With advent of BIM technology, structural engineers, civil engineers, MEP engineers and architects are set free from dealing with 2D sketches. But if you picturize 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.
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. But, here we bring you a list of 3 key offerings by BIM through which building construction project of any scale or complexity is sure to be a success in due time period.
(1) 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.
(2) 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 building. Adding labor costs to these BIM generated estimation helps general contractors in placing bid values of the construction project.
(3) Sustainability solutions and easy maintenance
In the era of Green buildings, just erecting the structure is not enough; & BIM is aware of it too! Governments of different nations are running the campaign for Green Buildings or Zero Net Energy buildings for environmental concerns.
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. eQuest and RELUX software provides energy modeling solutions that help designers plan MEP and HVAC layouts in an optimized manner.
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.
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.