Apart from the Government stating that all public building projects – libraries, hospitals, schools, etc. – will only be allocated to companies that have embraced Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology – and we shall look at precisely what that means later on – there are a number of benefits that the process delivers.
The first is probably what prompted the Government to implement a BIM strategy in the first place, and that is to bring about savings in the region of 16-20% in the cost of design and build by improving the efficiency of the construction process – and subsequently to bring similar savings to the maintenance and running of said construction, which is said to represent up to 80% of the lifetime cost of the said building.
The second benefit is the acquisition of information – the ‘I’ in BIM – that can be shared by all members of a construction project in enhanced collaboration in a CDE – Common Data Environment. Sharing a building model speeds up the flow of information between different building disciplines, eradicates errors that occur through data transmission and translation, and engenders a spirit of co-operation between team members – backed up, as it should always be, by a tighter and more thorough, auditing system.
Good examples of this are Graphisoft’s BIMcloud, a unique and advanced collaboration tool that enables far flung members of a project team to work simultaneously on the same model, and BIMx, a professional BIM project viewer which uses BIMx Hyper-model technology, to provide an integrated 2D & 3D building project navigation tool.
BIM, however, is not just about design and construction, nor is it just about total lifecycle building management. It is a valid process for sharing a building model for environmental studies, or for handling structural analyses. It can also be linked to time schedules to provide interactive 4D representations of a building under construction – and even finance for BIM 5D to keep an accurate track of budgets, tenders and financial resources through the same lifecycle – and it can be used to facilitate off-site construction of building components, using FIM Fabrication Information Modelling.
And what we are most interested in here, information accumulated from the 3D model can be passed on, after completion, to the building operators, asset or facility managers, so that they can maintain the building more effectively throughout its entire lifecycle.
Although the benefits of BIM are just as applicable to the private sector as to the public, and probably even more so, the last Government, needing to reduce the high cost of building and running public assets, identified BIM as a valuable tool for doing just that, and set up a strategy which set out to apply the appropriate pressure where it could.
After the start of April 2016, therefore, any company proposing to deliver a public building project must demonstrate that it is BIM capable, and can deliver Level 2 information to its clients during the design and construction phase, and subsequent to the completion of the construction phase and handover of the building or asset. BIM Level 2 relates to the level of information that must be passed on to the building operators, and the format in which it must be delivered.
BIM are you ready?
Excerpts from BIM Are you Ready? a CAD User publication, in association with Graphisoft.