The way we live, work, and communicate is constantly being revolutionized by technology. The introduction of computers transformed architecture in the biggest way possible. Every phase of design and building process is transforming with the advances in digital design tools, computerized fabrications, and inter-connectedness. Building Information Modelling is an important tool in construction. It is referred to as the BIM – future of Construction.
What is BIM
Building Information Modelling is a single digital model of a building that can be used by everyone involved in the building process like the architects, managers, builders, suppliers, etc. It is a way of representing buildings, roads, and utilities. The digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility are generated and managed by the process of BIM. It is not only used to build a 3D model, but it also shows how building materials will hold over time. The goal of the BIM is to simplify the construction process by increasing collaboration in the early design phase. It also helps to identify issues early in the building process before they become costly. It is an extremely powerful tool that will save time and money if used properly. As of now, there is no downside to using BIM. BIM is a young technology and is still being shaped. There is no saying about the possibilities it will open the doors for in the future.
BIM usage in Construction
When BIM was introduced, it was used just by Architects to put together a 3D design model of a building. Stakeholders still use it to this day to see what they could receive for their investment. The high-quality digital representation of the building that BIM creates is used to plan construction by estimating the cost and predicting the performance. It is also used to detect the problems early in the building process. BIM is good for 3d visualization, change management, building operations, data management, and building simulation. All its benefits are likely to increase its usage by a huge margin in the coming years.
The advantages of BIM in Construction
BIM proves to be a vital tool in project management. Its knowledge regarding the cost of building materials enables it to predict job costs more accurately than traditional methods. The duration of a project can also be better predicted using it. All of this helps with job costing. It also helps the Project Managers reduce the various risks on the job site before even stepping foot on it.
Real models of places can be used by architects and engineers to see how they fit. This enables the team to order accordingly because now they know whether something will fit or not before it arrives on the Jobsite. This helps save money because it reduces serious delays and last-minute change orders.
How BIM benefits Subcontractors?
90% of the actual labor is done by subcontractors and that too without much input. The access to a 3D model will enable the subcontractors to actually see what they are supposed to do and share their concerns regarding it. Subcontractors, being the experts in their field, have the most to offer to a project. Their knowledge in the design and planning phase of a building project helps in the reduction of errors and substantial costs. Review of the design or the planning phase using BIM will help the contractors, subcontractors, and owners address significant risks and reduce them.
Why embrace BIM
If you are not already using BIM, here a few reasons why you should incorporate it in your next construction project. It helps the team members to work concurrently on different aspects of a building project and provides a way to change traditional architectural phases and data sharing. BIM saves costs by determining whether a temporary construction setup is actually needed. It collects data on aging, warranty, and installation time and helps determine how to schedule the different phases of a project. Lastly, it can be used to monitor actual building performance data. BIM is designed to reduce the information losses that occur when a new team takes over a project
Impact of BIM in the Industry
Shorter Lifecycle and Decrease in Costs
According to one study in the McKinsey Report, 75% of the companies that integrated BIM reported positive results on their investments along with shorter project lifecycles and material costs and paperwork savings. Britain, Singapore, and Finland governments have made the use of BIM mandatory for public infrastructure projects.
Increasing Productivity in Labor
BIM benefits also extend to an increase in labor productivity. Findings in a study involving a small contracting enterprise demonstrated a 75% to 240% increase in productivity for modeled and prefabricated areas.
Higher Quality of Work
Utilization of building information modelling in construction lead to an increase in the quality of work, speed, productivity, and a decrease in costs for building professionals in terms of design, construction, and operation of a building.
UK Government Report
Incorporation of BIM, according to UK Government Cabinet Office BIM Strategy, has led to a 33% reduction in the whole life cost of build assets and the initial cost of construction, faster delivery with a 50% reduction in the overall time for newbuild and refurbished assets, 50% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions on the construction site and export improvements due to a 50% reduction in the trade gap between the total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.
The Future of BIM
The wide range of benefits of BIM, as indicated above in the article, is a clear indication of the fact that it is here to stay. Without any doubt, the future of construction is going to be highly collaborative and digital. The use of BIM is now being emphasized because of an ongoing effort around the globe to reduce construction waste. BIM attempts to make the construction site environment friendly by reducing the supply chain inefficiencies, reworking, and clashes. BIM, in addition to improving the present, is clearly setting the stage for a better tomorrow.