18 August 2020 4 min read

BIM for Construction

How Does It Work and What Are Its Benefits?

 

Building Information Modelling has transformed the construction industry changing the way we design, build and manage projects. What impact does it have on companies? How is it used and what are the benefits of BIM in construction?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a powerful tool used to thoroughly prepare a digitized version of a construction project. The common misconception is that BIM is just one software or just a type of technology. In reality, it is a process supported by various solutions. This allows contractors, architects and engineers to develop digital representations of structures, to ensure all aspects of the building are taken into consideration and all norms and requirements are met.

The concept of BIM and 3D technology used to design, develop and manage construction projects has been around since the ‘70s but the technology has improved significantly in the last decade. The UK had a major impact in this development providing a framework for building information modelling. Thanks to it, in January 2019, ISO published the international standard ISO 19650, based on procedures developed in the United Kingdom.

How to improve communication?

However BIM is mostly related to pre-construction and design stage, due to automation and visualization, it can bring value throughout the whole process of development, even post-construction. Building Information Modelling allows you to catch incompatibilities and problems ahead of time, identifying construction assemblies and factoring risks. Here are the most common benefits that BIM software brings to the table:

Maximises Time and Money Spent
One of the most time-consuming issues when developing the project is cost evaluation and assessment. Including estimators early in the planning phase helps with overall construction cost estimation. That is when 5D BIM comes in. It is a functionality that connects design, budget and schedule to give you a more complete view of construction projects. The process of taking off measurements and quantities from design is time-consuming and prone for errors. Using BIM software to access this information and act on it saves time and increases productivity by a lot!

Improves Communication
Good communication is a fundamental thing for every company, yet it is still a struggle in most of them. Proper communication in a construction company is even more important, as any misunderstanding can cost money or lives. Digital models made with BIM software offer online collaboration between team members, often in real-time [due to the cloud] that were not possible before. Automation helps with keeping the workflow updated and accurate. Coordinate planning, and making sure all stakeholders have updated info about the project easily is a huge benefit.

Project Visualization
This is the biggest advantage the BIM solution has. It allows you to see the project with the required specification during the pre-construction phase. You - and your clients - can view the finished effect before it is executed. It gives you time to communicate with your team about changes needed as well as it provides you with tools to control the project during further development. It lowers the risk of time-consuming and oftentimes expensive modifications.

Reduced Cost and Mitigated Risk
An effective way to correct/modify the project in the preconstruction stage offered by BIM software equals fewer risks for your company. Ensuring close collaboration with contractors and partners makes you more in control and lowers insurance costs or possibilities for claims. Improved project management and good communication save your team time and save your company’s money. Business using this model see a high return of investment while reducing costs and mitigating risks.

Safety Comes First
Visualization is a powerful tool. By having a digital plan of the project before the works on the construction site start, allow you to thoroughly analyze and spot hazards ahead of time. BIM software helps to identify zones “at-risk” so you can act on it faster. Safety assessment and risk evaluation are crucial for every construction company. Ensuring a safe environment for your construction workers will lower the risk of injuries as well as ensure project delivery on time.

Modern technology offers many advanced solutions to better plan, execute and manage construction projects. Some of them require a lot of investment, monetarily or time-wise, but the return exceeds the expectations when correctly implemented. The future of construction is closely linked to digital transformation. Whether it is using drones, robotics and swarms or powerful cloud-based project management solutions, we need to take advantage of today’s IT. Innovation is key to development, and construction needs constant development to meet current demands and ensure steady growth.

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