According to a recent industry survey, the use of Building Information Modelling (BiM) has risen in construction projects from 13% in 2010 to 73% this year*. With over 10 years working on BiM projects, Kevin Truss, Senior Architectural Technician at Cheltenham based architects coombes: everitt talks about why BiM is on the rise and why it’s not just for the public sector…
In all sectors the use of BiM allows for more efficient methods of designing, delivering and maintaining buildings throughout their lifetime. Because of these benefits, it is a project delivery management process well worth considering for all sizes and types of projects. The process is completely scalable to suit the client’s requirements.
The majority of projects that have adopted BiM to date have been in sectors such as education, healthcare and mixed use. However, due to the potential for significant operational and maintenance savings it brings, we are now seeing BiM being used across a range of commercial, retail and residential projects.
The benefits for clients, the design team and contractors are the 3D modelling and the ability to review the designs as they develop in both aesthetic and buildability terms. The starting point is to have dialogue with a client to discuss how their buildings, existing or new, are managed and to agree how information will need to be organised and delivered for their new projects. During the design phase of a building, data is captured about a building’s geometry and space which can be reviewed against client requirements as the design evolves. 3D model viewers allow clients and the design team to explore the building design in real time, which helps all parties fully understand the design as it develops.
During the technical design phase of a project, the design model develops into a construction model used collaboratively by the whole project team. Architectural, Structural and Mechanical and Electrical models are brought together into a shared environment, allowing the model to be checked, reviewed and commented on. Clash detection tools then greatly reduce the instances of error due to poorly coordinated design information from separate consultants.
Most importantly, throughout the design and construction process, information from everyone working on the building is collected and co-ordinated. This information is then collated in a previously agreed format before being passed across to the building owner. It can then be used by the building owner/ occupier to help them manage and maintain the building in the future.
So while BiM has the potential to save cost and time in the design and construction process, before a spade hits the ground, it also helps clients to manage the lifetime costs of the building. After all, the operational expenditure often far outweighs its initial capital expenditure.
As the well-known quote says, ‘Knowledge is Power’, and that’s why it really is so important. Put simply, BiM gives you more information which in turn allows you to make more informed decisions, reduce errors, save time and ultimately deliver and manage a more profitable building.
*NBS 2018 BiM Report
To find out more about using BiM on your next project contact Kevin Truss at coombes: everitt architects on: T: 01242 807727 E: firstname.lastname@example.org