilar legally responsible parties. It was planned to be straightforwardly incorporated into professional service agreement.

  1. Information Manager

This is personally selected for every CIC BIM etiquette to supervise the project and the enforcement of the CIC BIM etiquette. Additionally this individual is frequently accountable for additional duties, probable design leader or project leader.

  1. Common Data Environment (CDE)

Enclosed in PAS 1192, the CDE is the fundamental information depository necessary to assemble BIM Level 2 data giving out capability. It might be used in position to the single source of the truth database delivered by true BIM, but is in fact a superfluous time for team operating in a true BIM enabled environment.

  1. Federated model

The term is used to reference a BIM representation built from the combination of numerous dissimilar model by importing single model into one more. This could be the consequence of BIM Level 2 wherein all the teams work disjointedly on graphics first design, or might be used to generate a BIM Level 3 initial peak for an accessible construction.

  1.  Industry Foundation Class

This is object arrangement to facilitate the swap of data across diverse piece of software. It is designed to assist generate open principles for BIM by the group ‘building SMART’ the principles are more and more adopted to progress cross project management.

  1. Information Delivery Manual

This document outline the sequence of process to be considered throughout an asset lifecycle alongside with the data regarding how such processes be supposed to be carry out.

  1. LOD & LOI

These both are ordinary building and analysis conditions so as to refer the kind of data and the thorough data have to get together project condition. In the background of BIM, LoD specially refers the graphical data of model at each distinct stage, at the same time as LoI refers the non-graphical data to be incorporated in the BIM. For BIM Level 2, such category is defined by PAS 1192-2.

  1.  Life Cycle Assessment

This is complete ecological impact estimation for a building and each and every of its resource. It cover material and energy consumption, alongside the waste, pollutant and the penalty of productions and activities.

  1.  Open BIM

This is the term referencing a amount of attempt to generate open principles for BIM, by letting better collaboration. It is intermittently used to refer BIM Level 3, and factual BIM surroundings in which information becomes possible to edit and control.

What are the key features of BIM Software?

Architectural Modeling - The BIM software enables us to construct and render your projects in incremental steps all the way until the final design. Modeling can be done in both 3D and 2D, allowing for multiple viewpoints on all parts of a construction project. It allows us to compare the real-time construction of a project to your models to maintain a constant vision of the final product. This leads to enhanced customer satisfaction and receives a boost from this aspect of the system. Post designing a 3D render of the final product, this model provides the clients with a taste of what to expect and answer any questions they may have about how your vision meets theirs.

Project Sharing - A construction project depends on the skilled hands of a variety of professionals. No project involves one or two aspects of construction exclusively, and this can lead to barriers in communication. With project sharing functionality, team members from different specializations can work on one model and make design changes as needed. Rather than pulling every team together and makeover potential changes, each team can easily access a project model, make changes, and receive comments from other members. This feature further boosts communication as a foundational necessity of construction projects and helps to strengthen it.

Cloud Presentations - This aims to both customer satisfaction and communication for improvement. This feature helps to translate a full render of your construction project into a presentation for your client easily. Clients will be really impressed with fully interactive 360-degree views of their upcoming projects. With in-built cloud integration, clients located anywhere in the world can quickly view and enjoy your render of the proposed final product.

Interoperability – Interoperability is one of the crucial features of every BIM software solution. A variety of software suites are often utilized in any given operation. Software that can integrate with a variety of other programs is a vital feature for maximizing efficiency.  This helps to save time and money usually spent translating data from incompatible programs.

Report Generation - Continuous communication with your stakeholders helps keep the project moving at a quick pace. As the operation moves from phase to phase, real-time visibility can auto-generate reports full of pertinent data. This, in turn, can be communicated to stakeholders and project owners. Satisfying stakeholders enables the project to continue uninterrupted.

What are the different BIM Levels?

BIM Level 0 - In the earlier days of the 1980’s architects started using computer-aided designs (CADs) to aid their design process. The easy ability of the BIM software to create and view many layers within these CADs expanded the ability to detail information about buildings that could not be easily included in plotted drafts. As per the new UK regulatory policies, this technology is now known as ‘BIM Level 0’.

