5 Examples of BIM Adoption in USA that demonstrate clear benefits

A decade ago Building Information Modeling (BIM) may have been a foreign term in the construction industry. But not anymore. BIM’s popularity has increased exponentially across the world and the US is not behind in this league. More and more architects, engineers, and contractors are looking at BIM beyond its 3D modeling capability.

BIM for construction is being considered as a collaborative tool that impacts the entire construction lifecycle. In the past decade, stakeholders in the US construction industry have realised these top 5 benefits of BIM adoption and implementation:

  • Seamless communication among project stakeholders
  • Efficient project management
  • Time, cost, and resource savings
  • Use of prefabrication and modular construction
  • Improved site safety

Here are a few examples from the US construction industry that clearly demonstrate the benefits of BIM application beyond the 3D model.

  • Seamless communication among project stakeholders

Boarding Area B of Harvey Milk Terminal 1, San Francisco is a great example of improved communication and team collaboration with the help of BIM. This project involved a virtual design team from different geographic locations including New York, New Delhi, Melbourne, and Dubai. The cloud platform of BIM ensured collaborative project discussions and coordination of design changes and other project alterations were accommodated within the project timelines. For a geographically diverse team working on a large-scale project, this streamlined information exchange made sure all stakeholders had the same project vision and thus avoiding discrepancies and delays in deliverables.

  • Efficient project management

Project management through BIM is reflected in the construction of the Super Bowl LII Stadium in Minneapolis. This project incorporated over 500 unique models from designers, architects, and engineers. Through BIM, all construction stakeholders were involved in design, documentation, and workflow management. Besides, modeling and animation of major construction components helped stakeholders foresee possible risks. This efficient project management mitigated budget overruns due to delays. In fact, the project was completed six weeks ahead of the scheduled completion date.
 

When it comes to the use of prefabrication with the help of BIM, the McHenry Row redevelopment project in Baltimore serves as a good example. In this project, the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems for the wall panels were identified through BIM modeling. The wall panels were fabricated off-site with pre-cut openings for the pipes, ducts, and electrical work. These panels were later transported to the construction site. BIM for construction along with prefabrication increased efficiency and avoided possibilities of hard clashes during this project.

  • Improved site safety

Apart from planning and designing, BIM as technology also helps mitigate on-site injuries and accidents. For example, with the help of BIM modeling, pre-manufactured, shared racksystems for plumbing, heating, and cooling were built for a large hospital project. These were built on the ground and later transported to the job site, thus requiring fewer labourers on ladders. The pre-manufactured units saved time and also reduced injuries of labourers or other construction hazards. 

  • Time, cost, and resource savings

One of the largest community college districts in the US, the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) had procured funding for enhancing the campus facilities. Launched as  BuildLACCD, this massive project used BIM for construction and remodeling campus buildings. The collaborative 3D process ensured real-time information management and better conflict resolution. This, in turn, reduced rework and saved time resulting in $12 million cost savings and 12% labor savings.                                                                                                                     

Such applications of BIM reflect the change in outlook for planning, designing, and construction and BIM mandates in the construction industry could add momentum to BIM adoption in the USA and the world.