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What Does BIM Mean for Engineers?

Engineers have long sought techniques to decrease project costs whilst increasing productivity and quality. Building information modelling (BIM) has the potential to help achieve these objectives.  Unless a system is well-designed, problems are likely to occur..

Architect engineer office desk. Building project blueprint plan on a computer screen. Real estate, housing project construction concept. 3d illustration

Engineers have long sought techniques to decrease project costs whilst increasing productivity and quality. Building information modelling (BIM) has the potential to help achieve these objectives. 

Unless a system is well-designed, problems are likely to occur, including:

  • Design defects that increase the project cost and cause significant scheduling delays1 
  • Design rework, which studies have shown can increase the total contract amount by as much as 20%2

However, by utilising BIM’s benefits, you can improve project outcomes, ultimately helping to boost your company’s reputation and win more business with better profit margins.

This article will answer the question, ‘What does BIM mean for engineers?’. 

Let’s dive straight in.

Suggested reading: You can read about how software is helping engineers produce efficient heat pump designs in our free eBook — Everything You Need to Know About Heat Pump Design

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What is BIM?

BIM is the foundation of digital transformation in the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industries. Based on an intelligent model, BIM provides a holistic and methodological approach to information management using components known as BIM objects.

BIM’s key role is to link and incorporate the design information and render an accurate digital representation.

Whilst many engineers are aware of and work with Revit, it’s important to understand that it is just one of many software applications under the umbrella of BIM that contribute to creating efficient designs.

Did you know: The UK Government requires all public sector construction industry projects to adopt level 2 BIM.3

BIM for producing drawings

Revit is currently one of the most popular software solutions for BIM. Unlike legacy design software, it is highly sophisticated — capable of generating three-dimensional models.

Perhaps the most crucial benefit that Revit provides within an engineering context is the high level of accuracy you can go to when producing drawings. 

A significant part of that is ‘clash detection’, which allows engineers to coordinate their layouts with other engineers’ layouts. 

Because Revit enables you to build projects virtually before they get built in real life, engineers can easily visualise problems during the design phase and resolve them before it occurs for real on the construction site. Solving problems during the construction phase is much more expensive.

Did you know: Building information modelling awareness and adoption has grown to nearly 70% in 2019 with a 48% level of adoption among Small–Medium Enterprises.4

BIM for producing designs

New solutions are emerging within the BIM field that help during earlier project stages than the ‘producing drawings’ stage. 

The design phase begins long before the ‘producing drawings’ stage (where Revit becomes valuable). 

H2X, the BIM software, improves engineers’ design and calculation workflow, a process generally completed before the Revit model is made available by the architect.

Let’s look at some of the benefits that H2X provides.

Accurate calculations

H2X leverages BIM to allow engineers to draw the layouts of their system quickly.

Along with users setting their sizing parameters, engineers receive results that include far more detail and accuracy than possible with legacy solutions. 

By automating calculations this way, which CIBSE has verified, H2X ensures that designs are free from human error often associated with spreadsheets. As a result, review processes are much easier, and there are fewer issues to be resolved later on in the project.

cibse calculation bim mep software
H2X’s Software Design & Calculation Benefits

Simplified quality control

All engineers will know that updating different design documents, such as drawings, spreadsheets, and Revit models, to reflect a new design is often:

  • Prone to human error;
  • Tedious;
  • Time-consuming; and
  • Unenjoyable. 

Fortunately, H2X can drastically reduce the time taken to implement design changes by automatically updating all associated calculations when there is a design change. This saves engineers valuable time and allows them to focus on more important design tasks.

Another major benefit is its ability to identify design problems quickly. It does this using the ‘Warnings’ feature, which notifies users of a problem with the design and gives a tip on how to resolve it.

This helps to ensure engineers, especially junior ones, can mitigate any potential errors before they make it onto the construction site.

bim mep warnings
H2X Software Design Warning Example

Iterating the design 

Delivering a project accurately, on time, and within budget is difficult with legacy solutions. This is because of how frequently the architect redesigns the building.

Because H2X links the design layout with the calculations, when you modify the layout to suit the new architectural design, the calculation results update instantly and stay current.

Furthermore, because of the speed and ease of designing in H2X.

Reviewing and discussing various design options for their building is much more impressive for the client than getting a single design.

Integration with Revit

H2X also integrates with BIM software such as Revit to generate the 3D system model. 

Therefore, when the project progresses from the concept phase to the detailed design, you are not required to do any ‘double-up’ work by re-drawing the system.

In addition to making the project workflow more efficient, the integration prevents information from getting lost between the engineer and drafter. 

Additional reading: For a comparison between a legacy spreadsheet approach to design and cutting-edge software, check out our recent blog post — H2X vs Spreadsheets

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The future of plumbing and heating engineering

At H2X, our intuitive software has been built by engineers who were frustrated with the traditional and tedious processes available.

We aim to help other engineers who care about producing high-quality work. 

H2X does this by streamlining the design, calculation, and modelling process, allowing users to focus on providing their clients with the best possible system instead of undertaking data entry in spreadsheets. 

You can learn more about the work we’ve done already in our recent case study, or see for yourself by booking a demo with us today.

“The error warnings are very clear and assist in ensuring no human error sneaks into the design.”

“The ability to output the design straight into Revit assisted clash detection and coordination”

MEP Design

bim mep design

1  Top 8 Causes for Construction Delays

2  Economic Analysis of Design Errors in BIM-Based High-Rise Construction Projects

3  BIM Levels Explained

4 Building Information Modelling and Project-Lifecycle


h2x: All-In-One Tool for Calculating, Designing, Estimating, and Paperwork

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Award-Winning Heating Design

"Using h2x was pivotal, allowing for precise heat loss calculations, pipe sizing and flow rates for each room.

This level of detail ensured that the heating load accurately matched each space's requirements, minimising energy waste and maximising comfort.

The strategic placement of heat pumps and careful sizing of pipework were crucial in maintaining minimal pressure drops over an 18-metre distance."

Greengate, UK

"I would estimate over the length of this project, I have spent 50% less time designing than I would on our previous software.

The ability to output the design straight into Revit assisted clash detection and coordination."

Salon Republic, USA

"The quality of the designs saw significant improvement with the adoption of h2x."

"The software offers precision through detailed result outputs and advanced options for efficient pipe sizing, allowing heating engineers to optimise based on parameters like maximum velocity and pressure drop."


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h2x is fantastic software. It is very easy to use and the ability to output to Revit is a fantastic time saver.

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