Hospitals are some of the most technologically advanced buildings in the world today, so it makes sense that only the most advanced construction techniques should be used when building hospitals and other medical facilities. It’s for this reason that Building Information Modeling, or BIM, has become the dominant method used in constructing medical facilities. BIM is commonly referred to as a technology, but BIM is more easily explained as a method, or collection tools and methods used to more effectively manage construction projects. Advanced 3D visualization, improved cooperation, and system simulation are just a few of the ways that BIM can be used to improve hospital and medical facility construction.
USES OF BIM IN HEALTHCARE
Advanced 3D visualization may be the most obvious advantage of BIM technologies; other architecture, construction, and engineering software are able to construct digital 3D models of prospective buildings, but with BIM tools each and every aspect of the building can be modeled, making it easy to communicate the complexities of the design to all workers. These advanced 3D models are kept in cloud storage and each updated version is maintained so that every person working with the model can see changes and updates made by others, making collaboration easier than ever. Hospitals and medical facilities can be troublesome due to the complexity of their construction, because many different trades and skills are needed to ensure that the building will be fully operational. This improved collaboration helps to synchronize those different trades.
When a building model is created using BIM tools, every element of that building’s ecosystem is modeled. The softwares used to make these models often include automatic clash detection as well, pointing out areas where pipes, wires, or other elements may come into conflict. This is especially important in buildings with as many components as medical facilities, in which an undetected error can endanger the lives of patients or staff. Hospitals require a great deal of consideration for the large equipment needed, such as:
- CAT scanners
- Robotic surgical equipment
- MRI machines
The ease of use of BIM virtual models allows non-construction staff such as doctors and surgeons to add their input into the layout of rooms and equipment. Documentation is also significantly improved with BIM, making any future construction easier and more efficient.
The increase in work efficiency that comes with the use of BIM can also help reduce the waste involved in the construction of a medical facility. BIM technologies allow for a leaner construction strategy because the advanced modeling can even account for materials. Hospitals and medical facilities often require specialized, expensive materials, so it’s crucial to ensure that extra material is kept to a minimum. More accurate estimation of material needs streamlines the supply chain and even helps reduce time lost when waiting for extra materials.
Many of today’s largest hospitals and medical facilities are built in collaboration with local, state, or federal governments, which may require BIM as part of the construction contract. Ensuring that your construction company is BIM-ready means that you’re more likely to secure high-value contracts and can deliver higher quality results more efficiently.
Contact Smarcon to learn more about how BIM can improve your construction projects.