Although BIM technology is nothing new to the construction industry, the BIM processes and activities that contribute to project success, are just emerging. Just a few years ago, 3D coordination was one of the primary BIM activities that realized value for a project team. Today, many other BIM activities such as model-based estimating and data conditioning are gaining traction and differentiating construction services.
According to McGraw Hill Construction’s 2014 report, The Business Value of BIM for Construction in Major Global Markets SmartMarket Report, contractors in the world’s top construction markets report that BIM helps them to improve productivity, efficiency, quality and safety on their projects, as well as their own competitiveness. Particular benefits of implementing BIM, such as reduced errors and omissions, minimize rework, and the ability to introduce new services are seen as significant advantages to contractors. In fact, 40% of the contractors with very high BIM engagement levels report that BIM significantly reduces the need to rework projects, which results in significant cost savings.
Even though BIM benefits are widely recognized for all stakeholders in a construction project, it is the contractors and subcontractors who are still trying to determine the value of adopting BIM for their business. In the past, creating transparency and collaboration among all specialty contractors in a project was seen as a tall order. Today, however, BIM gives general contractors the ability to share model data with subcontractors. This visual representation of the data helps both contractors and subcontractors simplify and improve overall efficiency and coordination.
With the advent of cloud and mobile technologies, all stakeholders in the office or in the field are able to access data over the course of a project – further extending the value of BIM to a project. As BIM data becomes easier to access and even more ubiquitous during all stages of a build, contractors and subcontractors are more likely to increase their involvement and value in any given project where they have used BIM-related methodologies to their fullest potential.