Knowledge is power, and while in some industries businesses might benefit from keeping things secret. In construction, no one wins if they only have a fraction of their necessary information. With BIM technology, it’s even easier for construction companies to share data to increase overall project efficiency and reduce rework.
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What Is BIM
BIM is building information modeling. Building information modeling is a digital representation of a facility that has its physical and functional characteristics. A BIM can be shared amongst contractors, designers, architects, engineers, and owners. It allows them to be in sync on the project and process. It can even be used after construction. A BIM can be a resource on information about a building or project for the total lifecycle. So a BIM can be used to estimate the lifecycle of the building and what needs to be done to prolong the lifecycle of the building. BIM is more than a model because it uses properties of the building’s components to generate more information than a 3D model.
Who Is BIM For
At the onset of computers, architects saw a future of computers in architecture. For them, being able to use computers to build a building and derive information would revolutionize their work. But it wasn’t just architects that would benefit from BIM. Structural engineers would be able to benefit from BIM as well. BIM would offer structural engineers the ability to quickly perform the calculations needed to be able to determine how long certain products and features would work.
Now, BIM can and should be used by everyone in the construction process. Contractors can use it to add or fix current models. Contractors know more about whether a planned part will work in its current configuration. They can make changes or suggestions, perform their own takeoffs and estimates, and more with BIM files.
Getting BIM Technology in the Field
BIM isn’t the future of construction, it’s already here and proving its value. Larger contractors are finding value in BIM already. BIM offers contractors the ability to be involved in the planning phase of construction. However, BIM isn’t just for an office computer. It’s an important field and office tool that can help contractors produce better buildings. That’s why it’s crucial for contractors to find tools that will work with each other. In order for BIM technology to be useful to most contractors, it needs to be able to go with them from the office to the field.
When BIM technology works, it integrates with their project management system, they are able to ensure that the drawing and plans in the field are the most accurate. Since the contractors can view BIM plans, they are not dependent on waiting for someone to send them a 2D drawing. Using integrated BIM technology gives contractors the ability to interact with plan changes immediately rather than potentially a week after the changes.
Construction starts before ground breaks. It begins in the planning stage, which is why it’s important for contractors to have access to those designs. BIM technology has the ability to ensure that contractors are a part of the design phase. Including contractors in the design phase ensures that designers have access to important information. Contractors can collaborate with the design team to ensure that the drawings are constructible and thorough. Thorough drawings help contractors provide accurate estimates and better timelines. This knowledge makes more efficient projects and better buildings. Contractors are experts in their trades, which is why their expertise and opinion in the planning stage can improve a project by reducing possible rework.
BIM technology is a great way to encourage and increase knowledge sharing. But it alone won’t increase the knowledge sharing. Being able to take BIM drawings and information into your project management software is paramount for the modernization of the construction industry. An integrated project management BIM technology program benefits contractors immensely. Since now they have the ability to see updated drawings, feed it into their project management tool, and adjust things in there accordingly. The ability to make changes in real-time is what increase construction efficiency.
eSUB and BIM 360
By partnering with Autodesk, eSUB is able to deliver the best of breeds method needed to really take advantage of BIM technology as a contractor. Clients can reduce the need for duplicate data entry, and work off of the most recent drawings in order to reduce rework, extra change orders, and increase productivity.