Advantages of using BIM in Construction

Compared to the traditional method, the adoption of BIM creates both many-opportunities and-challenges too. BIM technology provides a project from the outset, a-greater control and precision to project members, they can-manage-more efficiently some variables like cost, quality and time. These kinds of benefits have a major influence on both-productivity and production efficiency in addition to every-activity related to information management. As a result, the design of information is explicit and available to all stakeholders who are then able to support decision-making initiatives through better management, use and sharing of information. In the first moments of the rise of BIM, project participants-were used to using their own tools and systems to share information that were structured and suitable for their specialized needs and requests. For this reason, the amount of information that could be distributed was limited due to the lack of a central source of information. The issue has now come to an end, because today the project data is-reachable through different BIM  software that controls information of a project more-efficiently.
Previous case studies show that the use of BIM can lead to monetary savings by reducing the cost of retrieving project information in minimizing life cycle costs of the facility. The return on investment from BIM implementation-was analysed by Young, who found out that approximately:

 

Percentages of who expressed positive ROI by using BIM

Contractors
Web Designer 71%
Owners
Web Designer 70%
Architects
Web Designer 58%
Engineers
Web Designer 46%

The article will now follow with an analysis of the benefits at the different phases of the lifecycle of a project. These are divided into 3 principal phases: pre-construction, construction and post construction.

Pre - Construction Stage

In the pre-construction stage are considered all the valuation concerning the project trying to estimate eventual economic advantages for the contractor and the client. BIM is helpful not only for delivering a framework to assess the feasibility of the project but also to provide an evaluation of the building’s future performances in terms of regulations regarding functionality and constructability. At this early stage, studies on energy, acoustics and lighting are carried out and analyzed. If evaluated correctly, they will eventually have a major impact on the overall future result. Performing this kind of sustainability analysis was not possible with the traditional method. The implementation of a BIM system requires higher initial costs because of the involvement of design and construction shareholders. It has been demonstrated that the total cost of the construction phase will be reduces thanks to a decrease in delays, changes in orders and requests for information and claims. The concept behind this procedure advocates the possibility to integrate knowledge, systems, business structures and practices of several stakeholders into a collaborative process. The possibility of having a digital representation of the physical building before it’s construction enables an earlier detection of errors and evaluation of the design performance. The control during the pre-stage of the construction will help with quality checks and will ensure constructability by detection, modification and check of inconsistencies in the project. The overall communication among all parties involved in the project is enhanced since from the beginning with positive consequences in lowering errors and clashes that can be detected earlier. At the moment, clash identification represents the most widely used metric to evaluate the economic value of BIM. All the activities and processes are improved using BIM, because of the accuracy in cost estimations and improved information. The cost element, often also called 5D, can be controlled, because all the stakeholders are aware of the cost implications thanks to the design before the progress of the project. Consequently, design can be improved to praise the clients’ budget.

Construction Stage

BIM not only allows for reduced costs in the pre-construction stage but also during the actual construction phase. In fact, it avoids rework and is extremely appealing in particular for bigger corporations because of the cost savings. In some of the construction projects that were completed in the past, it was reported 40 to 90 per cent reduction of rework thanks to the application of the BIM system prior to the actual start of work41. One benefit of BIM in this phase is the capability to check beforehand all components of the project, therefore controlling and planning the construction process in advance, reducing the need of on site inventories and minimised costs42. Additional to this, BIM has also the ability to keep track of the progress of the project by regularly updating the installation dates of both structures and systems to the model43. The function 4D, allows a graphical visualisation of the project with the schedule, it also gives the possibility to visualize the virtual view of the project at any time of the project. This functionality not also grants cut on costs but also a greater possibility to better manage the logistical aspect. In fact, prior analysis and simulations of alternatives will not have an impact on actual costs and potential-delays in the delivery of the project but just a pre analysis on the system to detect the best solution. Consequently, this has a positive impact on quality and it will facilitate the identification of potential errors, therefore, the probability of severe problematic issues is reduced to the minimum. It is also mentioned that more than 80 per cent of contractors support that reduction of conflicts during construction has the greater value in the adoption of BIM44. In conclusion, also during the construction phase the advantages provided by the implementation of BIM are evident and proved.

Post - Construction Stage

Since, throughout all the process, important information has been collected and stored in the BIM system this grants easy access and record also after the construction. Most of the problems and time-consuming processes for facility managers’ is the time spent in finding out information. It is clear that this will easily faced by the BIM. In fact, anytime they needed to improve the building with renovations or maintenance work they needed first to talk to direct person with on site surveys but this is no more necessary.

