5 benefits of using BIM in the commercial industry
When undertaking a new project, allocating time from the outset to understand how the project will come together is essential. Having a clear vision of exactly how each element of the building, and the various systems will be fitted and integrated within the overall structure, ensures correct decisions are made early on in the construction process. BIM technology offer the commercial industry the optimum solution to achieve this.
What is BIM?
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a new approach to design and construction in which a composite model is created at the design/planning stage. 3D models of the various disciplines including structural, architectural, energy, plumbing, electrical etc. are integrated into a centralized model, in order to effectively manage and uphold consistency in all stages of planning, design and construction of a commercial project. BIM enabled all project members to easily visualise and analyse all aspects of a buildings performance, with the opportunity to make better informed decisions before the construction process starts. Building components can be pre -constructed based on the information BIM provides, speeding up project completion, lowering costs, improving on site safety and producing greener construction processes. BIM modelling not only facilitates efficiency in the design phase but also with ongoing maintenance and helping building owners/managers to make knowledgeable decisions when the time comes to renovate or expand.
In today’s technologically advanced world, 2D drawings fail to provide clients with the on demand, integrated web experience they seek – the ability to discover, select and download information on various products for their project.
Here are 5 key BIM benefits in the commercial industry:
1. Improved productivity
The use of BIM greatly speeds up design drafting and changes, communication with clients and overall understanding of projects. Less time is spent on reworks and drawing replication for the different disciplines. Instead, teams are encouraged to collaborate and communicate to ensure each discipline’s needs are considered and to decipher who should be contributing at the various project stages. With BIM, the amount of time spent on drawings is greatly reduced while still maintaining high quality and when changes are needed, analysis can be done in a few days rather than weeks. The client has greater involvement and is more informed, enabling them to make faster, better decisions.
2. Reduced rework
The use of BIM for commercial construction allows designers to detect errors before construction begins, avoiding costly changes further down the line. With 30% of construction costs coming from rework, problems highlighted earlier in a project means fewer of these issues will arise during the construction process. Virtual design identifies clashes such as electrical conduit early in the building project, reducing the likelihood of required changes or clashes on site which could potentially lead to lengthy delays in project completion.
3. Greater sustainability
With BIM, energy analysis is carried out early in the design stage in order to reduce ongoing energy consumption. The data rich models can be used to better manage facility operations, optimizing resources and maintenance and operational costs. Design engineers can determine the efficiency of energy usage, sustainability and facility management of the various manufacturers products, enabling them to make more informed decisions on suppliers. Facility managers can also use BIM models to ensure energy efficiency within the building and to draw up a preventative maintenance plan.
4. Enhanced visualisation
BIM allows contractors to better demonstrate proposals to the supply chain, the client and their team. Through the use of aerial photography and digital elevation, all aspects of the project are captured accurately, projecting reality within one shared model. Advanced factors such as energy performance and seasonal sunlight changes can be integrated in the building design through the use of simulation tools. BIM models are the optimum method of mapping out how the project will progress step by step, from design right through to completion and thereafter.
5. Reduced construction costs
With 60% of major capital projects failing to meet cost and schedule targets, greater accuracy in determining cost is a major problem area for many commercial building projects. BIM offers a solution to this issue, with greater insight for cost, scheduling and construction. Enhanced visualisation enables cost consultants to tender more accurately, increasing the probability of investment costs being met and often exceeded.
While there are a number of direct costs associated with introducing BIM (upgraded hardware, staff training and software licensing), the initial cost of investment should be very easily met and consequently exceeded. BIM can benefit the commercial industry in a number of ways, most importantly helping contractors to operate more productively, produce higher quality work, reduce costs and therefore secure new business.