It is no secret that building information modeling (BIM) represents groundbreaking technology that, as it grows, is changing the face of the construction industry. BIM provides the user with a visual perspective of project components in real time. Any stakeholder involved has access to up-to-date project data with the ability to communicate with other parties within the BIM platform. As a result, BIM empowers users to collaborate more efficiently, identify and address challenges, streamline processes from design to construction and produce faster, better, more sustainable outcomes.
In the past few years, some common themes and big questions have been revealed as BIM is implemented, or even mandated, on a global scale. Here is a recap of what we are currently seeing in the industry:
In recent years, BIM awareness and implementation rates have accelerated. According to the 2015 NBS National BIM Survey results, 54% of respondents said they had used BIM on at least one project in 2014, up 15% from 2013. In 2010, just 13% of respondents were using BIM and 43% were completely unaware.
In addition to a jump in BIM use in the commercial sector, national governments around the world have mandated or are planning to mandate the use of BIM as pressure mounts across the industry to improve productivity. The United States, Singapore, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Netherlands and Dubai are among the list of locations where BIM is required on projects pending their size or budget.
According to a new market research report, the BIM market is expected to grow from a market share of $2.64 billion in 2013 to $8.64 billion by 2020.
The Question of Collaboration
In the face of widespread adoption of BIM practices, many are vigilant and skeptical as to whether the technology is being used correctly. It takes time for the implementation of new technology to reach its full potential, so what is standing in the way? For some, challenges arise because of a lack of awareness and training. As a whole, the AEC industry can be fragmented and resistant to change.
When BIM isn’t being used correctly, it shows. At its core, BIM is designed to enable collaboration among all stakeholders during every phase of a project. Project data should be accessible, comprehensive and relevant to the progression of every phase from planning to design to construction to reporting.
Multi-User Information Management
BIM enables construction teams to access centralized data on the cloud for use among all related parties. Management of this information in the form of good governance models is vital to this process so that everyone can be on the same page. If the data in the model is provided with only one team in mind, it won’t be useful for other stakeholders thus negating the main purpose of BIM in optimizing collaboration and efficiency in a project.
With Assemble Systems, model data is published to a secure website, which includes valuable tools for planning, viewing, estimating, etc. Any Revit, AutoCAD or Navisworks file can be uploaded to our database and shared with other team members via our online platform.
Reduce Waste, Save Money
Architects and builders are recognizing the importance of curbing waste and, in turn, saving money. Lean BIM is a concept widely used as a means of “trimming the fat” in terms of talent, inventory, rework, excess in all phases, etc. On this note, the process of prefabrication is also trending in order to automate production and reduce complexities and liabilities hindering efficient management of a site.
Within BIM, specific tools and technologies can have a huge impact on project outcomes. Embracing new technology is a crucial part of progressing as an industry. Luckily, many of these technologies are becoming more affordable, accessible and efficient. In addition to prefabrication and the data management tools mentioned above, AEC professionals are beginning to take advantage of 3D laser scanning, energy analysis applications and computer-aided manufacturing of ready-to-install building modules.
Realizing the Benefits of BIM
According to the 2015 NBS National BIM Survey, 61% of respondents using BIM appreciate the benefits of cost efficiencies and 77% appreciate the increased co-ordination. Despite concerns that BIM is not always used to its potential, we in the industry are certain that outcomes will only improve as more users become more experienced and well-trained over time. With BIM and emerging technologies on our side, we expect great things from the building industry in the coming year.
It is clear to see that BIM is on the rise and using advanced technologies, like Assemble, can assist users better leverage BIM data.