Consistently able to deliver high quality structures on time and within budget, we have mastered construction project management. In theory, this is an easy thing to do. However, construction projects are known to be fraught with schedule delays, material supply shortages, and misunderstandings that lead to quality problems.
. Building information modeling (BIM) serves as the glue that connects project teams with 3D visualizations of the project at every stage of its lifecycle. Here are some specific advantages of using BIM in project management.
Better domain management
Establishing scope is one of the first things construction project managers do when they take charge of projects. While many junior project managers assume that the project scope is determined when the architects document the building design, this may not be the case. Without the use of BIM, an engineer can easily document a building design that doesn’t give an idea of how the structure should work.
When using BIM, an architect can capture a client’s sustainable building goals and write them down in design documents. These initial design documents can stimulate discussions with engineers about the proposed configuration of the space such as the placement of windows, doors, and walls. As a project manager, you are armed with more information about what the client can expect from the space and the features they have agreed to pay for.
Supports early analysis
With the BIM process and associated tools, the engineers in the previous example of a sustainable building project have more resources at their disposal to perform deep analysis early on. After using the project’s 3D design document to insert renewable energy solar panels on the roof of the building, the engineer can then link the model to other tools that will tell it how much power those panels are expected to generate and any power shortfalls they expect.
If the roof panels cannot generate enough power to satisfy the customer, the engineer can offer the customer alternatives such as installing additional solar panels over large parking areas to increase energy yield and provide covered parking. The engineer’s solar analysis helps create the more detailed and complete design documents that project managers need to perform their jobs.
Cost optimization and scheduling estimates
While architects and engineers can come up with some great designs and building features, it is ultimately the client who must decide if those designs and features are worth the money. When committed to a fixed budget, the client may ask the architects and engineers to compare different designs, features, and the cost of those items. BIM software allows project team members to quickly relate costs to different design elements and document 3D models of alternative configurations. After the client has analyzed the cost-benefit of their options, they will be able to give approval to proceed with starting the project.
Construction projects are also known for their tight schedules. Schedule problems are exacerbated when the industry is chronically understaffed. BIM schemas support feature table documents . Project managers can pull up a 3D model of a building at a certain stage of the project and check the timing of material requisition, supply delivery, and subcontractor start-up.
Cost effective risk management
You rarely hear of buildings or highways failing in the United States due to design errors. US architects, engineers, and construction managers adhere to rigorous standards that help ensure that design errors that lead to safety hazards are caught and fixed before they cause injury or death. However, finding and fixing these errors takes time and costs money. BIM helps project teams create visual models that support buildability reviews during the design process.
Buildability reviews bring construction experts into design discussions early so no one agrees to a flawed design. A defective design is one that cannot be built without violating building regulations and good building practices. Visual BIM models help eliminate the need for technical jargon and miscommunication between designers, engineers, and construction professionals. Everyone can see the same version of a design in 3D image format, facilitating faster and more efficient buildability reviews. Tools such as BIM 360 Docs help manage configuration.
3D BIM diagrams are also used to document construction sites and plan site logistics activities. These detailed blueprints support safety training for specific hazards that workers will encounter at specific job sites.
The BIM process was developed decades ago but has not yet reached its full potential in the construction industry. For example, an architecture firm will use powerful BIM to document its designs, but will hand 2D versions of the design documents to engineers and construction managers. The BIM models used by these designers are called the “only” BIM models in the construction industry. The goal is to have “social” BIM models with fully open permissions so that members of the interdisciplinary team can have their models talk to each other.
Since each player creates models from a different perspective, there are likely to be inconsistencies when integrating their work. Many BIM tools contain collision detection capabilities that allow builders to correlate models from different disciplines and detect incompatible design elements that need to be addressed before construction begins.
Construction projects present a variety of risks because their success typically depends on a number of different stakeholders working together to build a complex structure or piece of infrastructure. The Building Information Modeling (BIM) process allows project managers to break down piped project activities and integrate project workflows to make cost targets And schedule and quality a reality