The use of BIM (building information modelling) in construction projects has seen positive returns on investments and great improvements in labor productivity. BIM has completely revolutionised design, crash avoidance and clash detection in building projects. But despite the technology’s potential, its use remains isolated in certain phases. However, with the correct implementation in the construction site or on the field, BIM can actually be used throughout the whole construction project’s lifecycle, empowering both construction and maintenance processes to be even more efficient and cost-effective.
The Pending Potential of BIM
BIM is still largely seen as just a design technology in the construction industry. It has yet to ret the construction site. A new study noted that only 41% of construction businesses use some kind of BIM while at the work site. While the use of BIM technology and tools are on the rise in the field, larger implementation is causing problems that hinder or limit access to the technology.
Apparently, 59% of construction companies have expressed that they don’t have the appropriate skills to operate BIM. That goes to show how separated the design and building phases still are. Additionally, the absence of real integration between technology and tools in the office and in the field remains a huge obstacle in bringing BIM out into the field.
By providing tools that could allow integration and access, valuable information available through BIM can totally change construction processes, as they grow through the different phases from design to the field, and maybe, even all throughout maintenance in facilities management.
More research data on BIM’s potential and benefits — BIM: Challenges and Potential.
Bringing BIM to the Field and the Work Site
Full benefits of BIM can only be realised by construction teams who actually enable BIM’s full access and use while on the field. In most construction sites, BIM is usually available for use on the field but usually on an immobile desktop ina distant project trailer. Because of this inaccessibility, people on the field hardly use BIM to edit models or update BIM data. This could also be the main reason why BIM adopters are not fully satisfied with their BIM software.
Obviously, a company cannot optimise ROI from BIM if only a few of the stakeholders have access to check on and update files while out on the field. The key is for companies to make it possible for team members to view, edit, and use data while out on the field. Using mobile and cloud-based construction management software that directly integrates and syncs with BIM models and tools is one way of doing it.
It is crucial for BIM technology to integrate smoothly with design, construction, operations, and maintenance software and technology for BIM to be effective. As data and communication remain isolated in most construction businesses, a huge amount of data loss in design and construction creates problematic gaps for facilities operations and maintenance. That’s why investing in cloud-based technology and software integrations used on the field, like APROPLAN, that allows access to rich data from BIM is very important.
Further reading: Bring the benefits of BIM-based collaboration to your construction project!
BIM Benefits in the Field
In a nutshell, BIM saves money, moves schedules more quickly, guarantees quality, avoids reworks, controls and mitigates risks associated with construction site operations. By bringing BIM to the field, big data and rich information from design, construction, and every phase are incorporated. When all these information is integrated and is made available at the fingertips of each construction professional at the start of each project, it allows for enormous opportunities to deliver quality and cost-effective projects faster.
1. Improved On-Site Communication
Having BIM in the field allows for a thorough exchange of ideas and complete flow of information. BIM’s 3D modelling improves collaboration and communication on the worksite. When BIM is integrated with a mobile construction app or software, information updates are communicated immediately to the entire team in real-time. Transparency becomes central with everyone in the team notified in real time of the changes in a design or construction process along with their cost impact.
2. Greater Project Visibility
Having access to BIM during the building phases, the field teams have more visibility and information on the entire project. This allows for conflict and clash detection while providing the needed materials, their exact measurements, dimensions, and their costs. Additionally, simulations and visualisations can determine construction conditions and building sequences.
3. Improved Project Quality
Proper BIM integration leads to better quality control and quality assurance. When connected to a mobile system capable of construction documentation control, models can be compared with the actual conditions and can mitigate possible mistakes and errors.
4. Reduced Revisions and Reworks
This is one of the most important benefits in using BIM at the worksite or in the field. Most reworks in construction are caused by poor project data control and poor communication. Using BIM with a mobile construction software mitigates miscommunications and detects clashes early. Before any work is completed, design revisions have been made so reworks are avoided.
For an in-depth read on BIM and its benefits to construction, check the linked article.
The Role of BIM in Facility Management
BIM’s advantages include a huge range of benefits in the field but are not limited to the building phase. When BIM is utilised in the entire lifecycle of a project’s construction, it makes a massive difference in facility management.
1. More Effective Handover
Having an updated BIM model allows for accurate and detailed as-builts data during the final handover. A constantly revised and updated BIM while in the field and worksite results to a better picture of activities from the initial design phase until the end of the final construction phases. This complete picture allows the facilities manager and the facility operations team to better handle routine maintenance.
2. Significant Cost Impact
Readily available BIM models for facility teams make huge cost impacts. In fact, studies say that using BIM for facility management accounts for an average of 5% savings in operating costs per year. An overall project lifecycle data allows for effective predictive maintenance.
3. Better Decision-Making
Accurate BIM data also allows facility owners and managers to make better decisions when it comes to renovation and rebuild schedules.
More reading: Recognising BIM roles in a project cycle.
Teams that can work towards fully utilising BIM by integrating it with the correct mobile construction app and cloud-based construction management software, will only build better projects and contribute better to the construction industry. If you need help integrating BIM with a construction management app, we can definitely help you with that.