BIM: Trends, Benefits, Risks, and Future for the AEC Industry


An Emerging Trend

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry has always pursued techniques to reduce-costs of projects while at the same time, increase-productivityquality, and reduce-delivery -time.

The building information modelling (BIM) has increased in use over the last 6 years as an innovative way to design and manage projects. By adopting BIM, it can improve building performance and operations due to its collaborative approach.

As the use of BIM globally grows, collaboration within project teams will also increase, which will lead to improved profitability, reduced costs and better management of time.

A Growing Trend Across AEC Industry

BIM simulates the construction project in a virtual setting. With BIM technology, an accurate model of a building, known as a building information model, is digitally produced.

The building information model contains precise geometry and relevant data needed to support the design, procurement, fabrication, and construction activities required to realize the building.

A building information model characterizes the geometry, spatial relationships, geographic-information, quantities and properties of building elements, cost estimates, material inventories, and project schedule.

Benefits of BIM

A building information model can be used for some of the following purposes:

  • Visualization: easily produced 3D renderings
  • Fabrication: generate drawings for various building systems
  • Cost estimating: BIM software has built-in cost estimating features, reduce-delivery -time
  • Construction sequencing: coordinate material ordering, fabrication, and delivery schedules for all building components
  • Conflict, interference, and collision detection: can be instantly and automatically checked for interferences
  • Forensic analysis: graphically illustrate potential failures, leaks, evacuation plans
  • Facilities management: for renovations, maintenance operations and planning of space

BIM Mandatory

The concept of BIM and its implementation is quickly becoming compulsory on all centrally procured public sector and private sector projects in many countries around the world.

The USA was perhaps one of the first countries to adopt the use of BIM and has taken significant steps in this regard. For example, General Services Administration (GSA) in 2003, established a National 3D-4D-BIM Program through its Public Buildings Service (PBS) to support the use of BIM and mandated the use of BIM for all projects from 2007.

Many organisations have taken important steps to review and adopt the new approach of BIM by appointing a BIM manager to address how BIM is used, for example. Below are some of the countries already using or aiming to implement BIM standards.

  • UK – Completed adaptation by April 2016
  • FI, NO, SW – Complete adaptation by 2010
  • GE – Adaptation led by private sectors aided by Government
  • HK – Complete adaptation since 2014/15
  • MA – To implemented by 2020
  • UAE – Mandatory from 2014 for big projects, broader since 2015
  • SP – Mandatory from 2018 for major projects, 2020 all others
  • ES – Making BIM priority in public sector projects by 2018
  • US – Mandatory design stage 2006 for Public Building System

BIM Legal

The way of designing the construction of buildings is changing with the utilisation of BIM. It is now becoming a legal standard for most countries and those not using it are working towards using it.

BIM Risks

There are potential risks associated with BIM that can be separated into two broad categories: legal (or contractual) and technical.

The need to protect BIM-data through copyright laws and other channels can cause issues if it is not property set-out.

A way to deal with these risks is to ave collaborative, integrated project –  Delivery contracts, in which the risks of using BIM-data are shared among the project participants along with the rewards. This will help assist stakeholders define the model management, frameworks and ensure traceability.

BIM Future

The financial and productivity benefits of using BIM-data within the AEC industry are widely known. The technology to implement BIM is available and rapidly growing, ensuring the growth of the concept. With a standardisation of Levels and more and more countries adhering to the standard, BIM is here to stay.

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