23 Nov

How Building Information Modelling is Improving the Construction Industry

In 2011, the Government Construction Strategy published by the UK Cabinet Office stated that from 2016 onwards, all government projects would require BIM to be produced. With this strategy coming into play this year, we’re looking at how Building Information Modelling is improving the construction industry, as well as answering all the questions you may have about exactly what BIM entails.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling/Building Information Model, or BIM, is the process of creating a collaborative 3D model of a project, including information on the asset of the project and all corresponding documentation and data.

Why is it needed?

The government have implemented BIM in an attempt to modernise the construction industry and reduce the costs of constructing and operating new buildings; the ultimate aim is to reduce costs by 20%.

How does it work?

Essentially a BIM is a digital model of a building, similar to how 3D designs are created on CAD and similar design programmes as a prototype for a building. However, unlike a CAD drawing, the BIM will be a collaborative, ongoing process that is constantly updated with new information and the next step for the building. This means that once the design team have finished creating the building’s layout, the construction team can work from the design to create the building, adding information about materials used, any changes that had to be made, where supporting walls are etc. Once the contractors are finished, the owner of the building has a record of the structure that can be referred to when changes are made to the building, when the building needs repaired or when the building is being sold. As long as all parties remember to update the BIM when a structural change is made, the BIM will offer a very real, reliable analysis of the building, making future works much more straightforward.

Is BIM expensive?

Like all new technologies, there are costs to be incurred by investing in the program and training your staff in how to use it. However, these costs are deeply offset by the cost-efficiency of having the programme, and you’ll soon find that with BIM, you’re actually profiting.

How do you profit from BIM?

Simply by working at a more efficient pace. No longer will you find yourself in the middle of a construction to realises that the initial design won’t work due to structural requirements, meaning you, the designers and the engineers need to work out a new course of action. On top of that, any requests you make for proposals or samples from the designer will be dealt with quicker, as all the information needed will be in one place accessible by all, rather than working from outdated documents. This means the project will be completed quicker and you can move on to your next job sooner

What are the benefits?

There are a huge number of benefits from using BIM, some of which include:

  • More cohesive process for all involved
  • More open channel of communication
  • Information is more accessible – can be looked at on computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and the like
  • An excellent way of preserving an audit trail
  • Authorisation documents can be attached, so responsibility can be correctly apportioned at all times
  • Maintenance and repair work will be quicker as the contractor will have information on the components and materials used without physically seeing them
  • Constructions will be cheaper for all involved, likely leading to a rise of constructions taking place across the country
  • Allows the client to keep track of budget throughout the project
  • Carbon and waste management can be more easily considered

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