Products & Solutions
April 13, 2023

Why BIM Management Is Critical on Your Construction Project

One of the biggest transformations that has taken place in the construction industry over the last few years is the use of Building Information Modeling, more commonly known as BIM. BIM has revolutionized the industry, as it has transformed project plans from 2D drawings to 3D models. BIM can be used by all stakeholders on a project, ranging from architects to subcontractors.

In this article, we’ll cover why BIM management is important to your construction project. We’ll start by going over the basics, including what BIM is and why it’s important. Then we’ll jump into a few things that you can do to improve your BIM management efforts.

What Is BIM?

BIM is defined in the Encyclopedia of Sustainable Technologies as “a collaborative way for multidisciplinary information storing, sharing, exchanging, and managing throughout the entire building project lifecycle including planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and demolition phase.”

BIM is a collaboration tool that shows a 3D model of your construction project. In the past, the on-site project team relied on 2D drawings issued by the design team. BIM has changed that. Now, a project is modeled ahead of time, offering a 3D representation of what a project will look like in the end stages. The model also contains detailed, extractable information. This digital transformation brought about by BIM has impacted construction projects in a big way.

Why Is BIM Important for Construction Projects?

BIM management: architect using a tablet

Building Information Modeling can translate into time, materials, and team effort saved. Below is a breakdown of the benefits offered by BIM. 

Captures Design Intent 

First and foremost, BIM implementation can potentially help cut down on waste. Before a project begins, the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) team will produce a 3D model. During this time, two main things will happen. One, there will be deficiencies identified in the drawings as the drawings come to life in the 3D model. Two, as a result, requests for information (RFIs) will be submitted to the design team for clarification.

This is quite normal on projects. However, before BIM software, deficiencies or inconsistencies in the drawings may not have been identified until construction was underway. Then certain parts of the project may have needed to be put on hold until the design team was able to answer the questions. This could cause sequencing issues or, even worse, costly scheduling delays. By modeling the building ahead of time, there is an increased likelihood of having the RFIs answered well before construction begins, ultimately leading to a more efficient installation process.

Improves Efficiency in the Field

BIM use can prevent rework. By modeling a building ahead of time, the construction team can identify and eliminate potential clashes. For instance, 2D drawings may not show a clash between a large overhead supply duct and a string of linear lights. When installing in the field, both contractors would point to their plans and say, “I’m installed exactly where I’m supposed to be!”

Then, one or both of the contractors would need to move. This is rework that proves costly in the overall lifecycle of a project. It can also disrupt the project schedule.

The BIM process should significantly reduce the likelihood of such situations. The person in charge of the BIM model can run clash detection, which would identify all clashes within the model. Respective team members can then go in and reroute their trade’s work, eliminating these clashes. This ultimately makes for a smoother installation process, reducing the likelihood of change orders for rework. It also allows subcontractors to prefabricate more of their material, also streamlining efficiency.

Leads to a Safer, Properly Sequenced Job 

BIM workflows can also improve project safety. As discussed above, BIM leads to a more efficient installation process with prefabricated material. The more material that can be prefabricated in a controlled environment, the less likely it is that an accident will occur.

Additionally, a BIM model can allow the project scheduler to properly sequence the job. For instance, in one section of the building, you may have exposed duct that hangs low to the floor. Overhead, you may have a run of conduit that needs to be installed before the ductwork.

Recognizing these nuances can be difficult on 2D plans. By having a 3D model, project schedules can plan for situations like: “The electrical contractor needs to install his conduit at Gridline 5, Floor 4, before the mechanical contractor installs her ductwork.” By sequencing the job properly, tradespeople are kept safe.

Lastly, a 3D model allows contractors to see, and even train for, a situation before it occurs in the field. Perhaps there will be a tricky installation upcoming. Thanks to BIM visualization, contractors can plan in advance. They can even run through training with a safety manager to practice how they are going to complete their work safely.

Provides Insight to the End User 

Modeling can be particularly useful for the facilities management team. The facilities team often has to find, locate, and access areas for repair that are not in the most convenient of spots. BIM tools allow them to map out ahead of time how they will access a particular space and complete their repair work. Visualization and the ability to plan ahead of time can keep workers safe. 

Access to the information relative to the 3D model or the information contained within can save valuable time in the operation and maintenance of the buildings. It can also help with the design and execution of future renovation projects. 

Why Is BIM Management Essential, and How Can You Improve Your Project?

Architect scanning a building

Now that you have a better understanding of what BIM software is and why it’s important, let’s take a closer look at why BIM management is such a critical component.

Contractors should take an active role in their building information management initiatives and BIM Execution plans or BEPs. Creating an accurate model requires the efforts of many team members. These team members need to be able to work in a collaborative environment. Additionally, information on a job is constantly changing. Changes may happen during installation. The end user may request changes after installation has already started. Tracking and implementing these changes requires active BIM management and a strict adherence to an agreed-upon BIM Execution Plan.

The best general contractors may appoint a BIM coordinator as part of the project management team. This individual is in control of the BIM project and BEP, from coordination to closeout. Job duties may include:

That last point is critical when it comes to active BIM management. Avvir offers contractors the ability to update their BIM in near real time. Avvir uses reality capture of your job site with 360 photography and lidar point cloud scans. This information can then be transported into your BIM.

This is important for a few reasons. One, it allows you to have a live, working model of your job site. This will ultimately help streamline the as-built process and the closeout process. Additionally, having this information allows contractors to easily identify deviations from the original model and maintain a digital twin.

Having a live model can also be useful when validating monthly requisitions or providing scheduling updates. It can help with change order approval, as contractors can clearly demonstrate the change that occurred and why it was necessary.

If you’re looking to learn more about how real-time information management can improve your construction project, consider reading this Avvir case study.

BIM Management Can Improve Your Construction Project

Skeleton frame of a building

Construction is a difficult business. Fortunately, technological advances in recent years have helped improve the industry. One of the most significant advances is the use of BIM. BIM takes 2D drawings and transforms them into 3D models. Doing so can make projects safer and more efficient.

However, BIM management requires active updating. Tracking progress in real time can help with everything from providing accurate scheduling updates to submitting monthly requisitions. One of the best ways to update your BIM model in real time is with Avvir. Avvir can aid in the reality-capture process, allowing you to analyze progress over time via photos and lidar point cloud scans. Request a demo to see how Avvir can help with your BIM management efforts.

Men showing construction tool to group
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