BIM as a methodology can positively influence different phases of a construction project, from the earliest concept of a project to the actual construction on-site. A comprehensive BIM model may even be a useful source of information for the building owner after the project is completed - be it for maintenance, modification, or even disassembly.
BIM as a term has been around for quite a while, and yet it only started affecting the industry in the last decade or so. Its effectiveness is still quite shocking for a lot of companies, which is why there are plenty of misconceptions floating around BIM as a new approach to construction as a whole.
These misconceptions can either greatly simplify all the work that BIM does, or make it seem a lot more complicated than it actually is. At the same time, one of the biggest misconceptions about BIM is that it can be implemented in a short time period, which is incorrect. BIM is a complex multi-faceted technology that requires a significant investment of resources and a lot of dedication from all project participants for BIM to be its most efficient self.
A proper BIM implementation also changes the entire construction plan from start to finish, in some way or another. A BIM plan has to be created at the earliest project realization stages, and it has to keep a very tight balance between not being detailed enough and being overburdened with unnecessary details that hamper productivity.
A BIM implementation process can be quite difficult and complex, depending on plenty of factors. At the same time, there are still plenty of tasks and parameters that would be near-identical for most cases. This allows us to showcase six main steps of going through a proper BIM implementation process:
Providing general project information. This information should be enough for all project participants to have the same basic level of awareness of what the project in question is aiming for. This includes project name, project duration, general project milestones, and more.
Figuring out main project goals from a BIM standpoint. These goals or benefits cannot be too vague but also do not have to be very specific, such as "improving project safety and efficiency", "boosting project quality", and many others.
Listing more specific BIM-related goals for every project phase. This step is where the plan creator would have to get more specific with different ways of improving a project implementation process. Some examples of BIM-related project improvements include cost analysis, acoustic analysis, structural analysis, space management, maintenance monitoring, and more.
Using specified BIM goals to establish different processes. BIM in itself offers a massive number of potential improvements to the general project creation process, but it is also important to not go overboard when trying to implement as much as possible - figuring out what BIM-related processes would be the most efficient for your project is the correct way to approach this step.
Plan and set up data exchange channels. Since BIM is all about communication between different stakeholders and other project participants, having dedicated communication channels between teams as early as possible is a good place to start.
Choosing the correct implementation infrastructure. This step acts as the conclusion of sorts, an overview of all the information that has been collected previously. It helps a lot when it comes to figuring out what kind of BIM infrastructure/platform would be the most efficient for this specific project, with its own goals and unique characteristics.
When it comes to the correct infrastructure for BIM implementation, there's quite a lot to choose from. The overall market of BIM software is incredibly vast and highly competitive, and there are also plenty of software markets that are involved in the overall construction project business in one way or another.
The first example of that lies in construction project management applications. The "main" market here is the actual full-scale project management software for desktops and workstations, but a lot of these solutions also have some form of a mobile app - something that can be used to access all of the relevant project-related data using a mobile device of sorts, be it a smartphone or a tablet. These solutions are incredibly useful and the abundance of choices makes it possible for practically any company to find the best construction management app that suits their own personal goals and needs the most.
Floor planning follows a similar logic - a process that relied on physical pen-and-paper tracing is now greatly simplified using floor plan apps - applications that can be installed on a smartphone and capable of generating complete floor plans in a matter of seconds. Picking a single solution from all of the options, in this case, can be quite difficult, but the overall variation makes it a lot easier to find the best floor plan app for practically any use case possible.
BIM as a whole may seem like an overwhelmingly difficult methodology, and it is definitely far from simple. At the same time, the overall number of potential benefits that BIM can bring to any legacy construction process is more than worth the effort.
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