In the design and construction industry, the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has expanded significantly. According to McGraw-Hill Construction, the percentage of design and construction companies using BIM has increased from 17 percent in 2007 to 71 percent in 2012. And the firms that are using BIM report they are using BIM in over 60 percent of their projects. As the use of BIM increases, fire protection professionals will need to understand how this technology will impact fire protection design.

This paper will discuss the use of BIM technology in building design and construction, particularly with respect to fire protection. Since the use of BIM is relatively new in the field of fire protection engineering; this presentation will define BIM, how BIM is currently being applied and the benefits of BIM.

Additionally, this paper will describe how BIM has expanded the design process from typical 2-dimensional drawings to design documents that have three, four and five dimensions. It will also discuss issues code officials/authorities having jurisdiction should considering when reviewing projects that incorporate BIM Models.

The last part of this paper will provide recommendations that the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) encourage on future additions to the current BIM models. These recommendations will assist the fire protection community in keeping pace with the level of design and information provided by other engineering disciplines.

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