BIM Level 1 - In the late 1990s, ‘objects’ were introduced to these designs. These are non-graphical pieces of data about the building or its components stored together with the graphical representations. This led to the introduction to automate certain tasks, such as scheduling and room numbering, along with permitting even more information to be stored within a file. These innovative types of software also introduced 3D modeling, but the systems were still inadequate by their rooting in graphics-first representations. As per the new UK regulatory policies, this is now known as ‘BIM Level 1’.

BIM Level 2 - BIM Level 2 takes ahead these object-oriented CADs and presents new requirements for interoperable export formats and easy sharing tools. All CAD software should be capable of exporting to one of the common file formats such as IFC (Industry Foundation Class) or COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange). There is an additional requirement to create a ‘common data environment’ (CDE), that is effectively a shared data exchange platform. All files within a CDE remain separate but in a structured manner.

BIM Level 3 and beyond - BIM Level 3 category remains undefined. It effectively covers everything more innovative than BIM Level 2. The fact, however, is that this covers the true definition of BIM — database-first, single-source-of-truth design software and processes. Most of the direction for Level 3 is controlled by the Government-backed Digital Built Britain strategy now taken up and led from the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) at Cambridge University.

What are the benefits of Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software?

Faster Project Completion - It helps to save time while designing a building. This leads to a faster construction process. Additionally, the design is based on a database that develops over time and is leveraged to make more informed decisions quickly in the design process.

Better Communication – The entire data is shared and stored in a single point of truth. This enables all the architects in the team can view the latest design and document their changes accordingly. This helps to eliminate any confusion among the team. Subcontractors and clients can be invited so that they can collaborate and communicate on the project. The BIM software allows us to work closely and coordinate with specialists, like electrical engineers, even if they’re not physically present. BIM Software also gives you, the client, more opportunities to share your ideas with us.

More Detailed Visualization Tools – BIM enables architects to view the building in basic 3D dimensions like height, width, and depth. Moreover, the BIM software also enables to view a building based on how long it will take to complete each element (4D) and how much it will cost at every stage (5D).

Accurate Environmental Impact Analysis - BIM software has the ability to display a building in a sixth dimension, which is an analysis of the building’s environmental impact over time. This helps to find the most energy-efficient materials and the most effective regenerative design features.

Easier Building Management – BIM software can see the model in a seventh dimension called the life-cycle facility management view. This display shows estimated operational costs for the building once it’s complete. This permits us to make wise design decisions that will lead to greater cost-effective and simpler building maintenance in the future.

Higher Quality Results - As important designs are documented and calculated by an innovative process, there’s improved quality in the design and construction process. Contractors can view each element that needs to go for the building to operate at the highest efficiency.

Lower Cost – As the process takes less time to complete, you’ll pay for lesser total billable hours. Contractors can recognize mistakes before construction starts, reducing mistakes during the construction process, minimize the risk of unexpected repair costs later. Moreover, there is no need to buy excess materials than you’ll use. It also gives faster returns on investment when your project completes on time or even a little early.

Instant Information Transfer – As soon as HMC Architects has completed the project, it helps to transfer important files to you and leverage BIM to effectively integrate a Facilities Management (FM) system of your new facility. FM can be used to recognize areas that need routine maintenance, order replacement materials in the exact size or integrate the FM with a sensor system.

What are the applications of BIM Systems?

For construction management, BIM solutions are vital for the success of projects whenever tasks such as budgeting, workforce availability, strict inspections, and stringent timelines are expected.

BIM Software enables all contractors to evaluate and analyze files and provide realistic input before the project starts; this feature is very valuable because the information collected can be presented to investors and finance managers.

Best BIM Software allows property management and maintenance technicians to review BIM files midway through the construction process; as it will allow them to start planning for facilities management. With the perfect BIM program, for example, the GM of a hotel can start visualizing where special sensors connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) can be deployed for the purpose of enriching guest experience. As per the regulations with strict green building standards, BIM systems make it easier to estimate sustainability in terms of eco-friendly construction materials and overall sustainability.

With BIM systems in place, and having timely access to the right information, all the project managers and team members can be on the same page, and improvements can be carefully planned at any time during the construction process. For building compliance, BIM files enable to obtain necessary permits easier and faster than CAD blueprints and printed reports. BIM solutions offer the most holistic method to residential or commercial structure design to plan future operations and maintenance.

Overall, BIM solutions fulfill the gaps in the real estate and construction development processes of the past. The main functionality of BIM software is it provides intelligent collaboration platforms for all property stakeholders.

