The construction industry traditionally has struggled with low efficiency and a lot of building defects. This is not good for anyone, not the builders, building owners, contractors, or consultants. This is where the digital building information model (BIM) helps to revolutionise the industry. The use of this tool has become a natural part of the building process in the construction industry and here we present four major benefits of BIM for all stakeholders.
1. Error weeded out in advance
3D modelling means that collisions and building defects are weeded out in advance. This is seen to greatest effect when contractors and craftsmen take part in the planning and construction of the BIM model. Thus, maximum constructability is assured.
2. "Virtual" inspection before the building is built
BIM is also excellent for communicating with future users of the building. You can make "virtual" final inspections of the building. You can "test drive" it long before it is built together with the future users. The location of installations and equipment is checked out and one will avoid a lot of mistakes and alterations at the end of the construction phase.
Other areas where BIM is already of great benefit is in quantity selection for effective and proper ordering of materials. Visualisation of progress with colour codes is also a useful BIM functionality.
3. BIM out on the construction site streamlines the work
Solutions where craftsmen and others can use tablets to take BIM with them out to construction sites are now on the market. Such solutions give professionals an invaluable opportunity to be involved in how building and its technical installations are planned and have the functionality to effectively report variances or request more information.
4. MOM BIM lives with the building's life cycle
The first management, operations and maintenance BIMs are beginning to appear, and building owners and operators see the benefits. The building will be handed over with fewer variances, and enriched BIM models can be used further in the operational phase. BIM lives on with the life cycle of the building and can be used for such tasks as land management, issuance of work orders and environment recording.
No way back
There is no way back and that’s a good thing. It is still not possible to get everything one likes to show in PowerPoint presentations, in relation to the use of BIM. However, a lot is possible, and we want to see a rapid development in this area. Work on standardisation, product databases and better applications is in full progress.
BIM of the future
This is just the start up of BIM for construction. One can imagine that in the future each building will have a "live" electronic copy that will be actively used throughout the building's lifetime. It provides a space for changes to be simulated and in the future BIM may replace what is known today as the central operating system. That is, the building will be monitored and operating parameters will be changed through the BIM model. We're facing an exciting future!
Senior Vice President Technology & Development at Caverion Norge AS