Utilization of BIM in different phases of construction
November 8, 2018, By: Divya Dave

Utilization of BIM in different phases of construction

BIM Modelling is touted as one of the most influential innovations that have been extremely profitable to the construction and Architectural Fraternity.  With the advent of Building Information Modelling, many chaotic situations came in control. Over budgeting, redesigning, redundant construction etc. have been controlled to a great extent by using Building Information Modelling within different phases of construction. Let us understand a bit about the processes a bit before we talk about the different phases where we can use BIM.

BIM stands for Building Information Modelling. This is actually a process that has changed the traditional principles of the construction industry. Instead of changing the design during the construction phase, the majority of the design changes happen during the planning and the development stage. This acts as a determinant to reduce the cost and shortening the timelines.  BIM Modelling is a wholesome process of virtually constructing the building with “a complete compilation of the building data, 3D geometry, and components” through a digital medium. This model can be utilized from the conceptual stage through facility management of a building post construction.

Apart from just checking the aesthetics and the placements, there is much more information that can be gathered from BIM Modelling. Let us talk about the different stages where we can use this tool or technology.

Conceptual Stage: BIM Modelling is very much useful in the conceptual design phase. Designing any building structure in a conventional method during the design process always meant sketching and digitizing these sketches in CAD format. This process never gave a visual edge to the Architect or the contractors in terms of aesthetics, design options or any other option which could guarantee a reduction in design cost or a good collaborative approach.

Benefits of using Building Information Modelling

  • Design precision
  • Ability to visualize the design completely with the aesthetic display, landscapes, colors, furniture and entity placement, space planning and much more
  • Parametric features that take care of interrelated changes across the model seamlessly that come up during the design phase
  • Ability to produce 3D geometry, accurate 2D drawings, Cost estimate and every single relevant data from a single model
  • Energy Analysis
  • Collaborative modelling for construction

BIM Modelling also help extensively in design reviews. Coordinating with Architects, Design Engineers, Contractors etc. become easier when with the help of a virtual 3D geometry. It is possible to work and create multiple design options of the buildings that represent different layouts, color combinations, landscape, façade etc. It becomes very easy to explore multiple options and comparing each option digitally.  It also becomes possible to perform energy analysis and research the behavior of the building during a specific part of the year, month and day. Based on these analysis we can change the designs or the direction of the overall building. Hence it is safe to conclude that BIM Modelling in conceptual design phase is one of the most efficient utilization of Virtual Construction Modeling technology.

Design Stage: After we finalize a conceptual design there comes a need to get a Structural Design Engineer and MEP Design team to finalize the remaining disciplines. These MEP Consultants and Structural Consultants can design based on the standards and codes applicable so that they can send the design intent to the BIM team for further modeling.  Later all the three ArchitecturalStructural and MEP Design models can be integrated for detection design issues, clashes between multiple disciplines and coordination purposes.  This is where the collaborative side of BIM comes into existence. We can have a coordination meeting with the client, contractors, Architects, Structural Engineer and MEP Engineer to streamline the design issues. Clashes and interferences can be checked and resolved right in the design stage leaving very fewer chances of design changes during the construction process. This saves money, time and increases construction productivity overall.

Procurement Stage: Procurement stage basically includes project sequencing, Take offs, CObie, integrating energy analysis with the 3D geometry, asset tagging etc. Working in a collaborative environment enhances overall productivity by countering wastage of time and resources who work separately. When we build a model we can also enter lot of building data within the model that can further extract quantities, budgeting, costing during the construction process.

Construction Stage:BIM can be extremely useful in the overall construction phase. Virtual construction Modelling is extremely cost effective when utilized during the construction phase. With complex designs and detailing, it is better to use BIM during the construction stage with scheduling, 4D and 5D, Installation Drawings etc.

  1. As-Built: BIM is very popular and is predominantly used in the As-built stage. With the advent of technology of scan to BIM, many survey companies are shifting to laser scanning technology from manual surveys. Using Building Information Modelling, makes it very easy to preserve a model that reflects the final building geometry and data. It consist of all the changes that have been implemented in the building during and post construction. This model can be preserved for years and be utilized for maintenance of the building, design changes, renovation etc.
  2. Facility Management: BIM Modeling is gaining immense popularity in the facility management. Once the builder hands over the building to the owner, this Model can act as guidance tool. This model can give the owner an idea about the overall energy emission, utilization, placement of equipment’s, manufacturing date, expiration date, purchase vendor etc. We can also schedule building maintenance based on the schedules detailed in the BIM model.

Enterprises can achieve success with BIM Implementation by recognizing the need of it depending on the phases. However integrating the model and the data within each phase is extremely beneficial. The same model that was built during the conceptual design phase can be upgraded during every phase and can be used for facility management too. Ownership of the BIM Model can be transferred to different individual during every phase. To exploit the advantages investing in this process should be need based and aligned with the overall need of the company. Utilizing when there is no need is not productive overall.

BIM Modelling definitely enhances productivity of any project and reduces the overall construction cost if implemented correctly. End to end BIM solutions facilitate excellent control over the construction budget and provides precise inputs. This also provides us with an opportunity to design develop and collaborate in a virtual environment prior to construction. Due to these intrinsic features, virtual construction modeling is growing leaps and bounds. Cost control, high precision deliverables and high project execution efficiency are one of the key features. BIM Modeling is here to stay for long time and will further expand in years to come.

Construction Industry is using BIM in initial phases at times and some are using it only in advanced stages. There are very few companies who rely on total BIM solutions for their project execution. However statistic shows that the industry is rapidly growing and people are open to an idea of using end to end BIM solutions to ensure complete effectiveness.  Creating awareness and spreading the word across the industry about Building Information Modelling will help in further expansion of the process.

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