Utilization of BIM for High-rise Buildings

Utilization of BIM for High-rise Buildings

BIM aka Building Information Modeling has become a house hold name in the construction Industry. Since this process is known for establishing a collaborative approach between building construction, Design and planning, lot of Construction companies, Contractors and Architects are increasingly shifting towards BIM Modeling, other advanced process like BIM Coordination, As built modeling, Facility Management etc. Lot of countries are now making Building Information Modeling mandatory.

BIM in broad perspective defines generation of a 3D geometrical model with complete comprehensive building data. However there is much more than this to Virtual Construction Modeling. In this era of Internet, there are several definitions floating around the worldwide web. If I were to define BIM I would define it as a “Pre-construction process integrating the Design, Development and Construction stages collaboratively on a digital platform”. With the help of BIM Modeling, Architects and Engineers are able to create elaborate 3D geometries that digitally represent the physical and functional utilities of a building that is still in the design or development stage.

With the help of services like BIM Coordination, Shop Drawing Creation, Facility Management etc., Building Information Modeling services has successfully penetrated the construction market owing to the robust methodology to support decision making, design changes and construction. The 3D models and the building data extracted from the design drawings become a base of entire project life cycle starting from design through maintenance of a building post completion. Not to forget now a days BIM analysis is also a part of the renovation and retrofit process. Scan to BIM Modeling makes it easier to demolish and analyze the design flaws of the older structure. This process helps in creating the proposed design in a better manner.  There are many handbooks that are developed by institutions with standards and techniques to accomplish BIM Models for construction. Virtual Design Construction focusses on integrating information and geometry in an intelligent manner.

Let us talk about the how BIM is utilized for high rise buildings. There are several building types and high rise buildings are one of a kind. This type of buildings can be anything Apartments, Commercial buildings, Hotels, Hospitals etc. and have to be constructed efficiently. What will be the role of BIM services in the construction?  There are two ways through which we can work with Building Information Modeling here, either we start using this process right from design, or we introduce BIM in the development stage. It is the contractor and Owner’s prerogative. High rise building designs can be extremely complex in nature and consists of quite a bit of detailing. Though this factor depends on the type of building that is being designed we can safely categorize high rise buildings into complex building types. We will discuss two type of buildings here Residential high rise and Commercial high rise.

Residential High Rises: Residential high rises will include apartments, Duplexes etc. Architectural BIM Modeling here will be much more in detail while MEP will be less complex. Keeping in mind the overall aesthetics, utilities and space planning Architects can develop detailed 3D Models with the Architectural detailing in it. Best way to implement Virtual design construction in Architectural and structural domain is to use it from the design stage. Designing a conceptual model with design options, Architectural Construction Drawings using BIM makes construction and efficient process for presentation and construction both. Once the Architectural and Structural design is finalized, MEP BIM Modeling can be accomplished. Post MEP Modeling, we can work on Clash detection and MEP coordination that actually serves the purpose of using this magnificent technology. With the help of clash detection, it becomes possible to check the interferences and design flaws before moving on to construction. We can perform collaborative meetings with all the parties accessible the same model at a time. Tools like BIM 360 makes it possible for the model to be updated at the same time from multiple locations.

We can also later use the other process as Facility Management, Energy Analysis, and Scan to BIM Modeling etc. for the residential buildings. Maintenance becomes extremely organized and sorted when we have comprehensive Building data available. Components, Equipment’s, fixtures usually have asset tagging done and can be ordered quickly in case of wear and tear with the help of manufacturer information stored in the data base. Residential apartments can rely on Building Information Modeling support more in post completion stage to ensure seamless maintenance of the building.

Commercial High rises: Commercial buildings certainly have a different modus operandi compared to the residential buildings. Here more than the Architectural elements, structural and MEP elements are complex. High rise like offices, hotels etc. require a full proof and accurate MEP system architecture. Hence utilization of BIM Modeling becomes mandatory here. The more complex the building structure is more the need of efficiency is. Hence using MEP BIM Coordination, Clash detection, BIM shop drawings, Revit family creation etc. becomes more important in commercial buildings. It brings value addition to the construction process and has resulted in reducing overall construction cost and time efficiently.  There are several software and tools which support Building Information Modeling. Today Virtual Construction Modeling acts as a binding factor between the design stage and construction phase especially for complex building structures like commercial high rises.

With such high risk involved in construction of such buildings, ability to visualize the building prior to construction comes as a blessing. We can understand every single element and it’s property, track it, link it with the other elements and change it when required. The model can be updated with design changes with finesse without compromising on the accuracy. When we update manually, there are grave chances of missing some elements which can prove to be detrimental during construction. All the design documents can be linked to the 3d geometry to be used the construction and project team.

Both for residential and commercial building construction tedious tasks like quantitity take off, scheduling, cost estimation etc. can be accomplished with the help of BIM services. Contractors can take advantage of the collaborative features and extract detailed MEP shop drawings, Clash reports, costing etc. Extracting coordinated shop drawings and working based on that will help in accuracy in installation. Also the process will be much faster as all clashes and interferences would have already been resolved. There are plenty of BIM Monitoring tools, workflow and reporting tools available for specific building types such as High rise buildings that eases out the stringent construction processes.

Benefits of using BIM for High Rise Projects

Working with BIM on high-rise projects has great benefits. While working with such porjects we can integrate the design drawings with a 3d virtual model. Sources say that this technology helps in reducing the overall project cost by 5 to 7 %. This indicates increase in profitability more than what it would be minus the BIM technology.  Integrated project design ensures more accuracy, less cost and quick turnaround. Design validation process eliminates chances of design issues and interferences between disciplines to a great extent.  Just like reduction of cost, project execution and construction time can be made quicker by 10% to 15% using advanced BIM Modeling technology.


Hence it can be safely concluded that BIM Services can be extremely viable for construction of High rise buildings. With Building Information modeling gaining traction into the construction industry, good opportunities and process tools available most of the construction companies, General contractors and Architectural firms are diversifying into this process. It is touted that in this highly competitive age, utilization of Virtual Design Construction will certainly give an edge to companies using it than companies which does not.

  • Divya Dave
    Divya Dave

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