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The Impact of BIM on Construction Projects




The Impact of BIM on Construction Projects

Expert Q&A - Aug 18

BIM (building information modeling) is an intelligent 3-D model-based process that gives architecture and construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage projects. BIM has helped the traditionally siloed architecture, engineering and construction disciplines develop more integrated workflows.

We caught up with two JLG® engineers, James Hahessy and Neil Doherty, to ask them some questions about BIM.

How is BIM technology changing the way buildings are constructed?

BIM affects just about every aspect but, in particular, the planning phase. It will fundamentally change the way buildings are designed, planned and maintained from client need through to use. Historically, the building design process has been very linear with little control over how information passes back and forth between client, architects and contractors. The information is typically in the form of a two-dimensional print trying to describe a highly complex three-dimensional shape. This leads to information getting lost, misinterpreted or simply not being communicated. As most projects are unique, these issues drive a lot of waste into the project.

Primarily through a data-rich 3-D full building model, the BIM Framework allows construction companies to plan the construction of a project in detail. This information is accessible by all project stakeholders and is updated and maintained throughout the building project, making it the one safe source of all project data.

In your opinion, what are the top three benefits of using BIM technology for construction projects?

  1. The top benefit is the elimination of project waste and reducing overall project risk by:
    • Better visualization: Eliminates misinterpretations and delays through late changes.
    • Clash detection: Contractor models get incorporated into the building model, so the electrical contractor can see the structural contractor model and plan accordingly.
    • Site planning improvements, material and machine logistics: Helps to answer questions like “Will machines meet the needs and fit into the site? Where is the optimal place to deliver and store material?”
    • Accurate bill of material or part counts: If you build a school or commercial building, for example, how many windows do you need? Manual count leads to errors; automatically counting ensures the right amount will arrive on-site to avoid delays.
  2. Model is used to simulate construction, allowing the main contractor to plan, practice and optimize the process. This minimizes potential problems and delays and helps deliver on-time, on-cost projects.
  3. Model is used to plan ongoing maintenance, keeping building operational expenditure to a minimum. This is especially important in government projects looking to keep ongoing financial commitments to a minimum.