The benefits of utilising BIM
While the fields of construction and architecture have traditionally relied on physical drawings, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been one of the major developments in the field in recent years. Offering far more than just one program, BIM is an entire roster of processes and procedures designed to help professionals manage numerous aspects of a project.
Popular BIM software options include Revit and BIM 360, and the benefits of utilising these programs goes far beyond helping to streamline project management.
The most obvious benefit that BIM software offers is to help project managers, engineers and architects to better visualise a project before construction has even started. Being able to visualise the project is not only extremely useful to the people involved in building it, but also to the client or potential end buyer.
This can also help to reduce the number of late or last minute changes required, as visualising a project accurately means you have the opportunity to spot things earlier. This not only helps to keep the project on schedule, but it can also save time and money.
Architects and engineers are well-versed in the importance of accuracy when working on a new scheme, and BIM software can help to improve this in a large number of ways.
Estimating costs on any project can be a difficult task with large margins of error, which can cause stress for both project managers and clients. It’s also fairly time-consuming, meaning longer lead times in the project actually commencing. With BIM, the cost-estimating function helps to quantify and calculate the overall costs, increasing the overall accuracy and reducing the amount of time that the project manager has to spend on it.
Clash detection is another hugely important part of a construction project, and BIM software massively improves the accuracy of this. You can precisely predict any external, internal or MEP clashes that might appear and make the required adjustments. Some BIM programs even have an automated function that streamlines the whole process further.
Another important way in which it’s important to be accurate on a construction project is with the schedule. While the industry as a whole is extremely at risk of delay (caused by a number of external factors, even down to the weather of any given day), BIM tools are a great help in improving schedule certainty.
With all information, documents and drawings stored in one place, it’s much easier for all involved parties to coordinate and accurately plan timetables. Communication is key when working on a construction project and BIM not only provides one synchronised place to store everything, but also the tools for everyone to liaise more effectively.
There are a number of different kinds of risks surrounding the construction industry. Schedule risk, design risk, financial risk and worker safety. BIM software can help to detect and mitigate risk at every step of the process, increasing the overall security of the project.
The communication tools can reduce the risk of the schedule going awry, while the 3D modelling function helps to pick up any potential problems at the design stage and minimises the risk of anything causing issues later down the line. Plus, the accurate cost estimation aspect can reduce financial risk and improve the comfortability of the client or stakeholder.
Perhaps the most important aspect of risk mitigation though is safety on site. While these risks can’t be removed completely, the safety of workers on site is essential and so BIM can be particularly important in this regard. By detecting potential hazards early on, it gives project managers time to rectify these, as well as allowing them to accurately plan logistical elements from a very early stage.
Not only does BIM offer a large range of benefits regarding any given construction project, but it’s also better for the planet. There’s no debate that the construction industry is one that has a longer way than most to go to become more sustainable.
Dice have utilised BIM on our projects from the beginning, helping us to become an almost entirely paperless business. Not only are paperless methods better for the environment, but also for the project as it reduces the risk of multiple document copies or crossed wires.
BIM software can also help to increase schedule certainty, reduce waste and make for a more sustainable overall operation. All of which are things that the planet can certainly be glad of, as can we.