A building site is a complex web of disparate activities which must work in unison in order to achieve quality in the least amount of time; a combination essential to success. If materials don’t arrive, construction is delayed or if the site isn’t properly prepared, trades can’t do their jobs. One way to help with planning is through Building Information Modeling (BIM) which helps you to perfect your processes. BIM software enables you to create a detailed description of every aspect of your build from conception to demolition.
BIM includes three-dimensional and dynamic building modeling software which helps to improve productivity and incorporates spatial relationships, building geometry, geographical information on the site, climate zone information, the building components and the quantities of building materials utilized in a build.
BIM software makes it easy to retrieve information and visualize the various systems within the building. From David Lister, Precise Drafting Inc. “One of the largest advantages [of BIM] is the ability to easily produce a number of 3d views that are more easily understood than traditional plan and elevation views. This is particularly useful for unique or complex designs.”
Perfecting your processes
When you institute a digital process, all of the job specs are stored in one place and are accessible to all members of your team. Each step in every process is clearly defined and detailed, so each team member knows exactly what they have to do and when they have to do it.
Changes to the process or plan are immediately updated so everyone is working from the latest data and communication is facilitated so there can be fewer delays and mistakes. BIM enables increased coordination and embedding and linking of vital information.
A McWhorter School of Building Science study found that BIM enabled better design: “…building proposals can be rigorously analyzed, simulations can be performed quickly and performance benchmarked, enabling improved and innovative solutions.”
Cost estimation accuracy is one of the key benefits of BIM. BIM enables you to quantify materials precisely and helps you to explore the options you have within the budget. BIM also enables you to calculate accurate estimates as changes affect the project.
The Stanford University Center for Integrated Facilities Engineering (CIFE, 2007) study based on 32 major projects using BIM indicates benefits which include:
Up to 40% elimination of unbudgeted change.
- Improved cost estimation accuracy (to within 3%)
- 80% reduction in the time it takes to generate an estimate
- A savings of up to 10% of the contract value through clash detections
- 7% Reduction in time it takes to complete projects
While instituting a BIM system will require capital outlay and training, the savings in time and money make it a very worthwhile investment.