In today’s construction projects, owners are demanding a better process and are increasingly looking to intelligent models, such as building information models, to reduce document conflicts and field problems, thereby reducing risk and protecting their investment.
Building information modeling, or BIM, is more than just new software, it is a new process requiring a different approach to time management, decision making and team communication. Project management procedures need to be adjusted in order for the BIM process to meet its full potential.
Increasingly, project managers are realising that their knowledge, leadership and participation in the BIM process, is just as critical for success as simply understanding BIM software. Project management companies play a pivotal role in managing and maintaining project quality and achieving delivery and cost targets. From the earliest stages of the project, they need to develop an efficient means of communication and select the right tools to ensure that project goals are met.
BIM process and technology provides a multi dimensional model that integrates design, quantities, schedules and progress data into a single, virtual environment. Having all the project data in one place, enables team members to use the same information at the same time, facilitating communication and the sharing of ideas.
As all trades combine design data in a single model, clashes and discrepancies can be easily identified and corrected early. This reduces disputes, risk and delays, whilst increasing overall quality of construction.
Three dimensional RFIs are automatically generated to improve communication and facilitate decision making. As designs are modified, drawings are automatically updated, highlighting, recording and tracking changes and revisions from within the model, ensuring an efficient submission and review process.
BIM when implemented with the correct process can integrate planning schedules with the three dimensional model objects, to create four dimensional models – simulations representing the different stages of construction to improve communication between owners and team members.
Multiple options can be visualised revealing potential bottlenecks and safety hazards at an early stage of the project. This improves the planning process.
During construction, accurate progress monitoring is vital, to ensure that the project is delivered on time. Capturing progress data from site and integrating it with the model, to create and update visual reports and representations of project progress. These in turn, can be published using freely available powerful BIM viewers, to share real-time and transparent information between project stakeholders. This avoids delays and improves decision making.
Implementing the correct BIM process ensures that BIM tools support the various milestones set out in a project. BIM thus becomes the effective reporting engine and automatically calculates and reports detailed information such as itemised quantities, which provides an accurate and efficient means of validating quantities and progress reports.
In addition, change management capabilities with BIM make it easy for variations to be tracked and reported. As construction reaches its final stages, the model progresses, using data captured and recorded throughout the project, to produce as-built information. Drawings are automatically updated, highlighting changes and variations that occurred during construction.
As-Built representations of building components and equipment, with material and specifications data attached, allows the model to be used for ongoing operation and the maintenance of the facility.
At the end of the project construction, the hand over model contains a complete record of the project’s construction history. This provides a rich source of information that can assist in future planning, as well as project history tracking.
For the project manager who deployed the BIM process and technology, it provides a major step towards future success.
Tahir Sharif Biography
Tahir has been influential in encouraging the adoption of BIM with Governments, Developers, Consultants, Contractors, Service providers, Vendors and System Integrators. He has advised on BIM usage and Integrated Project Delivery implementation for Iconic Projects throughout the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Tahir is a senior BIM advisor on leading projects where the use of the BIM models are being used for preventative measures to reduce costs, allow better planning, and improve quality and asset management throughout the lifecycle of the project.
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