BIM offers a number of benefits that not only impacts everyone working on a project but the end-user also, from architect and engineer to contractor, owner and Facility Manager. However the biggest advantages come from the collaborative approach BIM provides, resulting in a chain reaction which equates to projects complete on-time and to budget.
Below we’ve rounded up the main advantages to applying BIM on a project:
1. Collaborative work
As BIM is cloud based, this means that all the relevant information about the building including specific materials and data is available in one place. Rich data and a true to form representation of how the building will look and eventually work, means that the CAD model is no longer restricted to just the designer. But instead means that all disciplines, from structural and engineering to plumbing and electrical can work side by side with one clear objective.
2. Workflow & decision making
Collaborative work in turn improves workflow. With clear objectives set out and information available to all, decision making becomes streamlined. Improvements can be made to the work cycle, whilst also tracking key milestones and keeping on top of supply chain resulting in leaner project management.
3. Timings, budget & cost-savings
For the first time architects, engineers and contractors or sub-contractors can solve an issue with a project in the same room before work begins on site. BIM’s capabilities to identify clashes with the build design can save companies thousands of pounds in wastage and re-work. This means the correct amount of materials, from the specified supplier or distributor can be ordered. Not only does BIM reduce wastage, which in turn saves time and money, but due to its seamless process the project can be delivered on time and to budget, avoiding any nasty surprises and disappointed building owners and tenants.
4. Building sustainably
BIM allows us to build green as it reduces our carbon footprint and omissions. Not only is this achieved using the points above, such as reduced wastage and leaner project management. But the data that can be input into the BIM model allows for it to be designed sustainably, which can also be more easily certified. The life cycle of the building can be assessed, providing information on how a building will perform in the future and ensuring the standards are upheld.
BIM is the ‘buzzword’ in the industry, yet according to a new survey by the Electrical Contractors’ Association, ‘fewer than 1 in 6 firms are BIM ready’, for the government’s plans of all public buildings to be built using BIM Level 2 by April 2016. BIM is emerging and in a few months time will be compulsory in the public sector, whilst the private sector has also took a headstart and begun to integrate BIM into business strategies. Taking a stance on BIM allows you to become a thought-leader on the subject and means existing and prospect customers can be educated on the long-term benefits. Branding and marketing as ‘BIM ready’ has proven successful for many companies as the many benefits that can be reaped, such as sustainability and a reduction in cost are attractive to clients.
6. Facility management
BIM is more than the design and construction of a building. It allows for the life cycle of a building to be managed, for example the data behind a BIM object can include the date a component was installed, the lifetime of that component, the manufacturer and warranty available along with its performance standards. As BIM develops in the future, the levels will encompass the benefits of the end-user and how it can be utilised to its full potential.
All the benefits listed above can improve profit by bringing in new projects. However it also means that due to its accuracy of project management and timings – buildings can be marketed out for sale or lease, months and even years before it’s complete date as the occupant can be reassured that the project will be complete on time. This reduces the risk and cost of a building being empty once complete.