BIM - In a digitised world
London, UK - Published August 24th 2020
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals the right tools to plan, design, construct and manage building and infrastructure projects digitally. The growing utilisation of BIM has been an important component of the digital transformation across the UK built environment over the last decade. For the AEC sector the adoption of BIM provides a critical opportunity to significantly improve performance and profit and reduce risk.
So why use BIM? Below is a brief outline of just some of the practical, financial, and cultural benefits of adopting BIM for AEC projects.
One of the most compelling reasons for adoption is that since 2016, the UK Government has mandated it for most publicly funded projects via the UK BIM Framework (formerly BIM Level 2). Consequently, private sector clients are also, and increasingly, specifying it as a mandatory requirement.
There is increasing momentum behind the adoption of BIM and at the time of writing its use has been mandated for some or all new building and infrastructure projects in an growing number of countries, including: Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom and Vietnam**.
The adoption of BIM demonstrates a commitment to increasing efficiency, reducing the overall time and cost of construction projects and a focus on collaboration and efficiency through the entire lifecycle of the project – from commission to handover.
BIM can be utilised to design and document building and infrastructure projects to deliver benefits through the entire lifecycle of a project. In the design phase, utilising BIM modelling supports construction to take place digitally first, enabling multiple adjustments to the design and the creation of visualisations that help stakeholders to understand what the building will look like, before it is built.
Reviewing the designs digitally enables the identification and resolution of issues to take place in the digital environment – before any physical construction begins. By allowing for the resolution of problems before the actual construction starts dramatically lowering the risk of errors when the build starts and reducing the need for re-work and associated costs.
Having been reviewed, revised, and approved the model can then be used to generate the design documentation for more efficient construction stage. During the build phase, BIM specifications and logistics for the construction can be shared with contractors to ensure optimum timing and efficiency.
With up to 30% of costs of construction typically being attributed to rework* improvements in project efficiency provided by BIM should in turn have a positive impact on the project costs and margin – increasing ROI and project outcomes. And it is not just about cost saving during the build phase of the project, but also reducing costs over the lifetime of the structure.
BIM not only allows design and construction teams to work more efficiently, but the capture and efficient storage of the information – all documents and data created during the process will deliver benefits for the ongoing operations and maintenance requirements for the project.
The data captured by utilising BIM can also be used to inform and support planning and resourcing decisions at city or country level and this is one of the reasons why BIM is increasingly being mandated in the UK and internationally.
Collaboration and communication are crucial to the efficient delivery. If co-dependent elements of a project are executed in silos, with little or no communication or coordination, projects can easily hit stumbling blocks and avoidable costs.
BIM is far more than just a 3D modelling tool for design. When applied well, it delivers an integrated management system that allows 3D designs, together with construction information, to be shared digitally. The result is improved transition between the different phases on the project - reducing the risk of lost data, information, and documents.
If the appointed design team, contractors, manufacturers and installers have access to the pertinent project information digitally and are working more collaboratively then the designs, issues, priorities and construction methods agreed in the initial stages of the project are better understood by all parties. The effective flow of information will help to reduce the risk of conflict, errors, and delays.
Power in Integration Using BIM with complementary digital technology such as Microsoft 365 suite and Project Information Management (PIM) software, such as Atvero PIM - can lead to even greater efficiencies, better collaboration, and improved outcomes. So the message is loud and clear – if you want to improve project outcomes, produce higher quality work, increase productivity, enhance project communication with stakeholders, win more new projects– then adopting BIM is must-do on your digital roadmap.
* Landform Surveys: Does BIM really save money on capital projects?
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