Utilization and implementation of BIM may present an opportunity to better monitor and improve on both result oriented and process-oriented performance in construction projects. Some of the key performance indicators we identified are Quality Control, on-time completion, cost, safety, cost per unit, and labor hours.
As we identify the impact of BIM on construction, it is important to take note that performance indicators are very relevant to the approach of success. A case study which evaluated how to measure the benefits of BIM established some return metrics which included: number of RFI’s, percentage cost savings on Change Orders, and percentage of time saved on the duration of the project.
It is important to both identify the key factors that affect construction performance and accordingly develop metrics to monitor and continue improvement of construction performance through bench marking results and process enhancement.
With advent of BIM technology, structural engineers, civil engineers,PD & M engineers, MEP engineers and architects are set free from dealing with 2D sketches. But if you picture a 3 dimensional model of a building facility when you hear the acronym BIM, you are only partly aware.
BIM ready 3D model designed in Autodesk’s Revit is only the tip of the iceberg, while the entire big body is beneath the water upon which you are sailing. There is a lot more to BIM with Autodesk’s Building Design Suite (BDS), other than building just 3D model.
Before we get into it, Let us answer the question; What are the Key Drivers for BIM adoption and implementation on a Construction Project?
- Increasing Construction Productivity / Performance.
- To be competitive in Industry.
- To be a leader in the Industry by exploring and adopting new trends.
- Requirements by Owner.
Architects, engineers, and general contractors who knows the wonder BIM can do, are successfully leveraging the benefits that BIM offers; while those ignorant just employ BIM to generate 3D models for their construction projects.
Here we bring you a list of key offerings by BIM through which building construction project of any scale or complexity is sure to be a success in due time period.
Visual representation and communication.
BIM objects have a big impact on the effort to virtually represent the entire life-cycle of a built structure. This realistic model of the building can help the project team to stay on the same page and communicate crucial updates on a timely and straightforward manner when necessary.
Furthermore, a well-constructed BIM model can allow construction managers to run a number of alternative scenarios in order to visualize the entire planned sequence of the project.
This visual representation can subsequently be shared with the client and the other stakeholders and function as a basis for further action.Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that data should always come before 3D. After all, a visual representation is only as good as the data used for its creation.
That being said, whether plans and blueprints are 2D or 3D isn’t the most important thing to focus on at this point. Digital adoption on the field is the issue that construction needs to address before the sector decides to invest more attention on the opportunities that the 3D representation of the built structure has to offer.
Organize and streamline the activities according to lean scheduling
For any construction project to succeed, the first step AEC leaders need to take is to organize and plan their activities prior to the implementation of the plan.
In case of a building construction project, contractors [leaders] have to streamline the construction activities for a smooth on-site work. One only wishes that these tasks were as simple as it is to write them down, especially when it comes to grandiose infrastructure constructions like shopping malls, airports, roads, highways, dams, tunnels etc. However, this can easily be settled by BIM.
4D BIM models provide a visualization of the entire construction project during various series of events. It displays a timeline of construction advancements onsite to contractors and investors. This helps in managing and with prior planning of construction activities from different disciplines.
Organizing onsite construction activities through information rich intelligent BIM models empower correct decision making for resource deployment, supply chain management and reducing risks.
More than that, while streamlining activities, BIM detects and resolves clashes in architectural, structural or MEP designs so that they can be resolved before the physical construction begins.
BIM offers to generate simulations depicting real time construction sequencing with phasing and logistical representations. All this together helps in generating and implementing proper lean scheduling.
Sustainability solutions and easy maintenance.
For a building to be constructed successfully, MEP engineers need to deliver buildings operating on minimum energy consumption especially in the cases of commercial and industrial buildings.
Technologically advanced nations, such as Dubai; have already developed buildings that save energy up to about 30%. Performance optimization of MEP systems and HVAC equipment is a solution to green buildings.
Maintenance works can be repetitive and tedious in facilities of multiple complexities which can only be sorted by pinpointing the exact location needing maintenance.
Moreover, BIM allows generating lifetime virtual building models to store and preserve information regarding building component status, operations and maintenance, parts replacement, warranty data and other information helpful to facilities maintenance team.
Clash detection (and resolution).
Clash detection and resolution is another area where BIM objects can have a very positive influence. By being able to visualize the different project details in a realistic model, subcontractors can much easier detect and resolve any sources of pain for the project.
For instance, locations where plumbing fittings are clashing with electrical fittings can easily be detected and lead to functional design changes before it is too late and costly for the project.
Furthermore, as the use of BIM objects is expanding in a construction project, the quality of the data collected is increasing, as well. In the long run, that can be extremely valuable for both the planning and the reporting process of a project.
Estimations for quantity and corresponding costs.
Once the construction sequence is organized and streamlined, the next big step for contractors is to have a detailed estimate for order quantity and costs corresponding to it.
Getting the accurate estimation based on structural prototype was a difficult task, which now have been made convenient by information rich BIM ready models.
BIM experts integrate drawing inputs by architects, structural and MEP engineers, and estimate the required quantity to generate construction documents, bill of materials (BOM) and RFIs to get quantity takeoffs.
5D BIM provides exact cost for the entire construction project, accounting for the cost of every single building product; right from the foundation bricks to final paint on the walls of the buildings.
Adding labor costs to these BIM generated estimation helps general contractors in placing bid values of the construction project.
These three offerings together are just not everything that BIM has to offer. Yes, there is still more to add for the success of any general contractor’s construction project delivery.
The contractors, engineers and architects who take assistance from design support experts and make sure to use BIM for their projects to the full capacity are all praises about what BIM has offered them. It has to be experienced, not narrated through words.