Construction engineers are driven to look for ways to improve everything from construction methods, the materials used, to the systems used to develop new building designs with lower cost margins and thin financing costs. Under those circumstances, there is a lot of pressure on contractors and designers to find more effective ways to reduce construction costs.
BIM is being used by a growing number of engineers, architects, and contractors to make the design and development of structures faster, better, and more cost-efficient. BIM has been proven to help reduce costs and increase efficiency throughout the project lifecycle ranging from design and construction to facility management.
BIM helps the construction company to save money in the design and construction and development phases of the project. Here are some of the ways how BIM can help lower the lifetime cost of a building:
- BIM helps to improve collaboration: Failing to collaborate on projects leads to time delays and increases the cost beyond the initial estimations. BIM helps to enhance collaboration on the projects. This integrated nature of BIM helps to improve productivity within the engineering team and opens up new channels of communication, which makes it easy for the team members to work effectively with others involved with the projects. With BIM, teams come together on a common platform to ensure everyone can play their part. Accessible communication and effective collaboration are some of the main reasons to implement BIM for effective outcomes.
- BIM saves time (and cost): In the construction business, ‘time’ and ‘cost’ are essential factors in the project life cycle. One of the main reasons for organizations to adopt BIM is the potential for savings on cost and time. BIM helps to reduce both these elements of the project and improve the efficiency of the project lifecycle. With BIM, organizations can not only unleash creativity and enhance collaboration, but also save time and reduce the costs of the project. BIM helps to plan for the projects based on factors like cost and labor. It also helps discover unexpected expenses and helps the construction company deal with unplanned time constraints.
- Helps to improve coordination and clash detection: BIM permits teams to coordinate better and detect any internal, or external clashes before the construction cycle begins. BIM helps to avoid such conflicts with automated clash detection. This helps to reduce the amount of rework required during the construction phase. BIM provides the opportunity to plan it right before the onsite construction begins. It also helps to avoid last-minute changes and any unforeseen issues. Rework is time and effort-intensive, both of which cost money.
- BIM enables prefabrication: BIM provides easy storage and access to a wealth of information. This, in turn, helps the construction company leverage innovative means to save money. For instance, this information helps to generate detailed drawings for offsite manufacturing purposes. BIM makes it easy to design, detail, and build structures in an offsite controlled environment, thus increasing efficiency and reducing waste, labor, and material costs.
- BIM helps to create safer construction sites: BIM helps to improve the safety on construction sites by pinpointing the hazards at initial stages of the designing phase before they become problems. This enables the organization to mitigate physical risks by visualizing and planning onsite activities better. The safety and visual risk analysis evaluations with BIM helps to ensure safety throughout the project lifecycle. A safer workplace is a more productive workplace. Safety on the construction site is also a proven way to avoid expenses due to accidents and delays.
- Reduces construction changes and design rework: During the design phase, BIM helps to reduce the errors and the redesign cost drastically. With BIM, the central model can be changed, which is then reflected in all associated drawings. By identifying potential issues and conflicts in the design phase itself, organizations can work productively and rework on the construction design problem to reduce errors. This helps to build structures without the need to redo things and eliminate the cost associated with changes late in the cycle. BIM frameworks also allow designers to observe the impact of any design changes instantly and factor those into the build as well as plan for their development.
- BIM provides a model-based cost estimation: BIM allows for an effective construction cost estimation, earlier in the planning stage. BIM helps to automate the time-consuming task of applying and quantifying costs, which enables organizations to focus on other value factors, such as identifying and factoring the risks. The BIM models enable better resource and material estimates. This means that materials can be procured in just the right quantity at just the right time. This has a big impact on reducing material wastage and costs associated with onsite storage of materials including material loss and pilferage. There is also the impact on financing costs as funds have to be committed only when they are needed and not earlier. All this helps control costs.
There’s no doubt that BIM or Building Information Modeling has become an essential tool with an abundance of advantages for the construction industry. As this post shows, projects using BIM have the opportunity to control construction costs too by leveraging this powerful technology.