Key Concepts & Trends in BIM Software

Recent trends in BIM software include taking into consideration certain aspects such as time and costs. For example, 4D BIM software applications allow construction managers to identify how long it will take them to reach milestones. In the case of 5D BIM software solutions, the fifth dimension of materials, labor, and maintenance costs further improves the project management cycle. Superior functionality such as energy efficiency, environmental impact, and maintenance throughout the life of the building is often referred to as the sixth and seventh dimensions of BIM technology.

 Future of BIM Software - AI and BIM

With continuous technological improvements, next-generation 6D BIM is one of the crucial aspects of creating a perfect futuristic construction. But whatever is revolutionized and has already done in many cases, is the technologies and processes that digitize the entire process by real-time visualization.

AI can help reimagine how BIM is implemented more efficiently. Going deeper, the construction industry is set to benefit in two different ways. The first is that AI will support several functions common to all businesses, such as  human resources. Second, AI can help with business management to determine demand estimating and scheduling.

AI techniques can be used to improve the development and quality control testing of products and design structures. To be more productive, construction must move from being a conceptual model to a constructible model, and this is where technologies like augmented reality or mixed reality come into the picture and play a big role in enabling the digital engineering process.

Along with this, innovative building materials, such as self-healing concrete, aerogels, and nonmaterial, as well as advanced construction approaches, such as 3D printing and preassembled modules, helps to lower costs and speed up construction while improving quality and safety.

How to choose BIM Software?

For choosing the BIM software users can consider few points and get list of P

What are the concerns you want to resolve?

Prior to finding vendor who provides BIM software you must that the software has to resolve. Recognize the points where the project is having issues and then check with vendors if their software has all the features that has ability to solve your concerns and improve your processes.

Is the software affordable?

As per normal thinking it is considered that if any product is costly then only it is good but that is not the real case. The price of BIM solutions mainly need to perform tasks in the situations that are sometimes complex and sometimes not. So you need to understand the types of projects you work on and size of your construction team. So small project don’t need large level software. So in such case if large complex software is installed then it can slow down the project.

Is vendor providing technical support?

Getting desired BIM Software is very helpful but prior to that it’s also important to understand if the vendors provide skilled technical support. While implementing this system there can couple of technical issues to having technical support is always helpful. Some vendors also offer training modules and demo versions to understand the software and its working. This helps users get used to with software quickly.

Pricing of BIM Software

BIM software is usually charged on a user based form.  A leading software such as Revit pricing starts at $173.19/month for 3 years plan.  Nearly all BIM software requires several kinds of learning modules with additional pricing of around $2,000 apart from software pricing.

Free BIM Software

Software affordability is important thing to consider when it comes to small and midsized businesses. Below is the list of few BIM software that available for free or have free version.

  1. SketchUp by Trimble – SketchUp offers a free version of its software that can used for personal work. This free plan does not include any advanced features and comes with basic 3D drawing. Users can avail the premium plan for getting advanced features of the software such as architectural modeling or use of smartphone and many more.
  2. Graphisoft BIMx – Graphisoft offers a free version of its software that enables users to access it on their smartphone and analyse 2D and 3D models of their process. The free version can be used by users to show their designs to clients. Users can avail the premium version of this software by paying additional $49.99 which offers seamless interface with exterior database.

The majority of the free versions are having basic features where as the premium versions have advanced features which can give more improved modeling.

What are BIM Objects?

BIM objects is basically reusable mechanism that users can draw and drop into 3D model. Objects can vary from building material to other components like window, pipeline fixtures, door, support beam and many more. The users are able to get BIM objects straightforwardly from manufacturer, BIM catalog, or construct on their own.

BIM Standardization

For all types of BIM there is certain uniformity created that can be shared with everyone. The main reason behind this is that every BIM object can work independently with similar efficiency. Each BIM object has more features than the 3D modeling. BIM Objects comes with object’s integrated intelligence be capable of environment restrictions.

What are BIM deliverables?

BIM deliverables are just the diverse format that presents accessible BIM data. As the information is collected in a standard format, it becomes possible to access the data in required format by the system. Consequently, BIM deliverables comprise every diverse way in which information contained by a BIM can be accessed, checked or condensed. It means that the precise data that was incorporated in the BIM model and the software that is available.

