The Top 10 Benefits of Including BIM in a Project Lifecycle

The lifecycle of a construction project involves many stakeholders, a significant volume of data and an array of processes from project inception to project closure and beyond.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent construction methodology involving the digital transformation of graphical and non-graphical data and is considered a process that adds value in a number of ways across the entire lifecycle of a construction project.

Described here are – what can be considered the top 10 benefits of including BIM in a project lifecycle:

1. Construction Sustainability

Through the increased use of BIM tools and processes, on and off site, cloud-computing and collaborative processes, there is a significant opportunity to create a paper-free design and construction environment with reduced wastage. This leads to vastly improved construction sustainability throughout a project’s lifecycle.

2. Data Continuity

Digital model-based workflows involve features such as auto-save and provide links to a project’s history, enabling users to be sure that data associated with it is not lost. By using BIM methodology throughout a project’s lifecycle, data continuity can be ensured from the design phase to the end of the project and, operational and facilities management to demolition.

3. Project Coordination

Sharing and collaborating throughout a project lifecycle via 3D digital models that integrate graphical and non-graphical data is easier than through using traditional paper-based or 2D methods. Project design and management can be efficiently delivered through digital workflows and cloud-computing. BIM services tools are available for different disciplines enabling them to share and integrate digital models.

4. Enhanced Visualization

An increasing number of BIM enabled simulation tools are available related to all project lifecycle stages. These allow project teams to visualize daylight effects or building energy performance, see projected construction through superimposed Augmented Reality (AR) techniques or immersive Virtual Reality (VR) visualization.

5. Conflict Resolution

A BIM toolset and processes can assist in the clash detection of elements such as building services elements and structural elements at any time during the construction lifecycle. By modeling these elements early, clashes can be discovered and resolved early, saving time and expense later in a project lifecycle.

6. Construction Accuracy

A digital model ensures a perfect fit of manufactured elements. Mapping tools, satellite imagery, drones and laser scanning can allow the real conditions of existing buildings and infrastructure to be captured and accurate records of existing above ground and below ground conditions, including historical assets to be established and maintained.

7. Cyclical Scheduling

By having a digital model and sub-models available for each phase during the project lifecycle, coordinated in a non-linear, cyclical fashion efficient scheduling becomes possible. Through the inclusion of BIM methodology, work package sequences, material usage, and labor deployment can be optimized to give more efficient design, construction or operational processes.

8. Productive Process

Using BIM during a project’s lifecycle, reduces the need for rework and task duplication.  BIM tools are faster than 2D tools, and each object is connected to a database. Computerized component counting alone results in significant labor cost savings. Using other automation and customization features, drafting time can be saved further.

9. Data Accessibility

With a digital model linked to a connected database, construction and asset intelligence becomes readily accessible at any time in a project lifecycle. Combining this capability with cloud-computing, means that project information, or asset data, can be accessed from anywhere, on any mobile device, smartphone, tablet or wearable device, onsite or offsite, at any stage.

10. Change Management

Change management procedures also ensure that all stakeholders, on or off site, can contribute to a design, or construction at relevant stages of a project’s lifecycle. Changes can be efficiently marked up, fixed and resolved throughout the project lifecycle and through BIM, all data associated with them retained and analyzed for potential productivity benefits.