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Increasing Adoption of BIM to Shape the Future of Construction Industry


Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a 3D modelling software that aids designers, architects, and engineers to design & build 3D models of construction projects. It provides detailed information about an individual element of the structure in a workable format. A lot of time and money can be saved by testing and analyzing the structure in design phase to find optimal solutions. Entire information related to building structure and timeline of project can be accessed from any part of the world using BIM technology. It makes designing simpler, facilitate coordination between architects & engineers, and easy retrieval of saved information at the time of crisis.

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How BIM helped Gensler:

Gensler, a leading architectural design firm, used this software in designing Shanghai Tower. It helped the firm to design and analyze different systems rapidly and efficiently to meet various tight restrictions. Michael Concannon, regional digital design director at Gensler, said, “Gensler has made a concerted effort to integrate BIM technology and processes in all practice areas across all offices. The rate of adoption varies, but no practice area and no office is immune to the use of BIM technology.” The firm is promoting the use of this software in design process for numerous clients.

CLSB saved $10 million by using BIM:

The budget of Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB) project in Portland, Oregon was $295 million. With an application of BIM software and other digital collaboration tools, CLSB saved around $10 million in construction costs. 28 different teams, including civil engineers, roofing consultants, landscape architects, and others were involved in this large project. Teams used Bluebeam feature for all-digital documentation process for efficient communication between teams. Two of the leading firms in the projects, SERA Architects and JE Dunn Construction, admitted that this single move saved nearly $10 million.

In addition, the software also helped teams to resolve conflicts involving position of pipelining, ventilation, and electrical systems. As separate teams were designing each network, coordination between them became easier to make changes in design using clash-detection feature of software. Furthermore, all the construction documents were linked, so it became easier to access documents for all the teams. When any team made modifications, other teams were able to keep track.

"The use of an all-digital [design and documentation] process sped up both coordination and construction," said Alene Davis, an associate principal at SERA Architects. "It's hard to determine just how much time would have been added to the project if these processes hadn't been as streamlined, but it's safe to say we saved many months."

What’s in the future for architectural firms:

Though leading architectural firms face difficulties when its clientele is not familiar with BIM, they believe that the scenario will change in coming years. Commenting on unfamiliarity and misconceptions, Joy Stark, senior industry marketing manager at Autodesk, said, “I think there are a lot of misconceptions because it has changed a lot since its inception. It’s really a product of how technology has changed. If we think about it in terms of model-based design and a work process, then we start to see the possibilities.”  

Phil Bernstein, an architect and vice president of strategic industry relations at Autodesk, said that the industry will adopt this software gradually as BIM objects eliminate the need to use expensive software or hardware solutions. Integration with smartphones or tablets would help to keep updated with all the aspects of project information. Its adoption has increased significantly in U.K. as compared to U.S. Bernstein added that U.K. has invested £15 million, or approximately $21.2 million, in a joint government-industry collaboration. This investment aims at exploring BIM requirement in U.K. to Level 3, which would necessitate all teams on a construction project to work together from one common model.

A report published on BIM Market states that the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.6% from 2016 to 2022. Analysts studying the market have revealed precise statistics and analysis on changing market dynamics in the report.

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