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Managing the Model: Five Major Benefits of Using Modeling for Construction Projects

Mark Scacco on September 30, 2015 - in Column

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software has changed the way many companies work—there are extreme benefits to using BIM for construction projects and design. You likely know that BIM is an “intelligent” model that offers more-efficient collaborative workflows and value to the entire lifecycle of building and infrastructure jobs. What might be news is that according to the “BIM SmartMarket Report” published by McGraw-Hill, BIM use within the construction industry has exploded from 28 percent to 71 percent in the last six years.

But for those who have yet to see the value, the following are five key reasons to seriously consider employing BIM for construction projects.

  1. Modeling Reduces Rework

According to some sources, BIM means “building twice”: first within the computer program, and second the actual construction of a building in the field. This is a huge benefit for companies that don’t have time to waste on reworking, re-keying information and making last-minute changes on a construction site.

BIM’s ability to create accurate 3D models allows users to view every aspect of a project to foresee any issues and eliminate problems that could occur when building. BIM also allows for accurate, thorough information to help avoid project omissions as well as identify physical and scheduling conflicts.

  1. Modeling Improves and Enhances Productivity

BIM has been ranked by architects and contractors as one of the top ways to improve ROI with technology. It helps improve productivity and streamline workflows with the ability to create a better project, faster and with more accuracy. The industry is making efforts to improve efficiency, and it’s difficult to accomplish with low margins, aggressive purchasing, and the inability to find users skilled with BIM and CAD design. Real-time sustainable design and analysis early in the design phase results in fewer mistakes later on, and bridges the gap between designers and builders.

  1. Modeling Creates New Business

Modeling software is capturing the attention of the construction industry as a whole. It benefits companies that can design with fewer flaws and issues, which can be marketed to increase business. More projects are requiring BIM designs and construction, so companies must have the software to bid on jobs. Clients want to see their building as it comes to life in 3D and make any significant changes prior to construction. BIM allows for that reality.

  1. Modeling Leads to a Better Product

The BIM concept allows for virtual construction of a facility prior to actual physical construction. This helps reduce uncertainty, improve safety and work out problems with a visual 3D/4D/5D model onscreen. Designers can view models at various angles by incorporating geometry; dimensions; functionality; zones; internal pipes; electrical grids; and internal designs such as painted walls, furniture and color pallets. It leaves little to the imagination and more to anticipation for the completed project.

  1. Modeling Saves Time and Money

A huge benefit for construction firms is the time and money saved modeling with BIM. Each phase of the design process allows for more coordination from key players, with effective conception the first time. When the project is ready for build, each element (e.g., electrical, plumbing, pipe, framing, etc.) is set for parallel collaboration with BIM design to enhance accuracy as well as improve loyalty to budgets and schedules, increasing overall productivity. BIM has the potential to save time, cut costs, reduce construction waste and design better buildings.

It’s beneficial to incorporate modeling software for all construction, design and building needs. After software implementation, an organization should experience all these key benefits as well as increased job opportunities. Just note that it’s imperative to keep up to date with all the upgrades and versions to continue reaping these and other benefits.

 

Mark Scacco

About Mark Scacco

Mark Scacco, P.E., is the Editor in Residence for Informed Infrastructure magazine and since 2001 has been an AEC industry consultant. He is the president of Scacco LLC and can be reached at mark.scacco@scaccollc.com.

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