Benefits of Building Information Modeling - Design and Construction vs. Estimating

Benefits of Building Information Modeling - Design and Construction vs. Estimating

April 12, 2023 12:00 am Back to All News

The emergence of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and related technologies is transforming the design and construction industry and continues to reshape how we deliver projects. BIM is a technology platform that enables the creation, management, and collaboration of building construction databases. Over the last 20-ish years, BIM has become an essential tool for the construction industry, providing a comprehensive view of a project's design, construction, and maintenance. Like the advancement in construction tools, design tools have had drastic improvements. With quantum computing around the corner, imagination and awareness will restrict the extent of uses. Here are some of BIM's benefits:

  • Enhanced collaboration: Advanced visualization, virtual reality, field data management, and electronic reporting tools are helping the project team, from the architect & Owners to the field superintendent. BIM models combined with our team's lead can provide a centralized platform for project stakeholders to collaborate, share information, and make decisions. Collaboration among architects, engineers, contractors, and owners can lead to more efficient decision-making, reduce rework, and improve project outcomes. For example, White Construction will collaborate with the Design Team and conduct BIM Clash Prevention during Preconstruction to ensure a clash-free building during the Construction Documents (CD) stage.
  • Reduced risk: BIM models can help identify potential clashes between different building components, allowing for early resolution of issues. This can reduce the risk of unexpected costs rework, delays, and cost overruns. SD drawings often do not have the detail level to produce a proper budget, and crucial details can be missed during the budgeting phase. BIM methodology provides greater insight to the construction team and the partners in catching the unknowns. In addition, our team will work with our Operations team during Preconstruction to incorporate Site Logistics into the model, which can further reduce risk. Virtual Mockups can also include civil utilities, soil nails, exterior skin mockups, and more.
  • Increased productivity: BIM methodology enables the construction team to plan and coordinate the construction process more efficiently. The accurate and detailed 3D model helps identify potential conflicts and issues before construction begins, reducing construction time and improving productivity. For example, White Construction has a Pre-Installation Coordination Meeting before installation to review the model so the Trade Field teams understand how their system fits within the project's complexity. Sequencing of the work between the Trades is planned and understood. As Trade installation proceeds, White Construction's field team reviews and confirms that the installation is proceeding per the coordinated model. White Construction field teams walk the site and place layout points to confirm the locations of sleeves and penetrations.
  • Enhance lifecycle management- Facility managers find great BIM value for building operations and management. BIM bridges the information gap between A/E/C and the owner once the project is built. More complete and accessible Facility Management data allows faster analysis and correction of problems and fewer breakdowns. BIM can also help resolve warranty issues with all the close-out documents linked to the appropriate elements rather than spending time figuring out which manual applies to what equipment. When well deployed, BIM can benefit the entire project delivery process for everyone and ultimately leverage critical data from the model-based approach for decades of enhanced operations.
  • Improved Safety - Using Gaming and visualization techniques, BIM provides a visual understanding of the site and the working conditions before they even begin construction. This can be especially important for new workers to the site who are unaware of the site's safety measures. BIM can focus on each task so workers can better identify the risks, prepare for work at hand and therefore complete the job safely.

The benefits and execution of BIM have been in the limelight regarding construction. But what about the benefits of incorporating BIM into the estimating process during budget development? BIM is a powerful tool that helps in the estimation process by providing accurate information about the project's scope, materials, and cost. Over the last two decades, White Construction has incorporated BIM into estimating. Some of the benefits include:

  • Preconstruction and estimating: Software such as AGTEK, Civil 3D, and Revit enables accurate quantity takeoffs of materials, which are critical to developing an accurate estimate. Traditional estimating still operates in 2D for doing most of the work. When it comes to budgeting a project its all about data and understanding the architect's intent and the expectation of the ownership at various stages of the project from SD to CD phases. Owners do not like surprises or abrupt changes in the pricing during the preconstruction phase at any stage , BIM allows more predictability on the factors that will impact the changes in the pricing. The positive impact of the BIM is cumulative through successive stages of the project, with design and preconstruction benefits contributing directly to improving the downstream construction outcomes.
  • Time savings: BIM helps reduce the time taken to estimate the project's cost. BIM allows estimators to create accurate, detailed, and data-rich 3D models of the building's components, enabling them to calculate material quantities, labor costs, and other expenses with greater precision.
  • Improved cost control: BIM models can provide a better understanding of the project for the manufacturing plants during the CD stages of the project. BIM methodology will help reduce wastage and apply minimum waste factors during the budgeting stage, providing better cost control for all the stakeholders. A lot of items can get overlooked before construction starts. Still, as increasingly significant players in the manufacturing industry are implementing BIM tools, it is only prudent to connect that bridge through estimating via BIM.

Looking at the constructability and design at the same time provides comprehensiveness earlier in design rather than doing a VE process at the end of construction documents. By White Construction's Estimating team leveraging the power of BIM technology during the development of a budget, we can ensure that our clients have the resources and information necessary to make better decisions, optimize resources, and for our team to ensure your project is a success.