Building Information Modeling (BIM) is driving economic growth and productivity enhancement in the North American construction industry. This technology leverages real-time, fully accessible data to help constructors develop more efficiently, in more sectors, and in less time. Most notably, construction crews, previously individual to each trade or specialization, have evolved into high-functioning construction teams, thanks to BIM.
BIM software helps create digital models of construction projects, which serve as a central storage area for project information including design, planning, materials, and even labour. The material is accessible to every team member and input is shared across the team, ensuring up-to-the minute data fuels every decision.
Technoogy like BIM and other automation, lean, or mobile technologies aimed at streamlining key processes mitigates the drain of errors and miscommunication, and leaves craftspeople free to do what they do best—construct buildings. Managers and office staff have a clearer and searchable database of figures and progress, and building owners can see what is happening on every level at any given time.
A report by Dodge Data & Analytics finds that large percentages of contractors are using BIM to improve their operations, including 93 percent of HVAC contractors, 91 percent of plumbing and piping contractors, and 88 percent of structural fabricators in the United States. Contractors can attach estimated costs and scheduling information to the model, in order to show architects and project managers the cost and time it will take to bring their visions to life.
BIM isn’t actually new—after over a decade its use has proliferated and its functionality has improved tenfold. BIM ensures a collaborative model, meaning as team members plan and coordinate their scopes, the overarching data is updated so everyone is using the same information. Because all documentation and paperwork attached to a project is collected in BIM, everything is at every team member’s fingertips. And because BIM runs live, plans, changes, and progress can be tracked and shared without lengthy meetings and phone calls. When the project is over, the BIM file becomes an archive for future study, improvement analysis, or long-term system evaluation or monitoring monitoring.
A study by Autodesk on the impact of BIM in modern construction confirms that more than 80 percent of respondents had a positive return on their investment in BIM software, while another 14 percent at least broke even. Respondents who were using BIM for more than 50 percent of their projects reported improvements to coordination of materials, quality/performance of buildings, schedule control, and reduced project error. Additionally, the study found that BIM was helping a small percentage of firms improve ROI by reducing IT costs.
What are you waiting for? Leap into BIM today and change your projects forever.