Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a highly collaborative process for creating and managing information on a construction project across the project lifecycle.
The resulting 3D building information model allows owners and stakeholders to make decisions, optimize their actions, and bring greater value for the asset. Since BIM brings together all the information in a single platform, it makes it convenient for all stakeholders to access that information for crucial decision-making. This helps reduce mistakes, create a more effective design, and lower costs by improving estimates and accelerating progress.
In that light, a BIM model is a crucial aspect of the construction process and so, it becomes essential to ensure quality and accuracy in BIM. Discrepancies can cause major issues during the construction process. That is why ensuring quality and accuracy in BIM becomes critical.
But how to achieve accuracy and quality in BIM?
Quality assurance of a 3D BIM model is based on a robust process of comprehensively inspecting the model system by defining areas of improvement, omissions, or mistakes. The 3D model is compared with the current drawings to ensure quality and conformance.
An accurate and high-quality model is one that aligns closely with the initial BIM management plan.
Accuracy in BIM is a crucial subset of the overall quality of the model. An accurate model is the one that conforms to the best to the real situation of the construction site as it develops. These requirements may include the level of development, procedures, accuracy, and specifications of the BIM geometries. A 3D model can meet its specifications.
Obviously, there’s more to BIM than just a 3D model. It provides a detailed blueprint for creating and managing a construction project from start to finish. The true value of BIM starts unfolding as you add in dimensions of time, material estimates, costs, and onwards. Different teams rely on the BIM model to create their plans and schedules. Materials are ordered based on the insights derived from the model. Project management processes and reports depend on BIM.
A lot is riding on this so, ensuring quality and accuracy in BIM can help streamline the process and deliver greater efficiency in every aspect of the project. But it is true that BIM adoption isn’t a plug and play move. This calls for significant changes in the ways of working of construction companies. Rushing into BIM adoption is one of the key conditions under which BIM models end up falling short of quality and accuracy standards.
Rather than going directly for a big project, you can choose to work on a pilot project first. This will give you a controlled environment to learn and document your BIM usage and the challenges you face. You can nail down the typical errors and define processes to fix them. This will ensure that subsequent BIM models are of high-quality and more accurate.
Having a BIM roadmap can help document all the strategic goals (short- and long-term). The roadmap can also help identify ways to leverage BIM for maximum impact. Look for areas where you need the most help with your BIM strategy and turn to experts to help you there. These experts will be able to help you deliver the initial projects, set up internal processes and systems, define the required (and necessary) quality standards, train your own people, and handhold them as the needs evolve. Your team will get to see the impact that can be achieved from high-quality and accurate BIM models and “model” their own efforts.
After the initial stages, you can reuse some aspects to create a project template. You can incorporate the non-project-specific aspects of the BIM model into your project template. You can update the model using sheet setups, project notes, and other details.
Similarly, you can pick up some useful components of the model and save it in your BIM library. Having an organized BIM library can help deliver a high-quality BIM model in future projects with a solid quality base.
To achieve additional accuracy and quality, you can leverage the power of the technology. Use the available add-ons and plugins to extend the capabilities of your BIM software. Tools developed by developers are available for use for specialized tasks. This could take the model to the next level. You could also automate some specific manual tasks to reduce effort and the possibility of human errors.
There are thousands of connected pieces in buildings. Having an issue with even a small element can have a major impact on the entire building. That is why having a clear process for validating your design is a necessary step. You should also check the design assumptions in the early design phase and make the necessary corrections to the model. This will ensure accuracy in the BIM model.
Documenting the entire process can give you valuable insights. It is crucial to set up an open communication channel between the onsite teams and the BIM team to ensure that the reality of the site is being updated in the model on an ongoing basis. These insights can then help you ensure high-quality “as-built” models that drive higher-quality efforts for facility management and renovation and refurbishment.
To ensure the best quality and complete accuracy in your BIM models, you need to be fully aware of how the software works. That must be tied into the design and construction processes and information flow from the site. That will help deliver a high-quality and accurate BIM model that delivers the maximum impact.