Building information modeling, or BIM, is one of the most exciting developments in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry of the past few years. The AEC industry has been revolutionized by BIM in an uncountable number of ways but in today’s blog we’ll be going over five of what we consider the most important benefits of BIM techniques.
Building information modeling, for those not in the know, is not one specific piece of equipment, technology, or software. BIM can be more easily described as a set of techniques or a construction strategy. BIM construction is primarily differentiated from traditional construction strategies by the complex models used. While traditional building methods have always used 2D or 3D models and computer aided drafting (CAD), building information modeling improves upon these traditional methods by storing the model in an online shared space, so that all involved people can work on the same model that is always up to date with each change.
Improved Communication and Cooperation
The overall greatest and most apparent benefit of incorporating BIM techniques into your building project is the improvement of cooperation. The advanced modeling techniques used in BIM projects allow for lightning-fast communication of changes, even across disciplines. When each team operates using the same model, each team’s work is immediately visible to all people involved. Software that enables BIM construction often has a mobile version that can be used on laptops, tablets, and even smart phones, so this cooperation can be taken from the office to the jobsite.
More Efficient Clash Detection in 3D and 4D
When each trade worker and subcontractor is able to operate using the same model, they can more clearly see where their work and others’ work will intersect. Finding these possible clash points before the work is put into action is one of the most effective ways that BIM helps reduce the need for rework. BIM models also include 4D modeling, which is an advanced form of scheduling that’s mapped to the model of the physical building. This allows project managers to more easily avoid scheduling errors that can cause costly rescheduling.
More Accurate Estimates of Cost and Time
Another additional aspect of construction that is included in a BIM model is cost. Models created through BIM allow workers to include construction costs like hourly rates and nearly any kind of materials or equipment. The inclusion of 4D scheduling in a BIM model also allows for improvements in project timeline estimation. As materials change and as the work progresses, a BIM model allows these estimates to change quickly and easily, making the estimates more accurate and more helpful to stakeholders.
More Efficient Prefabrication
Prefabrication is a common strategy used in construction, but it can become even more useful when prefab is combined with BIM techniques. Prefabricated elements can be inserted into software used to create a BIM model to make them easier to duplicate and edit, while also storing information like cost and materials used in the prefabricated element.
Full Support Throughout the Life of the Building
A model created using BIM techniques isn’t just useful during the construction period. The information contained in a BIM model can be used by building management throughout the life of the building. These models can be used as an ongoing database of building information that can be used for maintenance or remodeling.