Building Information Modeling (BIM) is so much more than a technology—it’s a complex design and construction process that helps architects create innovative buildings of the future. There are five significant benefits of BIM in the design and construction process:
- Cost and resource savings
- Greater efficiency and shorter project lifecycles
- Improved communications and coordination
- More opportunities for prefabrication and modular construction
- Higher quality results
When you work with an architecture firm that uses BIM during the construction process, your resources may go further. If you want to build a dynamic structure as efficiently as possible, take a closer look at what BIM construction can do.
How BIM Is Used During Design and Construction
BIM is a process that architects use to design and construct modern buildings. The process encompasses several different design tools and methods with the end goal of making every phase of construction and design as efficient, safe, and cost-effective as possible. Here’s how the process works:
What Are the Top 5 Benefits of BIM?
To understand how the advantages of building information modeling can improve your project, take a closer look at the five most essential benefits of BIM below.
1: Cost and Resource Savings
One significant benefit of BIM is that it provides reliable construction cost estimates long before the construction phase begins. Architects can use tools like BIM 360 Docs to estimate costs related to:
- Material shipping
- Shipping prefabricated or modular pieces
- Labor, including payrolls based construction timelines
Not only does this give architects a better idea of how much the project will cost, but it also helps them discover ways to reduce costs. For example, they can:
- Choose more cost-effective materials
- Find the ideal time to buy materials at their lowest market price
- Decide whether it’s cheaper to prefabricate or build on-site
- Streamline the construction workflow so the client pays for fewer total billable hours
- Reduce human errors that lead to project delays or costly repairs
2: Greater Efficiency and Shorter Project Lifecycles
Generally, the faster you can complete a structure’s construction, the less money you will spend on the project overall. Also, finishing a project on time or early speeds up your eventual return on investment, as occupants can start using the space as soon as possible. With BIM, architects can design buildings faster and start construction earlier. Improved workflow and other efficiencies also speed up the project. For example, the architect may decide to have certain pieces prefabricated in bulk using robotics. This could save time during construction, as contractors simply have to secure the pieces in place when they arrive on-site.
3: Improved Communications
BIM improves communication among architects, clients, contractors, and other relevant parties involved in the project. That’s because BIM relies on a “single source of truth” system; this means that all of the relevant information—including models, estimates, and design notes—are shared and stored from one place. Everyone involved in the project can see the information and even offer suggestions of their own. It’s a true collaboration that eliminates information silos and helps architects find the best solutions based on data analytics.
Another benefit of BIM is its use on-site. Contractors have access to BIM software on-the-go, so they’re able to construct the building based on the most up-to-date plans and workflow. This also reduces clashes. It’s easier to visualize problems before construction begins, so contractors don’t have to waste time finding solutions on-site.
Finally, BIM uses communication systems to make construction safer. BIM allows architects to predict potential construction hazards and prevent them by adjusting the design. Contractors can also lead their teams safely through every step in the workflow and document the process to meet safety regulations and pass on-site evaluations.
4: More Opportunities for Prefabrication and Modular Construction
BIM software is ideal for making detailed production models that can later be prefabricated off-site. Architects also have more opportunities to design modular pieces of architecture that fit perfectly together and include complex tolerance calculations. This, in turn, can save time and money, as contractors spend less time constructing pieces on-site from scratch.
5: Higher Quality Results
While the benefits of BIM are most evident in the design and construction process, clients may also notice an improvement in build quality. Using BIM makes calculations and models more detailed and accurate, and this results in a higher quality structure.
And, because the BIM process includes multiple visualization tools, the structure may also be more aesthetically pleasing. Architects can see what the building will look like in its final form and can even see how natural and artificial light will behave in the structure. In fact, there are five types of visualizations, called dimensions, that architects can view and customize using BIM:
3D: Height, width, length, depth
4D: The time it takes to complete each design element
5D: How much it will cost to construct each element
6D: The structure’s environmental impact over time
7D: Estimated facility management costs throughout the structure’s lifecycle
Considering all of these factors, not just 3D aesthetics, gives architects the ability to design high-quality buildings that last.
Why You Should Work with BIM Construction Experts
Architecture firms and contractors that understand the value of BIM may be able to offer you more in terms of project efficiency and build quality. For example, one of the most significant challenges that clients face when they embark on a project is predicting the time and resources a project will require. While it’s impossible to forecast precisely how much a project will cost or how long it will take to complete, BIM can take some of the mystery out of a project’s total cost and construction timeline.
BIM can accomplish this by helping architects make better design choices from the start and keep projects under budget by optimizing labor, materials, and other resources. Even if your budget is limited, a firm like HMC Architects with experience using BIM can find ways to achieve your desired design outcome using detailed 3D models and more efficient workflows. With so many benefits, BIM is an essential part of the design and construction process and will continue to play a vital role in our industry.
To use the most advanced BIM tools and processes in your next project, contact HMC Architects today. Our firm has years of experience working with the latest BIM technology. We can help you find the best possible design, materials, and construction workflow to make your dream building a reality. Or, to learn more about our design process, you can also email Director of BIM Technology Nancy Reyes directly.