BIM project management

No matter how good you have designed a project, how innovative your idea is. You’ll find yourself in a sinking a ship, if you fail to manage your project efficiently. Joy Gumz quoted “Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” Planning, organizing and managing the effort is extremely crucial to accomplish a successful project. Further, BIM has lately become quite a popular tool for managing projects.

Building information modeling is a process for creating and managing all of the information on a project before, during and after construction. It involves the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. The output of this process is the Building Information Model, the digital description of every aspect of the built asset. Currently BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain diverse physical infrastructures, such as water, refuse, electricity, gas, communication utilities, roads, bridges, ports, tunnels, etc. As engineering projects are ridiculously complex involving contractors and owners, a whole lot of heavy stuff and machinery coupled with engineering analysis and designing. Consequently BIM opens the industry to a brave new world of effectiveness and efficiencies.

Features and Benefits

BIM offers following advantages and features:

Better Visualization 

Visualization enables an engineer in the generation, interpretation, and manipulation of information through spatial representation. BIM turns out to be the best for visualizing the projects in real world situations. For example it even allow designers to visualize such things as the sunlight during different seasons or to quantify the calculation of building energy performance. It also allows you to compile every aspect of a project into one complete design, including detailed floor plans and 3D models. Further with the help of augmented reality and virtual reality, you can see your entire design before you even go into construction.

Improved collaboration

Cloud computing is playing an increasingly vital role in facilitating BIM-based collaboration between the multiple stakeholders and disciplinary groups for complex AEC projects. There are tools for different disciplines to share their complex project models and to coordinate integration with their peers. Sharing and routinely review of project progress minimizes the room for confusions.

Sequential approach

BIM furthers helps in coordinated sequencing of steps, materials, and crews for a more efficient construction process. Complete with animations, the model facilitates coordination of steps and processes, delivering a predictable path to the expected outcome. With every step being well-documented and accessible, less time is needed to review each step.

Reduced errors

Virtual design and construction with BIM create the potential to identify problems earlier in the building process. It also presents clear and present accountability, thereby reducing risks. Software also contains most of the data needed for building performance analysis, this helps in getting rid of design flaws cheaply.

Limitations

High cost of implementation

Adoption of BIM involves high implementation fee and training costs, which includes the cost of hiring experts, training the existing workforce and making an investment in new technologies. Cost considerations often take over and organizations prefer to follow traditional methods as the associated costs are known and easily managed for.

Lack of experts

Being a newly adapted technology, it is hard for companies to find BIM experts which can implement it perfectly. As a result, they need to seek the help of external experts to deal with BIM problems like integration issues.

Less beneficial for small projects

For a construction firm that handles only small projects, going through the entire procedure of BIM implementation into the system may not be cost-effective. Therefore, many organizations that deal with smaller projects avoid implementing BIM only because of the small size of the projects

BIM softwares

The first software tools developed for modelling buildings emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since then there are abundant of them being used in the industry. Lets take a look at some of the most popular ones:

  • Autodesk BIM 360
  • Revit
  • Navisworks
  • SketchUp
  • Tekla BIMsight

BIM is not CAD

One very common mistake is to confuse BIM with CAD as both of them are associated to designing and creating 3-d models. The ultimate goal of both is to get those layout drawings so that the field guys can install. But the way to get there is different. With BIM you will not see drawings right away, the center of attention is the model initially, it needs to be created first, go through that iterative clash detection/clash resolution/visual checks process until coordinated and then drawings can be extracted. The most important difference is that BIM is a collaborative process.

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