Advantage of BIM

The technology BIM is able to support and improve many business procedures. Even if the sectors of Architecture, Engineering, Building and Facility Management are among the first that adopted BIM already different improvement were implemented. The fields of BIM linked to BIM technology and the process are the focus of the construction design and building for how they react to increasing pressure of a greater complexity, a faster development, greater sustainability, reduction in building costs and of its usage. In fact, the traditional method was not able to face all this pressures. The most convincing reason to adopt-BIM is the intrinsic advantage of the 3D representation during the design phase of the project and the preparation of the documentations. The 3D representation permits the team a enhanced understanding, visualization and resolution of the problem throughout the whole process. The coordination within a single model is considerably better with respect to the one 2D documentations. The BIM approach allowsenhancing the construction process with benefits such as a decrease in the project costs, a faster deliver of the result and a improved quality of the project. Additional associated benefits are:
  • Faster and more efficient processes: the information are shared more easily, they are able to be an added value and can be used once more;
  • Better design: the project’s proposals can be rationally analysed, simulations and benchmark performances can be executed in a faster way, allowing innovative and better solutions;
  • Cost control of the lifecycle of the project and of the environmental data: the environmental accomplishment is predictable, the overall costs are better analysed;
  • Automatized assembly: the digital information of the product can be manipulate in the downstream processes, in the productive process within the organization, and can be used for the production and the assembly of the structural system;
  • Better service to the client: the proposals can be better understood through a more detailed and accurate visualization and maintenance;
  • Lifecycle data: information on requirements, design, building and maintenance can be used for facility management.

The CIFE (Centre for Integrated Facilities Engineering) of Stanford University run a survey on 32 big projects that use BIM and identified the advantages. Among those:

  • Elimination in budget change up to 40%;
  • Precision in costs estimation up to 3%;
  • Decrease up to 80% of the time needed to generate a expenditure quote;
  • Saving of up to 10% in the value of the contract trough clash detections;
  • Time saving up to 7%.

Proponents of BIM

The ability to provide interoperability to the different parties involved in a construction project is the core of the Building Modelling Information system. Proponents of BIM highly support the idea that the only limitation that the system has is related to the ability of the users. They then emphasize that list of benefit that the use of BIM has:
  • Conflict resolution: potential conflicts can be foreseen in advance and, in this way, anticipated so that changes to the project and drawing can be made before the start of it.
  • Adjust costs as changes occur: the system allows the calculation and estimation of costs, especially to those that might result in a change in the anticipated project. The change will not just be related to the drawing but also it will renew the schedules and estimates.
  • Speed up design and construction process: BIM has the ability to speed up the processes, in fact, sophisticated design and projects require time and also a fast architect needs more time that what a software can do. The program can fasten the advancement of the drawings of the project.
  • Reduction in ultimate costs: thanks to the ability of reducing time for construction, developing particular costs for changes and managing in advance the cost of changes.
  • Single entry: information needs to be inserted only once, after the first input it will be available at any time. Moreover, any time a variable is changed the editing are automatically imported to the relative factors, in this way, once again a change or information only needs to be input once.
  • Alternates: considering the easy way of making a change in the system, owners are able to ask for more than a single scenario and alternative to have a complete overview of the change in costs derived from change in factors.
  • Design optimization: as previously mentioned, for a detailed and outstanding design an architect need to work for long time, with the software instead such a result is achieved easily and faster.
  • Conflict identification and resolution: this is a good opportunity to identify and clarify locations for running of different procedures. The sole limit is that the owner must perform the system in the exact location.
  • Constructability: from the small picture to the bigger one, it is possible to see how the details are assembled in the overall building.
  • Construction sequencing and scheduling: the modification and editing of the project are all gather together, this will allow to always have a complete overview of the phase of the construction. Moreover, viewing the BIM in 4D will be useful to maintain the construction project schedule.
  • Life cycle evaluation: if after the construction any editing are willing to be made, this will turned to be easier because of the information collected in the system. For example, energy calculations can be run using the data of the building.
  • Operation simulations: through the software many kind of simulations can be carried out, they can energize the model to show exhibit and how the model would be in different situations. Interoperability is a great component of BIM software.

STR Vision CPM

STR Vision CPM is a full BIM software: it integrates the 3D model project with information about tools, facilities, human resources and all the parts you need in order to complete the job. You can control and manage the technical and economic information, both forecast and consumptive data, during all the project phases.

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