Whereas BIM is for the most part associated with architects, in the designing and preconstruction stage, it is absolutely beneficial to every stage of the life cycle of the project, even several years after the building construction has been completed.
Typically, BIM serves as an opportunity for the building project to be virtually assembled with the use of a computer prior to actual physical construction. This serves to eliminate the various inefficiencies as well as problems that arise during the course of the construction process.
The following are ten of the greatest ways that BIM has been used to transform the Architectural, Engineering and Construction.
1). Enhanced Communication and Collaboration.
Computer-generated BIM models permits file sharing, effective collaboration as well as version control of documents. With tools that enable cloud-based functions, collaboration with the use of BIM generated models can occur seamlessly across all major fields of discipline that are within the project. Project teams that are within the BIM ecosystem can share models of the project and coordinate their plans while ensuring that everyone involved in the project are updated with the latest project information as well as having project insights.
With the benefits of Cloud-based tools, project teams can successfully take the computer-generated models to the site. With the use of specific BIM enabled-apps, there could be building design reviews which can minimize the chances of construction errors on site, due to the lack of communication between foremen and site personnel. The use of BIM ensures that these important members of the construction crew, have access to the most recently updated project information at all times.
2). Project Cost estimation based on the model.
Lots of firms in the construction industry are discovering that the use of model-based estimators earlier in the planning phase of the project leads to an increased efficiency in the cost estimation of construction projects. This has subsequently caused a revolution in the cost estimation technique that is based on the model. This model-based method of cost estimation is referred to as 5D BIM. With the use of BIM tools such as construction management software from renowned vendors, the process of cost estimation of large construction projects and infrastructures is automated. The time-consuming process of enumerating, computing and assigning costs is automated thereby giving cost estimators/cost engineers the opportunity to channel their time and resources on other project aspects with higher value factors such as identifying risks and managing the project budget.
3). Pre-construction view of the project
With the use of BIM to produce a computer-generated prototype of the main project deliverable, project planners are able to plan as well as envisage the complete project during the preconstruction stage, before they eventually get to the setting out phase of the project.
The utilization of 3D visualizations as well as space-use simulations, implies that clients are able to visualize and experience the final appearance of the space. This gives them the opportunity to make any significant change(s) prior to the actual construction.
Though, while changes to project scope and designs occurs throughout the construction and sometimes right after the construction process, it is always a good value for money, if most of the changes are made and integrated earlier on into the project. To corroborate further, a great overview from the start of the project significantly reduces expensive and time-draining changes later on in the project.
The difference between spotting a mistake earlier on and later on in the project could be worth several millions of dollars. BIM helps anyone in charge to do the right thing.
4). Enhanced organization and detection of conflicting priorities,
The use of BIM gives the project manager or any one in charge the opportunity to coordinate properly the different subcontractors and tradesmen. It can be easy to detect an existing Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) clash as well as external or internal conflicts prior to construction. Will there be a clash between the electrical conduits with the inverted steel beam? Do all doorways in the office lobby have sufficient headroom?
With the prevention of clashes and conflicts actively made possible by BIM, there could be a significant reduction on the quantity of rework that is required on any particular project. This is also a method of saving project expenditure from being expended on reworks and errors.
5). Minimized cost and averted risks
A recent assessment from McKinsey discovered that approximately 75% of the total companies that have integrated BIM to their construction process management declared positive returns on their projects in particular and on their general portfolio.
Therefore BIM is capable of saving money in numerous ways if project handlers exploit its numerous features. A closer cooperation with the project contractors can lead to reduced pricing in tendering of risk premiums, reduced insurance costs, minimal overall variations as well as minimized opportunities for damage claims. A proper project overview prior to starting the project, makes a case for more prefabricated project components as well as waste reduction on materials that are unused.
Materials that are prefabricated can be bolted easily in place rather than be produced on-site. This way, the cost of labour that is expended on the documentation work and wrong communications are minimized. Numerous companies in the AEC industry have begun utilizing BIM as well as other forms of construction technology so as to minimize construction costs as well as take the edge off risks.
6). Enhanced Scheduling/Sequencing
Similar to the way that most of these BIM benefits save project budget, they tend to save time by minimizing the duration of project cycles as well as getting rid of setbacks in the construction schedule.
With BIM, project design in addition to documentation can be done simultaneously, and for the project, documentation to be changed easily so as to adjust to fresh data like the conditions of the site. There could be an accurate planning of schedules as well as an exact communication of these schedules. This leads to an improved project coordination as well as collaboration which ultimately enhances the projects probability of being concluded on-time.
Usually, in most large contracts or government projects, there are typically incentives that are used to motivate project handlers to deliver the project at the pre-set time period before the deadline. This time-sensitive incentive which is mainly used for projects in which time is a major constraint, are typically other means of making profits from the project. The use of BIM in effective and profitable construction management can never be overemphasized.
7). Improved productivity and Prefabrication.
BIM can automatically generate accurate data and information from the building model. This data can be in the form of production drawings or drawing specifications for the purpose of manufacturing and prefabrication. This allows for the increased utilization of prefabricated materials in addition to construction technology which are modular and can be modified on site.
Through the design, exact detailing as well as production of building components offsite in an environment which is controlled, waste can be diminished (effective lean construction), efficiency is increased, and as well there is a simultaneous reduction of material and labour costs.
8). Safety-conscious Construction sites.
BIM also helps in the improvement of safety in construction. It does this by identifying construction hazards right before they materialize to become actual problems. This can effectively prevent physical risks through effective visualization as well as planning of construction site logistics beforehand.
BIM makes visual risk analysis possible through it’s an analysis of the model generated to enhance safety evaluations either manually or automatically.
An effective visual risk analysis as well as all round safety evaluation, can assist in ensuring the safety of all foremen and labour personnel on site over the course of the execution of a project. This can avert a legal action, bad name as well as industry-related sanctions.
9). Sustainable Buildings.
The increased utilization of the coordinated building models is the foundation of a building with a great quality and sustainability. Through the sharing of popular tools for BIM, team members with more experience work collectively with the builders of the project throughout the project duration, delivering enhanced controls on technical decisions in the area of design execution.
The optimal method of constructing a project can be trialed and selected very early into the beginning of the project, and then most importantly structural inadequacies can be discovered before construction commences.
With the proper utilization of visualizations, enhanced design aesthetics are easily chosen, like modeling the movement of natural light in the building. Then, subsequently in the course of construction, the technology known as reality capture technology can be employed to enhance accuracy.
10). Proper Building Handover and Stronger Facility Management.
The information that is present in a computer-generated model, also enhances the operation and maintenance of a building long after the construction have been concluded. This can be used to ensure that the Return on investment (ROI) is incurred several years after project completion.
With the use of construction software, the proper current digital records of the information of the building is useful for facilities management and renovators through the buildings entire lifecycle.
Building information as well as data can be transferred to available software for maintenance of building for subsequent use.
The benefits of BIM have wholly being used to transform the construction industry. Building Information Modeling have turned into a priceless tool that has numerous benefits for the AEC industry. Projects that utilize BIM have a graeter probability of success as well as maximize efficiency for all stages of the lifecycle of the project as well as beyond that.