How Is BIM Technology Beneficial To Building Projects?
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is more than a three dimensional digital representation of a building (including modular), it collectively encompasses detailed design data integrated within the models. But, what aspects really make it beneficial for building projects?
With a collaborative way of working, those involved in the process have closer control of important variables such as cost, time and quality in an efficient and easily accessible manner from the early stages of a project.
With BIM enabled projects, users are able to manoeuvre around virtual models to understand the environment better. This technology has gained a reputation amongst industry leaders of being a successful business tool, used to ensure a project runs as accurately and successfully as possible throughout the lifecycle of a building.
BIM can capture details in a way paper can’t.
Enabling BIM on a project does not only provide access to 3D imagery, digital drawings and 3D laser scan data but it also provides product specifications, O&M manuals and verified design data, all compiled and shared in models ready to be interrogated for whatever information may be required.
Unlike paper or 2D drawings, these co-ordinated models and representations ensure building elements are coordinated and the construction process will be much more defined.
Perfectly presented outcomes.
With the entire design based around 3D principles on a virtual capture and alteration process, the model is the ultimate communication tool conveying project scope, phases and end result. This virtual modelling methodology reduces the steps required to render impressive imagery and therefore present a clearer and more precise representation before any construction has even begun.
Earlier detection and reduction of risk.
Users are able to interrogate and test models to highlight potential risks or information inaccuracy. For example, clash detection reports can be generated to highlight if certain elements such as ductwork or services are routed through beams. This allows the problem to be rectified at an early stage when it is less costly to rectify. This ability can highlight possible issues not evident on 2D drawings and allows tighter design control resulting in time and cost savings.
Phasing control and time representation.
On complex projects phasing can be introduced to model elements, having the capability to view a project at certain points in the project progression. This can assist with risk management, site management and project programme.
Quantities and cost estimation.
Accurate quantities can be extracted from models and assist in cost control at different phases of a project. Costs can be applied to different materials and objects to provide accurate estimates that are updated in real time as the model is amended. Also, additional cost categories can be included to show labourer and equipment expenditures for a more detailed price estimate. By using BIM to generate figures, feedback on costings is always accessible and much faster compared to traditional take-off methods, with accurate and reliable information just a few clicks away.
BIM implementation requires increased involvement of design and construction stakeholders earlier in a project. Although this may appear to increase upfront costs, it has been proved that overall costs of the project will be reduced due to improved collaboration, avoidance of delays, and fewer change orders, claims and requests for information.
BIM is information driven comprising graphical, non-graphical and document data. Through its internal databases, BIM software allows the immediate access to this relevant data for any element of a project. External links such as websites, images, data sheets and manuals to name a few can also be associated to elements to minimise information duplication and ultimately improve information control, limited only by the information that is entered into the models. This information can then be used to assist with facilities management once a project has been completed and handed over.
From providing detailed data, cost estimations and much more, it’s clear to see why many companies are implementing Building Information Modelling into their workflow.