When architectural and engineering firms adopt BIM design and modeling implementation as a strategic sector of business growth, they are rightly deciding to fill a shortage in an industry sector that is accelerating around the world. Both the architect-in-charge and project stakeholders will have a long list of expectations in which they expect BIM to fulfill:
- The digital representation of all building information at different phases of the project – including conceptual design, detailed 3D design and 2D layouts, engineering analysis, and modeling; structural erection sequencing; interference-free interior constructions and installations; building performance data, and life-cycle facility monitoring and management capabilities (a realistic expectation)
- Lean building design approach which takes full advantage of available 3D-modeling and visualization technologies; data collection for analysis and performance simulations; productivity and accuracy gains of 3D-centric documentation; multi-discipline design validation and cross-checking (attained when 3D-BIM is correctly implemented)
- Project owner’s return on investment which is the motivating force behind any BIM project. As a business value, owners are expecting continued interest in sustainable, energy-conscious structures and will demand higher leasing fees; a reduction in operations and maintenance costs over the lifecycle of the structure; and monetary returns from lower energy costs (attainable with integration of lifecycle BIM for facility management protocols)
- Construction industry budgetary realizations include a reduction in engineering documentation errors, resulting in less field rework; better scheduling of construction phases and adherence to timelines; enhanced project communication and collaboration with architects, engineers, vendors, and raw material suppliers (another realistic expectation)
BIM Consulting to the Success of 3D-BIM Projects
A BIM consultant plays a crucial role in the successful outcomes for each of these project interests – from implementing BIM-project strategies and applying industry best practices, to support and troubleshooting of the BIM-design process, to design and construction phase planning/goal-setting, to assessing owner costs of BIM and ROI, and finally, to the repair and redirection of subpar BIM applications.
A 2016 International BIM Report which looked at the adoption and use of BIM design processes globally, presented key questions the BIM design communities of diverse countries.
“What emerges is a complex picture, with different stages of BIM development in different countries. We also start to see the effects of governmental policy, such as the BIM mandate in the UK”.
Other interesting items noted within the survey include:
Typically over 90% use BIM for advanced 3D visualizations, over 75% for clash detection, and over 50% of the countries questioned stated energy consumption and building performance analysis were the main incentives for BIM projects
Top barriers to adoption remain lack of expertise, overall time considerations, and initial costs of BIM technology.
In Japan, a higher value was placed on the improved visualization technology; while the UK cited the success of major BIM projects as an indication of future trends
The industry is maturing, where BIM adoption is no longer led by innovators, but by the mainstream participants in land development, architecture, and construction.
The survey indicates an industry-wide unevenness in BIM implementation strategies, inefficient design processes causing AEC cost overruns, lack of collaboration with third-party or outsourced engineering services to offset BIM technology costs, and limited return-on-investment for owners through partial or ineffective BIM implementations.
A BIM consultant will improve the depth of involvement of BIM projects – for all disciplines and all project participants. Immediate gains in expertise are achieved when partnering with a consultant that is experienced in BIM proficiency and industry practices; evaluating processes, providing skilled BIM manpower, planning actionable items through each BIM cycle, and providing qualitative and quantitative analysis of the entire BIM project.