BIM for Building Surveyors


April 14, 2015 Gaurang Trivedi

Building information modeling extends a collaborative approach where everyone involved in a construction project can enjoy the benefits. Now clearly, BIM offers benefits for architects, engineers, property owners and contractors, however can it help surveyors derive substantial benefits?

A surveyor’s job spans across the lifecycle of a construction project, and hence he can gain the best and extensive benefits from BIM. The virtual design and construction capabilities enable these professionals to gain better control over the construction process and introduce efficiency across their work profile.

What does a surveyor do?

  • He ensures that construction projects are done within budget and as scheduled
  • A surveyor prepares scheme designs with detailed specifications and costing
  • Organizes documents for tenders
  • Surveys and determines the condition of existing buildings
  • Accesses building designs to determine if they are fit for people with disabilities
  • A surveyor also advises on energy efficiency and sustainability for a building
  • Additionally building survey for health and safety in an occupant structures also falls under the job profile of a surveyor
  • A surveyor carries out feasibility studies

Transformation since 1868

  • Surveying profession goes from local to global
  • Independent projects needs have grown to be multidisciplinary & multi‐geographical
  • Surveying as a general practice has become highly specific requiring domain expertise and skills
  • Technology has changed the professional landscape

A surveyor’s job predominantly involves working with various measurements, values, costs, schedules dimensions and demarcations that are derived from reliable and accurate sources of data. BIM for Building Surveyors assists them in accessing and analyzing all this data in the form of geometries. This 3D visualization of the survey data provides a surveyor not with just information, but with insight. And this insight enables these professionals to make the right analysis and advice architects and contractors accordingly, in the best interests of occupants and all the stakeholders involved in the building design and development projects.

Opportunities for Surveyors

  • Improves collaboration and communication within multi‐disciplinary teams
  • Sustainability and embodied carbon measurement are integrated components
  • Faster, better, lower cost
  • Creates obtainable concurrent information about project performance & ongoing maintenance of the property

Challenges for Surveyors

  • Awareness and training
  • Lack of evidence of financial benefits
  • Social and habitual resistance to change
  • Interoperability issues with software

Evolvement of BIM over years has proved, that it is here to stay – it’s not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’? and hence; BIM will certainly help surveyors to do their jobs better & with greater collaborative input.

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