Why BIM is important for the construction industry
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is transforming the American construction industry. It is digitizing what is typically a physical process and remodeling data to align stakeholders and processes, accelerating timelines, reducing costs, and virtually eliminating all “surprises” in the building process.
According to Deloitte, BIM has saved the construction industry billions of dollars and thousands of hours, often resulting in additional cost savings and shorter project duration. This is why states like California and Wisconsin have already jumped on the BIM bandwagon.
Though BIM has existed in the construction industry in some form since the mid-1970s, the technology to support it has matured tremendously in the past 20 years. Leveraging advances in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), BIM is now the gold standard for project lifecycle management, enabling capabilities of growth and scale that would not be possible otherwise.
BIM and the construction industry
One of the most significant aspects of BIM is that it democratizes building data for all stakeholders. BIM software provides a common data environment (CDE) for documentation, drawings, schedules, planning, and communication, enabling architects, contractors, sub-contractors, designers, and engineers to work together from anywhere, on any device. Several people can work together on the same model in real-time, and there is no time wasted searching for documents or people when changes need to be made.
BIM software offers a comprehensive rendering of a building’s design, accounting for all core components, including electrical and HVAC systems. Teams can maximize available resources and better predict timelines as the work progresses. Visual BIM modeling also makes it possible to view projected work vs. actual work done, which can be very helpful in a dispute scenario.
Advanced AI algorithms in BIM also enable predictive modeling, informing building design with real-world contextual data that consider the surroundings and natural environment.
Once the project is complete, BIM carries over to the finished product and can be used for maintenance, future upgrades, renovations, and even deconstruction.
Why is BIM so critical in 2022?
Rapid urbanization is a key trend impacting the world today, and the construction industry must keep pace with increasing demand. However, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as sustainability, energy efficiency, and smart building design are also megatrends impacting the built environment sector. California has already taken steps to make their large jobs more sustainable. The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) instructed that BIM be used on their $6 billion projects across nine campuses. In the process of using BIM, they have saved nearly $13 million on costs.
BIM is an essential tool for general contractors, ensuring that timelines and quality are maintained, health and safety standards are upheld, and all stakeholders (including the client) are aligned and working with the latest information on job progress. Much more than just a visual rendering of the project, BIM in the construction industry provides a true-to-life virtual representation of the intended result and manages all information and documentation related to the work, the site, and the people involved in bringing it to fruition.
To learn more about BIM terminology and applications, download the Little Book of BIM today.
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