What is BIM?
BIM abbreviated as Building information modeling, is a digital description of every aspect of to be built asset. It is a process of virtual design and construction through use of technology, integrating and connecting the information making it a virtual reality. It is an intelligent 3D model design which equips architectural engineering and construction professionals with every detail taken care of to plan construction and manage infrastructure. It helps in managing all the information related to materials, components and their quantity including design concepts of civil, structural and architectural for a project during ideation, acceptance, modification and construction very effectively and efficiently for all stakeholders involved.
Stakeholders can be design professionals as in architecture, civil & structural, construction professionals as in civil and structural engineers, estimations as in cost budgeting and financing, procurement personnel for purchasing materials, project managers as in project management companies, promoters as in owner of the projects, law regulators as in local/national statutory authorities, contractors as in construction firms as main contractors or sub contractors involved in various stages of construction to commissioning and facility managers as in those running and maintaining the facilities.
BIM is a parametric Modeling, which offers enormous improvements through quicker and faster design and helps in accuracy of estimation thereby reducing rework and avoiding alterations at late stages of project in turn in saving time and costs. The other focus being solving lack of information or wrong information due to different version of drawings followed by various stakeholders
BIM is a single point of reference which improves communication and operational efficiency which cuts down approval time during construction, which in turn leads to improvements in productivity and quality of work. It directly reduces the overall project construction costs and time. BIM applies to all aspects of the estimation, design, procurement, supply chain, construction of a building, and delivery of goods during the build, build process, resource allocation, productivity requirements to meet targets, and to the post-handover phase through Facilities and Asset Management.
Everything in the model is connected to everything else. For eg: If you move the location of a wall, the elements attached to the wall also move. If you change the volume of a floor, the quantities of material needed to lay the floor alter. If you move ducting in the ceiling, all aspects associated with the ducting update and conflicts are highlighted.
The biggest single gain would seem to be simple coordination of components using clash detection software combined with a virtual build, which means mistakes are identified before work commences on site. BIM focuses more attention to the selection of components at the earliest stage.
How BIM is Done?
BIM is glue which holds design and construction together.
The architect gets started on the schematic model, either by using masses or real elements in a BIM environment. Once the schematic architectural model is prepared, a presentation will be given to the owner. A walkthrough or renderings is a necessity for this presentation. The owner will then offer thoughts on the design, tweaks will be made, and the model is ready to enter into the design phase.
During schematic design, scheduling (4D) and estimating (5D) really start to get involved. Scheduling must make sure that this building can be built in the time allotted and estimating needs to make sure that they constantly track the cost of the project. The BIM models need to be set up correctly from the start.
For Scheduling, the Model has to be built with building in mind. The schedules need to be filtered correctly so estimating can utilize the model to help in their estimates. Also, the elements in the project need to have enough information so that estimating knows what type, size, etc… of element they are estimating. This is especially important in projects that are heavy on the process side. It is very laborious for estimating to try and count all of the elements of a process project from a 2D plan. BIM has enabled the design and construction process to be a totally collaborative effort. Typically, this is why a design-build firm can take less time from schematic design through construction of a project than an A&E firm that doesn’t have estimators.
There has to be routine weekly coordination meetings, in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page. In these meetings, the architects and engineers, project manager, estimator, scheduler and Construction Manager are in attendance. In this phase of the design process, Interference Checks and Coordination Reviews are done weekly. This is an obvious step to take, but a lot of firms don’t utilize the collaborative tools that BIM provides. Firms usually don’t think they have enough time to run Interference Checks or Clash Detections. If this routine coordination is not followed, they will spend a lot more time and money fixing the mistakes in the field that could have been caught early in the design phase if they just would have spent the time.
After the design is completed, construction is ready to begin. As discussed, throughout design, estimating and scheduling are updated with their respective processes. This means that long-lead items have been purchased and the schedule has been modified to ensure project completion by the due date. Also, site work has already been started and foundations are ready to be poured. During the construction phase, the design models may have been replaced by models from the subcontractors. The Construction Manager and field superintendent will work with the design team to make sure that the design intent is followed, and they will run their own Clash Detections on all models.
With integrated monitoring and workflow tools, identified problems can be reported and tracked through resolution. Construction can be simulated to make sure everything is being built on time. This process made easier by the fact that BIM was used from the initial on in the design phase.
BIM has created a solid connection between design and construction that had never been felt before. Now to get architects, engineers, and construction managers to collaborate efficiently, we can use BIM to make the process even faster and more efficient.
How iFluids Can Help?
iFluids Engineeirng is an ISO 9001:2008, OSHAS 14001 certified company providing quality services for Engineering Design, Safety & Risk Management
1) BIM design services – Turnkey, As-Built, Component Library design
2) BIM Project Management Services – iFluids Project Management Services
3) BIM Training – Design Software such as Revit, Tekla, BIM Plus , BIM for non technical users, Advanced concepts in BIM
4) BIM Manpower – Trained and Knowledgeable Manpower Secondment for BIM Projects