Here is the list of few BIM deliverables that are available: 3D models, 3D validation model, 3D model take-off, 3D digital survey model, BIM model maintenance, 2D CAD drafting, 2D CAD drawing from a 3D BIM model, 4D/5D modeling, PDF plan drawing, Schedule, Room numbering diagram, Color filled diagram, Bracing diagram, Isometric building plan, Spool drawing, Employers Information Requirement, Project Information Requirement, Clash prevention, Clash detection report, Visualization, Virtual tours BIM Execution plans, Classification, Digital Plan of Work, Intelligent 3D libraries, Asset performance optimization, COBie and many more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which professionals and which areas can apply BIM?
    The strategy should include proper planning, keeping it simple and specific. Mainly focus on concrete objects. Generally, avoid executing multiple projects before receiving a positive response of using BIM on one project. Don’t overvalue BIM or make false promises that can’t be fulfilled. If you are new to the market get training of designers, modelers, architects, BIM professionals, contractors to assist your working capacity and boost your profitability.
  • Who needs BIM Certification?
    Green BIM refers to process of enabling architects, engineers and construction professionals to enhance sustainability in the construction industry. The system helps all AEC professionals to combine and analyze environmental issues in their design over the building lifecycle.
  • What is BIM Scope in the Project Lifecycle?
    Use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) ranges beyond the planning and design phase of the construction project, throughout the building life cycle. The secondary methods of building lifecycle management include cost and project management, construction management, facility operation and application in green building.
  • What is Green BIM?
    As of April 2016, BIM is mandatory by the Government for all public sector projects. Construction companies essentially operate in compliance with BIM Level 2 to gain subsidy from the Government for their project. As more than half of all construction projects are Government funded, BIM is crucial for all construction businesses; it is significant for main contractors to consider BIM Certification and for individuals to consider BIM training. BIM compliance is vital for all construction businesses. Certified BIM businesses will no longer need to complete a BIM capability assessment for each job.
  • What strategy should be adopted for BIM Implementation?
    The BIM methodology can be applied in all disciplines that involve the project (from architecture to electrical, fire prevention and atmospheric discharge prevention system, hydraulics, telecommunications, air conditioning, automation and other installations). Hence, BIM can always be used throughout the cycle (design, planning, execution, management and maintenance) and by all the stakeholders involved in the project. Irrespective whether they are engineers, architects, designers, budgeteers, managers or builders.

Best Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software

Comparing 41 vendors in Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software across 84 criteria.
6 Experts are advising 45 buyers
The USP of Tekla Tedds is the ease of calculations, as it is the structural and civil engineers have a tough job in transforming a plan into an actual building with a variety of materials used, the calculations have to thus, be accurate. Tekla Tedds is an error-free solution to this problem.
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It can be remotely accessed from anywhere for collaboration and also has a guest view which doesn't allow any editing but only visuals. The software can also be used on multi-platforms like iOS and macOS and windows. It also allows users to meet remotely and to leave comments to refer to later.
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This BIM Software is a robust and collaboration solution for engineers and architects. This software helps in getting précised blueprints of the building you want to build. It is a professional tool that comes under 3 different payment schemes. It is ideal for project creation, monitoring, 3D drawing, and much more.

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Trimble RealWorks BIM software is 3D Software that enables the user to amalgamate 3D point and inspection data to restore measurements, implement deliverables that can be availed inside 3D CAD software. Automatic registration supports a better result of workflow. RealWorks pricing is very worth for all the advantages it comes with.
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Building Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software Related Articles
Top 10 BIM Software to look for in 2020

BIM software includes computer-aided design (CAD) products and other tools including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP). CAD is used for the architectural design and construction industries. BIM is supported by various tools, technologies and contracts for the generation and management of digital presentations of physical and functional features of places.

Top BIM Software - Key Features, Levels and Latest Trends

BIM software is a sophisticated software which enables all the stakeholders to come together on board, and work out the plan, and design of a building in the form of a 3D model. Best BIM software has replaced the traditional blueprints and CAD software to give a realistic visual image of a building. The users of Building Design and Building Information Management software include owners, architect, contractors and engineers.

Want to enhance your BIM Capabilities? AutoCad provides the most

Autocad BIM offers increased coordination and maintenance in construction documents, improved visualization & improved productivity due to easy retrieval of information. Vital information about vendors for specific materials, location of details and quantities required for estimation & tendering helps for building performance analysis quickly with reduced costs.