5D BIM for Pre-Construction and Early Designs

Last Updated December 18th, 2018

5D BIM for Pre-construction

Conventional architectural concepts and designs were nothing more than sketches, loose floor plans and area discussions. These were the days when owners and architects used to discuss aesthetics, facility needs and envision the new facility or the changes in any of their existing facility.

Discussions without facts and figures though were vital to the success of any building construction project; owners were not able to evaluate the conceptual designs; while assessing project’s budget and schedule was completely out of question. Simultaneously, builders were not able to weigh in on phasing and constructability. But today, 5D BIM is addressing all those challenges in a timely fashion.

5D BIM for Early Designs

The aim of conventional pre-construction and early design conceptualization was to create a “frozen design”. Instead of resorting to evolving designs, the idea was to create architectural drawings that were not subject to further changes. However, the drawings which contractors ultimately build – were so imprecise, it became nearly impossible to get accurate “frozen designs”.

It further complicated details of design intent – how the building will work, how they will be built and what would be the overall costs involved. All the hurdles put together resulted in unplanned, costly, time-consuming design changes across the construction stage of many projects.

This is the stage where consensus on the scope of work, based on owner’s requirements and expectations – and accurate cost estimations for project deliveries is derived. Today with help of 5D BIM; owners, architects, builders and engineers in the early stages of design – not only discuss their current designs – but also discuss designs revisions or alternatives can and shall impact their project – across completion.

5D BIM enables evaluation of elements right from appearance and price to schedule and constructability. 5D BIM used with Revit, backed with a combination of experience and the database of construction and materials costs – enables stakeholders to create a set design and a clearer project scope.

Benefits of 5D BIM Modeling

5D BIM helps in conceptualizing elements such as square footages to pricing, timing, layouts and more. In the guidance of an experienced construction project team and estimation experts; owners can make informed decisions and be confident that they will get the right facility.

Other benefits of 5D BIM includes:

  • Visual and data modeling capabilities open up new avenues for predictability resulting in a more efficient project scope. It drives costs based on specific designs, materials, site conditions, phasing and various other parameters responsible for producing accurate information within project timelines.
  • It helps the entire project team to develop a clear understanding of the proposed design, assumptions and cost drivers. Before the project begins, the entire team would have a concise and accurate description of scope, cost, and schedule.
  • Relevant data when updated, automatically changes the construction costs in real-time. It helps in eliminating last minute surprises that directly or indirectly impact funding decisions.
  • Relevant data is shared on real time basis, as and when the model either develops further or any changes are made. Exploring alternative concepts becomes possibly easier, whereas the project team and owners get to see the cost and other data updates in real-time.
  • Design and estimation cycle time reduces significantly, as compared to conventional pre-construction and early design stages.

Team Inputs to Save Cost & Time

5D BIM modeling efficiently enables construction professionals in presenting how ideas look and how costs will get affected. From architectural design and engineering to construction and specialty construction, may it be contractors or specialty architects; the idea is to have everyone on the same page from the very beginning of the construction project.

In conventional models of building construction, designs were completed by an architect before the contractor can put across the cost, schedule and constructability; whereas with 5D BIM the entire project team can provide inputs and ideas to save cost and time.

Gaurang Trivedi

About Author: is engineering consultant at TrueCADD. Besides, donning multiple hats, as a website manager and marketing in charge, he also oversees the editorial content, coordinating and managing the website, its news sections, blogs and social media promotions as well.

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