The era of digitalization has finally taken over the construction industry. Shifting from the physical to the digital world has opened up new opportunities. While there are several technologies that are revolutionizing the construction industry, BIM happens to be the current star player. For those new to the industry, BIM is certainly worth learning more about!
What is BIM?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a new approach to planning, designing, constructing, and managing construction models. This 3D model-based technology offers a digital representation of both the physical and functional characteristics of a building. The technology allows all parties involved in the construction and lifecycle management of the built asset to share data and work collaboratively.
How is BIM Used?
While BIM has been around for almost a decade, it's creating a fresh buzz. In a survey done by Dodge Data & Analytics in 2019, 89 percent of the participants said that they deployed BIM on at least some percentage of their construction projects. The following are the main areas where BIM is being used:
BIM plays a significant role in representing the entire lifecycle of a building virtually. At the initial stage, construction managers can use the BIM model to run several alternative scenarios to envisage the entire planned sequence of the project. The construction managers can share the visual representations with their clients and other stakeholders, enabling all parties involved to be on the same page from the very start.
BIM also makes it easy for construction managers to apply real-life conditions to the model. For instance, project managers can simulate the use of different materials to determine the right options for the project. The simulation can also enable project managers to assess the energy-efficiency levels of the building they are constructing. With that information, project managers can find areas that require optimization and ensure that they comply with the initial standards and specifications.
BIM has a very positive influence in problem detection. Through simulation, project managers and subcontractors are able to detect any potential issues and make functional design changes before it's too late or too costly for the project. For example, they can detect areas where electrical fittings are clashing with plumbing fittings even before the construction work begins.
Benefits of BIM When Designing Modular Buildings
From the survey conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics, there were a number of positive impacts of BIM that were cited by construction companies. The following are the top three benefits that construction companies realize when designing modular buildings with BIM:
Improved Schedule Performance
The information in a BIM model can be easily shared and accessed by all parties involved through a mutually-accessible online space. The information-sharing enables all stakeholders to be on the same page from inception to operation, to completion, which helps to keep things on track.
Minimized Construction Costs
The BIM model enables all stakeholders to evaluate all possible scenarios and find the most feasible one. The model also enables them to detect and resolve potential problems, which helps to eliminate remodeling costs.
Improved Project Quality
The BIM model enables project managers to find areas that require optimization and work towards ensuring that the project meets all the quality and safety standards.
Many stakeholders in the construction industry have realized these and other BIM benefits, and BIM appears to be only growing in adoption. In fact, it's projected that 99 percent of BIM users will be leveraging the technology for modular construction in the next three years.
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