Building Information Modeling (BIM) is emerging as a transformative technology that greatly enhances construction company’s built assets and infrastructure and provide a significant boost to their profit.
BIM is a digital 3D model-based representation of the complete physical and functional characteristics of a built asset. The workflow and thought process differs from AutoCAD since the BIM software handles more than just graphics.
A BIM model contains information on design, construction, logistics, operation, maintenance, budgets, schedules and everything else involved with the project. The abundance of information contained within BIM allows for a more accurate analysis than traditional processes and has options to integrate large quantities of data across several operations throughout the building’s lifecycle.
When you use BIM it creates a more efficient workflow along with several other benefits that save money. One of the ways you cut costs with BIM is through its potential to minimize the need for rework, such as re-keying information into models or making adjustments in the field. As you become more proficient using BIM technology, the opportunities to improve overall productivity are more evident. This Hong Kong bridge project reduced their constructions costs by 12 percent using BIM.
Productivity gain is one of the greatest benefits of using BIM and is usually the top metric organizations are looking to improve when they decide to start using the technology. BIM is able to increase productivity in the following ways:
- Minimise Project Management. With BIM you stay updated on even the slightest change. You no longer have to worry about people not being aware of a change that another person has made to some draft. Everyone involved in your project from the architects to the construction managers are always updated with the latest changes to the project design. This makes coordination and project management a lot easier when you use BIM technology.
- Foster Communication. BIM offers incredible flexibility when it comes to communicating designs so everyone understands the project. You can show your client or your colleague a design in a technical or interactive format. From your accrued costs the the virtual model, you can present all of your information in a concise way. This can greatly speed up communication between you and your client as well give confidence that your project is on track.
- Identify Errors Early. BIM can save you from the nightmare scenario of moving a project into the construction phase and then afterwards realizing there is a flaw in its design. Clash detection is automated with BIM so you can detect clashes early on before moving to the next phase. This feature alone will save you a lot of time and money.
- Reduce Rework. With the ability to visualize design options using BIM it makes it easy and quick to validate options against your key performance criteria. The outcome is reduced rework, shorter project durations and lower overall construction costs.
- Reduce Costs. Using BIM means less risk and reduced costs for contractors, owners, engineers, and designers. The entire project is monitored in a more efficient way so each person contributing to it can see what others have already done. This means that each member of the project team can accomplish more work in a shorter amount of time.
- Improve Quality. BIM supports the entire building lifecycle process, from its inception design to its construction to its future demolition. You essentially have a model or document for each phase of your project. You have the ability to optimize aspects like material usage and labor deployment to ensure efficient design and construction processes.
A recent article was published by The Business Post on the Digital Construction Summit which was held on 7 March 2018. The article states that BIM was perhaps the most discussed topic and it is clear to see why it is so important with regards to saving costs on planning and construction.
Danielle Dy Buncio, founder and president of VIATechnik, Chicago, USA, said: “BIM is the foundation of so many other technologies.” She said that there is improvement across the board within the construction industry when BIM is implemented. She said the biggest improvements were in the areas of communication and improved ability to plan construction phasing and logistics. “This is huge,” she said. “So much of construction does things for the first time in reality. Any other industry practices before they do it in real life. That’s not the route we need to take any more.” BIM allows for the planning of each phase of the logistics before it is implemented, saving time and money.