It’s a system that can help the construction industry save time and money by increasing efficiency and productivity.

“The idea is that you have an integrated team working on a shared platform for the design, analysis, and construction of a building,” explained Professor Daniel Forgues, Department of Construction Engineering, École de technologie supérieure, 
Montreal. “BIM can streamline everything from planning to operation. It can save up to twenty percent on the cost of projects because of the better management of information.”

“BIM can streamline everything from planning to operation. It can save up to twenty per cent on the cost of projects because of the better management of information.”

Collaboration

Instead of using hundreds of physical drawings and construction plans, BIM uses 3D projections and stores each piece of relevant design information in a database, ensuring efficient sharing of information between the different agencies involved in the construction process.

“The group that most appreciate BIM is general contractors because for them badly constructed drawings are a real nightmare. It can provide huge savings for clients, because instead of dealing with a problem when you are building, you can spot it earlier and modify designs on a computer.”

BIM’s ability to pool information gives contractors better opportunity to source materials that will help minimize energy consumption. Paul Seager, professional engineer, explained, “One aspect that can be exploited is the ability to develop other linked databases of information concerning sustainable materials, such as, types, energy content, logistics for transportation, etc. Such “smart” data can assist designers and contractors regarding selection of low carbon footprint materials and methods of construction.”

Long term management

After construction, BIM provides building managers with access to important information about the characteristics of their building, making general maintenance more efficient, organized and easier to predict.

Seager said, “operational related information, such as testing reports, commissioning results, manufacturers operating and maintenance literature and service call records can all be added to the database associated to each piece, or class, of equipment. This information is the foundation for developing a preventative based maintenance system, as well as managing event based maintenance.”