Ever wondered how the AEC industry has transformed over the centuries? Forget centuries, look around you and see the way things have changed in the past few decades. The transformations are evident from the structures we see, the new ways of working and so on.
Out of the many changes that had happened, the transformation to Building Information Modeling was the one that revolutionized the AEC industry.
Why so much of fuss on the transformation to BIM?
AEC industry was often perceived to be reluctant towards adapting to the new changes that had been happening and it was blamed for clinging to the conventional methods. With the fast-paced development that was happening in the world, the burden on the AEC industry to come up with efficient, cost-effective and sustainable designs were at an all-time high. The conventional methods followed in the planning, building and maintenance of a building were found inefficient and inadequate for the job in hand.
Engineers and architects were desperate to find a replacement for the conventional methods and that is how BIM was adopted.
Don’t know what BIM is?
Many perceive BIM to be an all in one software package but it is not. Rather it is an intelligent workflow process that involves the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places and buildings.
Doesn’t make sense huh? The easiest way to make someone understand BIM is; if an engineer is considered to be Tony Stark (The Ironman), BIM is Jarvis. Just as how much Jarvis helps Tony with his projects BIM can save our engineers from hassles, headaches, stress, and so on.
Now you know why there is so much of fuss about BIM.
Did BIM really transform the AEC industry?
For me, I personally prefer using the term “revolutionize” rather transform.
“YES, BIM REVOLUTIONIZED THE AEC INDUSTRY”
1. Enhanced collaboration among the various teams involved in a project:
Before the inception of BIM, the conventionalmethods that were followed were less effective when it came to collaboration among the various stakeholders in a project. This lack of collaboration indirectly was the root cause for many hiccups that were happening. With the implementation of BIM these were attended to.
BIM is a live cloud model which makes it the ideal platform for effective collaboration among the various teams involved in a project. Unlike the conventional methods, every stakeholder can work on the same model simultaneously rather working on different contract drawings. Any changes or addition made to the model by any one team will be readily visible to all the other teams involved.
With enhanced collaboration among the team, a lot of money and time can be saved. On an average, up to 30% of the total cost can be saved with the implementation of BIM.
2. Reduced the errors and omissions
As said earlier, implementation of BIM facilitated better collaboration among the stakeholders. The better the collaboration is, the more efficient the teams involved would be.
Increased efficiency of the teams involved will drastically reduce the chances of having errors in the final deliverables. When it comes to the AEC industry any errors in the final deliverable if left unnoticed, can cost the investors a lot of money. With the implementation of BIM, every deliverableispassed through a clash detection phase and errors if any, are sorted out even before the construction starts.
3. Greater speed and quality
BIM significantly improves the efficiency of the team and reduces the chances of having errors or omissions in the deliverables. This enables greater quality and faster completion of BIM implemented projects.
4. Improved visualization
The traditional methods that were followed till date were not effective when it came to the visualization of projects. Unlike those methods, BIM is a data-rich 3D model, which enabled the end users to virtually interact and experience the features of the building (even before the construction begins).
The virtual tour implies, users can virtually walk around the building to see the exteriors, climb up the individual floors (Virtually) and see how the building looks from every height, you can walk inside the building, see where the rooms are all going to be, see the paints the walls are going to have, see where the lightings are going to be, see how the interiors and exteriors look at any given time of the day, and so on.
Better visualization enables the end users to pitch in their ideas and suggestions to the design team improving the overall efficiency of the building.
5. Better cost estimation
As BIM gained popularity in the AEC industry its application also improved significantly. Engineers started using the advanced models of BIM (5D BIM) for various estimation purposes. A 5D BIM is an extension of a 3D model, in which the 3D model is connected to the assemblies and components in an estimating database.
When it comes to cost estimation, it was found in a study that 60-80% of the time required for cost estimation was spent on quantification. 5D BIM started replacing the 2D drawings that were used for cost estimation.
The additional advantage of using BIM for cost estimation was that, BIM being a live model any change made to the design at any stage of the construction phase will automatically be implicated in all related documents, schedules, takeoffs and measurements that are used by the estimator.
Other advantages of BIM includes
- Easy generation of accurate shop drawings.
- Faster change management.
- Improved construction sequencing.
- Easy forensic analysis.
- Improved design insights.
By now you might have understood why the engineers and architects are going crazy about BIM. The revolutionary changes BIM has brought upon is encouraging more and more engineers to adopt BIM into their projects.
“BIM still continues to be very much at the forefront of our professional consciousness. This is hardly surprising since BIM has been universally acknowledged as a ‘disruptive technology’ for the AEC industry, much more than CAD or even computing ever was, and it is causing us all to rethink our processes and identities”
Author Bio: Mr K. Shakti Prasad, a full-time content writer working with Advenser Engineering Pvt. Ltd., a globally leading BIM and VDC consultant. He has been working with the company for quite some time and has been witnessing an ever high increase in demand for implementing BIM & VDC on construction projects.During his leisure hours, he spends time with his friends apart from spending some quality time alone in reading, writing, cooking and sharing good thoughts.