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BIM Glossary


Add-In is a term typically utilized by Revit users to refer to a set of software components that adds specific abilities to a larger software application. Add-In is similar in functionality and often interchanged depending on the software application with Parametric (typically SDS/2) and Plug-In (typically Tekla).


Application Programming Interface. API is a set of commands, functions, and protocols which programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system. The API allows programmers to use predefined functions to interact with the operating system, instead of writing them from scratch.


BIM is an acronym for “Building Information Modeling”. BIM is the creation and use of coordinated, internally consistent, 3D computable information about a building project that is in the design, construction, and management phases. BIM History - Driven by a need to reduce change orders and costly re-work at building construction sites resulting in budget overruns and finger pointing, software engineers started looking at the application of data based technologies for drawing tools. By combining drawing elements with information about those elements (parameters or meta-data), one can take designs to a higher level of accuracy, streamline construction coordination, and create a data base of information useful through the entire life of the building. The data base within a BIM model provides a single source of information that can be utilized for interference checking, design visualization, cost comparisons, and energy analysis. With all of the information being in a digital format, the building design can be evaluated and analyzed far more thoroughly than ever, well before any actual construction begins. Drawings, schedules, and construction specifications are coordinated with each other automatically through the model.


BIM Agreement between Vulcraft and Customer that will be provided by Vulcraft Sales and signed by the Customer before the job is sold.


Electronic transfer of BIM deliverables document that reinforces the terms of the BIM Execution Plan. This disclaimer will be provided with each electronic transfer of information by the Vulcraft detailer.


CIMSteel Integrated Standard, Product model and electronic data exchange file format developed exclusively for structural steel and endorsed by the AISC. CIS/2, like other neutral file formats, requires programs to have translators written to interpret the CIS/2 data into the programs’ native format.


End User License Agreement between Vulcraft and each customer or user that downloads the Vulcraft Add-In for Revit and/or the Vulcraft Plug-In for Tekla. This agreement needs to be accepted before the downloads of the Vulcraft Add-In for Revit and/or the Vulcraft Plug-In for Tekla can occur.


Family is a Revit term for an Object in a Revit model which defines all modeled elements. Within Revit, some families are System Families, which cannot be changed or refined. Component or Loadable Families make up all other elements in Revit including most Add-In, including the Vulcraft Add-In for Revit joist families.


The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) data model is a neutral and open file format extensively utilized worldwide for exchanging BIM. The IFC format was originally developed by the International Alliance for Interoperability established in 1995 by American and European AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) firms, along with software vendors, to promote interoperability between software in the industry.


Acronym for Integrated Project Delivery. IPD is a process where all disciplines in a construction project work as one firm, creating faster delivery times, lower costs, no litigation, and lower stress for all parties involved. Rather than each participant focusing exclusively on their part of the construction without considering the implications on the whole process, the IPD method brings all participants together early with collaborative incentives to maximize value for the owner. This collaborative approach allows informed decision making early in the project where the most value can be created. The close collaboration eliminates a great deal of waste in the design, and allows data sharing directly between the design and construction team, thereby resulting in increased construction productivity. Unlike the “Design — Build” project delivery method which places the Contractor in the leading role on a building project, with IPD the entire building team including the owner, architect, general contractor, building engineer, fabricators, joist suppliers, and subcontractors work collaboratively throughout the construction process.


Information is typically defined for a Building Information Model through the use of a building manufacturer’s objects. Thousands of BIM objects have been written which allow the user to define specific attributes for that particular building component. Once an object has been defined, it can be added to an electronic library and easily referenced should the user want to insert that particular component into the model.


Refers to an object or family that has the ability to adapt to the model, via a defined set of parameters, that are user and computer code driven/controlled. Also a term typically utilized by SDS/2 software to refer to an Add-In or Plug-In.


Plug-In is a term typically utilized by Tekla users to refer to a set of software components that adds specific abilities to a larger software application. A Plug-In is similar in functionality and often interchanged depending on the software application with Add-In (typically Revit) and Parametric (typically SDS/2).


Type of programming language.


User Defined Attributes. Typically utilized to specify information in BIM Objects that are not defined in the standard parameters. Can also be utilized to transfer additional information via IFC file transfer of objects to customer models.


Vulcraft has developed a Revit Add-In for specifying Vulcraft joists and deck in the Revit model. Please see our Vulcraft Add-In for Revit software information here.


Vulcraft has developed a Tekla Plug-In for specifying Vulcraft joists in the Tekla model. Please see our Vulcraft Plug-In for Tekla software information here.


Extensible Markup Language — a simplistic rule based code language utilized to communicate Vulcraft information to and from the structural models.


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