The construction industry has watched the BIM (building information modeling) process evolve from 2D drafting and 3D coordination to 4D scheduling and 5D estimating. As the technology associated with BIM continues to advance, contractors will need to identify how to best use construction software.

For trade-specific contractors, including electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), implementing BIM can sometimes be a challenge. Working with a consultant can enable trades to become more comfortable with BIM.

VIATechnik, www.viatechnik.com, a consulting company providing CAD (computer-aided design) drafting and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) coordination services, recently launched a new BIM service aimed at construction trades. The services include coordination and 4D modeling.

With experience in both Autodesk Revit, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., and Bentley Systems, www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa., VIATechnik specialists can convert drawings, plans, blueprints, and PDF files into models. The team can handle anything from basic 2D drafting to complex 4D designs.

As the process continues to progress among companies in AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction), construction-technology providers continue to develop and release updated products to enable the industry to do more with BIM.

As one example, last week, Autodesk announced Autodesk 2014 Design and Creation Suites. The updates focus on allowing users to connect the desktop to the cloud and incorporate laser scans and digital photographs into the 3D design and engineering process.

As another case, Bentley Systems released its OpenRoads Technology yesterday, which provides common workflow, data structure, and modeling tools for infrastructure and construction projects. The new technology meets a number of the requirements included in the U.S. MAP-21 legislation and the U.K.’s BS 1192. Features in the software enable enhanced conceptual and preliminary design and will allow teams to make better decisions using the models.

BIM is certainly not a new process in construction, but more often teams are seeking out ways to incorporate more data into the process through 4D scheduling and 5D estimating.