1. Industry
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://construction.about.com/od/Technology/a/Building-Information-Modeling-Benefits.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Benefits

By

CustService 630X440
Richard Binning/Wikipedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Benefits

BIM creates efficiency and users will get several benefits. You will realize some of the greatest value of BIM through its potential to cut down on rework, such as re-keying information into models or making changes in the field. As users become more proficient, the opportunities to improve productivity are more pronounced. The top benefits of BIM are:

1. BIM Reduces Rework.

The highest rated business benefit among experts. Four in five experts say it brings high to very high value, compared to 23% of beginners.

2. BIM Improves Productivity.

Ranked by architects as the top way to improve their return on investment in the technology.

3. BIM Reduces Conflicts and Changes During Construction.

Are among the top rated ways engineers say BIM adds value to their project.

4. Clash Detection and Avoiding Rework.

Owners claim that BIM usage saves time and money.

BIM Business Benefits

Within their own practices, BIM users see numerous opportunities to recognize its value. Since BIM is an emerging process that has started to capture the attention of the building community at large, users are eager to bank its buzz. Marketing and the ability to promote new BIM-related services are among the top benefits reported. The sense that BIM creates an overall better product is also very beneficial. Productivity issues, such as reducing rework and errors, ranked higher than benefits related directly to time savings and cost reduction. This reflects the fact that users of all levels could see BIM as helping them work better, but cost savings are more likely to be realized by experienced users. The top rated business benefits are:

1) BIM Marketing

New business to new clients. BIM open doors for companies in the construction environment. As more clients begin to require BIM on jobs, team members need to have BIM skills to capture that business. On the flip side, companies can also introduce the technology to new clients who aren’t requiring BIM and use it as a marketing feature to get a leg up in their bid to land a job. All team members—other than owners who are also clients—rate this as a top benefit. This is particularly true for less experienced users who are promoting this new skill. Experts believe it is important, but less than some other top benefits.

2) Project Outcome

Half of owners (48%) say that BIM’s impact on the overall project outcome is a high benefit for them. Owners who are less experienced with BIM see this as their top benefit, while expert owners rank it slightly lower. The internal value of this to the other build-team members is experienced as reduced problems, improved client relationships and more personal satisfaction.

3) Reduced Errors

Reduced errors and omissions in construction documents. Virtual design and construction with BIM create the potential to identify problems earlier in the building process. With interoperable exchange of models and data, team players can better ensure that information is complete and accurate. Half of all users (47%) see this as a significant benefit, particularly contractors. More experienced users recognize its value compared to others.

4) BIM New Services

BIM is a way to bring new offerings to an old business. Many users (47%) say adding BIM to their toolbox brings a high level of benefit to their practices. Naturally, this is more important to more recent adopters of the technology. Contractors, who as a group had adopted BIM later than many in the design community, are far more likely to see this as significantly beneficial.

5) Reducing Rework

Fixing problems early, means fewer issues in the plans and ultimately fewer hassles in the field. A majority of contractors (57%) see the potential of BIM to reduce rework as a significant benefit. This is the highest-ranked benefit reported by expert users (77%), compared to fewer beginners that see it in other ways. (23%).

BIM Benefits Per Profession

All of the professionals who form part of the design and construction process will get benefits from BIM, but who gets more value?

Architects

The evolution of BIM started with architects, and many still see its value emerging from its use in the design phases. Most in the design community, along with many contractors (43%) and owners (41%), say that architects experience a high level of value.

Structural Engineers

Nearly half of all users recognized, that structural engineers can garner a high level of value from BIM. Such elements as steel columns, beams and trusses are frequently modeled by users. Contractors are the most likely (47%) to see structural engineers realizing significant benefits.

Construction Managers and General Contractors

Money is largely spent and saved during construction. Reducing rework can help keep budgets in line. Owners are the most likely (57%) to see a CM or GC gaining high value on a project, most likely because that savings could be passed on.

Fabricators

As BIM reduces conflicts and creates confidence in building plans, many team members see opportunities for value in fabrication. Accurate fabrication of materials reduces waste while the pre-assembly can save time. Contractors (56%) are far more likely to see fabricators experiencing a higher value than architects (23%), engineers (38%) or owners (30%).

MEP Engineers

There are a range of opportunities for MEP engineers to use BIM. Modeling larger elements such as duct systems and air handlers are approachable options, while smaller elements such as electrical switches and outlets might prove more challenging. Notably, very few engineers (22%)collectively see MEP engineers reaping high value. Nearly half of contractors (45%) believe MEP engineers see significant value.

Owners

Owners ultimately experience all value collectively gained on a project. More than half (52%) of owners say they experience high value, but less than 30% of all other users believed this. This could be because other team members recognize that owners have yet to see much value from BIM for use in operations and maintenance. Still, most owners believe they can bank on the value of BIM during design and construction.

Specialty Contractors

Although specialty contractors are charged with executing the complexities of a project, few team members (23%) believe they are experiencing a high value from BIM. Generally, subcontractors are smaller firms relative to general contractors and the costs of adopting BIM would be more pronounced. As BIM users employ a wide range of software applications, subcontractors may face interoperability issues and suffer added expenses to work within various models.

Building Product Manufacturers

Very few (11%) of build team members see building product manufacturers gaining high value from BIM. This could reflect team members’ belief that BPM's are not supplying sufficient BIM-related information yet.

  1. About.com
  2. Industry
  3. Construction
  4. Technology
  5. Building Information Modeling (BIM) Benefits

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.