• Kiran Nair

10 Ways To Ease The Construction Process For Builders And Contractors Using BIM

Building Information Modelling is the need of the hour and has been the talk of the town in the AEC industry for over a decade now. Even though coming from the 90s BIM has been a confusing concept in the mind of the clients. About its implementation and benefits it provides during the construction phase for a contractor or a builder, it is considered as merely a technology, or a Software limited to the pre-construction phase. Be it as Scan to BIM or MEP BIM it is a managerial process that brings about creating and managing every data about a project with the end result of BIM 3D Model that has all the digital representations of the actual physical project.

Even though BIM Modelling services are highly associated, created, and modified at the design and pre-construction phase, it is proven to be an essential element of every phase of the project life-cycle, extending to being resourceful even after completion of the project. Since BIM is built virtually along with providing a site walk-through before the actual construction begins it eliminates the humongous amount of inabilities and problems that can come forth during the on-site construction process.

Some advantages that BIM brings about which eases a construction process are:

  1. 3D Visualisation of the Project during the Pre-construction stage: BIM offers a platform to visualize and plan the entire project during the pre-construction stage itself before the on-site work commences. Having the knowledge of how the site will look after construction, the client can suggest the modification then and there. Empowering the client at the beginning of the project helps reduce the expenses and time-consuming tasks at the construction-site which arise due to the client wanting changes.

  2. Monitor Changes: While it is a known fact that every project will undergo different design modifications, BIM helps monitor every change in a more systematic manner. With such capabilities, it becomes easy to switch back to an older or earlier design if the new design brings about error or clashes. In comparison to 2D design, such a feature saves a lot of time as there is no need to re-draw the designs again and again. Additionally, the AutoSave Feature of the BIM Software saves the project as it is worked upon even if it's not completed; this way the corrupt files or any of the disturbances will not hamper the project.

  3. Better Productivity and Prefabrication: Data of BIM can be used for creating databases for manufacturing purposes or production drawings which calls for increased usage of prefabrication and modular construction technology. In a controlled environment the detailing, designing, and building the project offsite improves the overall efficiency thereby reducing wastage, and lowering material and labor costs.

  4. Mitigated Risk and Lowered Cost Expenses: Based on one of the McKinsey Studies on BIM, it was found that almost 75% of the companies that switch to BIM technology have had a positive Return on Investments (ROI). Having said that it is a known fact that using BIM one can save money in an ample number of ways if implemented appropriately. With project visualization before construction begins, there is more prefabrication and an overall reduction in waste and unused material. Labor cost can be reduced which is spent on manual documentation work in addition to lowered miscommunications. With close collaboration with contractors, there is a benefit at reducing insurance costs, reducing risk in premiums, fewer opportunities for claims, and lesser overall variations. Many companies are now using BIM and construction technology to reduce the overall cost and mitigate the risks. Since there is a gradual increase in the usage of information by different team members, coordination, and single document databases like that of BIM 360 Docs will help lower the chances of using obsolete information by the company. One of the critical aspects of accomplishing a high-quality and effective project submission is to assure that the right information is available at the right time.

  5. Clash Detection and Coordination: With BIM there is effective coordination among trades and subcontractors that allows every type of clash identification for every discipline of the project like BIM MEP and HVAC BIM services. Having automated clash detection by using software like Autodesk BIM 360 Glue, the different clashes are prevented and coordinated. With this clash detection mechanism, the total number of reconstruction or repairs will be restricted as BIM pushes the planning much before the onsite development or construction begins. Unexpected difficulties and last-minute changes can be curbed simply through reviews, evaluation, and commenting across multiple domains.

  6. Detailed Scheduling and Superior Sequencing: BIM saves big on time by eliminating setbacks in construction schedules and reducing the project cycle time. With BIM there is design and documentation done at the same time along with employing changes to be documented to adjust to the new information or development like that of on-site condition addition. Schedules can be planned accurately and communicated flawlessly. This improvised sequencing of work and improved coordination helps the project not just with meeting its deadline but often be completed much before the due date.

  7. Analyzed and Safe Construction Sites: BIM helps in analyzing and identifying the threat areas and zones of the construction site before they bring about problems thereby preventing physical dangers. This helps organize and envisage the site logistics before-hand. Visual risk-analysis and safety evaluation can ultimately bring about a safe construction site and increase the development of safety during the overall project execution.

  8. Better Structures: When there is greater reliability of a coordinated model there will directly be a greater quality building. More experienced team members can work together with builders through every phase of the project using or sharing common BIM tools. This will enable enhanced control of technical decisions while designing the execution phase. The right and optimal way of building the project can be chosen and tested at the early stage of the project along with identifying the structural deficiencies before a structure is built. With the usage of visualization tools, better aesthetics in design can be chosen like the reflection of sunlight or color scheme. Then to improve this accuracy for the building, a reality capture technology can be applied during the actual construction.

  9. Cost evaluation on the basis of Model: Including project estimators during the planning stage itself brings about a more effective cost evaluation of the project, realization of this development by most of the AEC firms has led to the growth of model-based cost-estimation mechanism, which is now termed as 5D BIM modeling. By employing sophisticated BIM tools like Autodesk Revit and BIM 360 there is a mechanism to automate the time-bearing work of quantifying and application of costs, thereby allowing estimators to focus on more valuable factors like identification of construction assemblies and factoring incoming risks.

  10. Handover Facility Management: The power of information in a BIM model is not over even after the construction is over and so the ROI is extended even after the completion of the project. An ongoing and accurate digital record of the building information becomes valuable for renovators and for the management of facilities for the complete lifecycle of the building, by simply using effective construction software. For post-occupancy use, the data can be sent and updated into the existing building maintenance software. The contractors and builders can transform their building handover to facility management by connecting BIM data generated during the design and construction stages to different building operations, using tools like AutoDesk’s BIM 360 ops.

By bringing to use such capabilities of BIM outsourcing services for any construction project there is better coordination among different teams of various disciplines for any of the services under BIM like Point Cloud to BIM services. This reduces the redundancies of communication and brings about seamless collaboration and sharing of data. Having said that when a contractor or builder employs BIM for their project these benefits not just ease their construction work but also make sure that the overall project implementation and completion become at a much faster rate.