BIM has evolved in the past years, but is still evolving by time. In respect to construction management, it surely offers the potential to improve project efficiency and accuracy. In the same time, no one knows yet the full capabilities of BIM and therefore remains a question how widely BI can be adopted. Having said that, what construction managers can gain with the current knowledge of BIM application is already an advancement compared to the traditional methods of managing projects.
BIM can have a positive impact on project management in various ways. These include:
- Integrated Project Delivery
Construction projects consist in different disciplines and it can be difficult to manage all the work. It may become even more difficult if one relies on reports, calls or emails only. Communication between contractors and subcontractors of different disciplines is even harder.
When BIM is implemented in construction projects, all of the above mentioned difficulties reduced drastically. In BIM all disciplines and stakeholders involved in the project collaborate together and work closely since the initial phases. Usually software is used to help in such collaboration and make it more efficient such as the use of scheduling software. Work errors are reduced, costs and redundancy too because all the information is integrated and therefore increase the team’s efficiency.
- Improved Collaboration and Communication
As explained in point 1 above communication and collaboration is improved between all disciplines. This is achieved because of the sharing of information by all team members. The information can be accessible by everyone to review and discuss accordingly. Usually online platforms are used, hence data can be accessed even on site and updated in real time. This is more efficient compared to the traditional methods because team members can be updated or notified with any scenarios imminently.
- Full project Visualisation
This is another important aspect that the construction managers can benefit from, but even other professionals. Full project visualisation is given to the team at earlier stages, prior to construction. This includes both graphical and non-graphical information. Having such information at an early stage, the managers can analyse the information and understand what can be improved.
- Reduced Construction Cost
According to a study by McKinsey, 75% of construction firms using BIM saw higher returns. This confirms the advantages of visualisation of information at earlier stages which include risk mitigation, reduced variation from errors or accidents. In addition to this, the real time updates aid in reducing risks because information is live and not outdated until it reaches the right individuals.
- Improved Project Scheduling and Task Sequencing
In BIM, 3D models are widely used and include various information which is not limited only to geometrical information. This gives the possibility to construction managers to use such model and information created for advanced planning and management of a construction project.
Scheduling and task sequencing can be carried out more efficiently also because information is shared at early stages. Information is developed by the whole team and is therefore more accurate. Work and task dependencies are known earlier and the tasks can be organised better.
- Increased productivity
Productivity is increased in BIM projects because activities and schedules can be planned more accurately. As a results, contractors work more efficiently because there are no phases work tasks are not appointed.
- Safe Construction Sites
Safety, a very important aspect in construction projects. BIM processes and the latest technology aids in determining high risk areas or activities such that safety measures can be planned better. Site logistics can also be visualised and analysed before the works commence on site hence construction management plans can be more accurate.
- Better Buildings
Good project management leads to good quality projects. Since collaboration is one of the main aspects of BIM and all stakeholders work closely together, the client’s requirements can be met easier.
- Clash detection
Coordinating all disciplines in construction projects is not an easy task. BIM gives the opportunity to review and monitor the constructability of the project. Managers are able to look into it and avoid site issues.
- Better information analysis
Visualisation is one of the most effective ways to analyse information because there is no need in imagining but one can see it graphically. All information within a model can be analysed in more detail because it is visual and any issues can be resolved immediately.
- 4D and 5D modelling
4D and 5D are some of the dimensions BIM has, which were defined in the previous articles. These dimensions include information related to planning and costing which are both important for a project manager. 4D helps project managers in planning the project, evaluating the progress and understanding it even from the office. On the other hand 5D allows for cost evaluation. Project managers can use such information to avoid going over budget.
The above points, give an insight of some benefits that BIM projects have. BIM is an effective tool to improve the construction industry. It can also be used by construction managers to visualise the project, identify potential problems and track the site work progress. For such reason construction project managers can benefit from it to manage projects better and efficiently.
Fourth Edition December/January 23
Clarabel graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Engineering and is now focusing on BIM Management and Integrated Digital Delivery. She worked as an Architect Assistant for over 5 years and now she occupies the role of a Professional Executive on civil projects.