BIM (Building Information Modelling) is basically constructing a building virtually before physically. BIM includes information about the product including geometry and it links the objects to specific manufacturer specifications and includes performance data (B1M, 2015).
Over the past 5 years, BIM has digitised the AEC (Architecture, engineering and construction) industry providing a digital checklist against the RIBA plan of work. Providing one multidisciplinary design in a 3D federated model allows everyone to see the same thing and much earlier to avoid costly mistakes and improved visibility, allowing clearer presentation to a client. Overall, the impact BIM has on the design process is the reduction in costs, time, waste and better project efficiency (The B1M, 2018).
How BIM impacts the different stages of the design process
Despite the concept design stage not being developed, it is the very first stage and BIM has its benefits for this design phase. BIM allows users to provide cost estimation and construction sequencing so while using BIM the design team and client can create integrated designs while checking against performance as all the geometric information required is available.
BIM adoption allows better visualisation of the concept design through 3D expression which assists the design team and helps to resolve any early conflicts and issues. Design alternatives can easily be made, providing higher quality designs.
An integrated database is provided by BIM allowing coordination amongst users, this in turn helps resolve potential clashes which may be problems throughout the construction phase.
Instead of 2D designs, 3D digital imagery can be created for better visualisation of the model and presentation to a client. This 3D visualisation captures reality using simulation tools and enhances accuracy across the building disciplines. BIM software’s such as AutoCAD and Revit allow models to be flexible to design changes even during the construction phase; such changes include dimensions, measurements and specifications such as materials and performance data. In the past, any changes to a design was very difficult as it was done on paper and these changes could not be verified by a design manager or other disciplines who will also need to accommodate for these design changes.
BIM impacts the technical design stage of the design process as here many mistakes can be made due to human error; however, BIM automates the clash detection process allowing for 3D technical designs to go through clash detection. Clash detection minimises mistakes which could have resulted in raised costs and schedule implications, as a result increases the efficiency of a project. The reduction in human error during inspections reduces mistakes and so reduces potential costs. On average, around £13,000 is saved in the industry for each clash that is detected. (The BIM center, 2018)
BIM blurs the lines between the different systems across BIM; processing and physical. This allows the design and construction phases of a construction project to be moved closer together. Sometimes these stages overlap, therefore allowing this integration to save time and money, particularly as the project develops. In turn, an early start and completion of the works is promoted.
Benefits to different stakeholders in the design process
Owners and facility managers
BIM (Building Information Modelling) benefits team managers as they are able to check, review and approve a file with satisfaction before it is shared with and sent off for delivery to appropriate contractors and subcontractors. This is turn saves money as clashes can be prevented through BIM’s automated clash detection.
Contractors and subcontractors
As all information is within a shared area, all discussion becomes non-contractual and specific disciplines have access to the documentation, non-graphical and graphical data quick and easily, rather than having to wait for information to be passed around as represented in the traditional over-the-wall method. This reduces time and allows projects to be delivered quicker and more efficiently as the contractors have the information modelling in a cloud-based software.
How BIM impacts the quality of collaboration
Understanding the impact of BIM on the quality of collaboration within the construction industry is essential for better understanding of its influence on projects and how this can improve a construction projects outcome.
The IT capacity and technology management of BIM allows the tools and platforms to enable multi-disciplinary collaboration and an integrated workflow. A study shows that these BIM qualities allowing a 55% reduce in the required time for collaboration across the design team. Such BIM features include BIM 360 Glue; this is a BIM project management software allowing different discipline users to upload different models to the cloud to be merged together. This provides cloud connectivity with the users in a common data environment (Dutt, 2018).
Attitude and behaviour
Having analysed BIM’s impact on the design process across the various stages and providing further research into its impact on the quality of collaboration, we have come to the conclusion that BIM is beneficial within the AEC industry for better project efficiency and document management.
As implemented, BIM makes the design process across the AEC industry easier by ensuring better accuracy, visualisation of 3D models, time and money and project efficiency. These are also complemented through BIM’s ability to improve collaboration across users and different disciplines to work together in a shared CDE (Common Data Environment).
...(download the rest of the essay above)