The construction industry is benefitting greatly from the adoption of BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology. In the simplest sense, this is because firms are being weaned off 2D drawings and we are now seeing an industry adopting 3D models.
This new model-based approach is returning tangible bottom-line results and is enabling construction firms to deliver innovative services and added value.
BIM has been around for over a decade but the key factor contributing to its adoption, in the UK at least, is the Government Construction Strategy of May 2011. This set out a target for the construction industry to adopt a BIM Level 2 model, stating that they require a fully collaborative 3D BIM environment as a minimum by 2016.
BIM Level 2 involves developing building information in a collaborative 3D environment, using data to create highly detailed models. This is way beyond BIM Level 1, which involves the use of CAD to draw models in 2D or 3D.
The construction industry met the requirements for BIM Level 2, and companies in the building services market are now tweaking their use of technologies to deliver even greater design and business benefits. Improved collaboration and sharing, simulations, sequencing, design capability and project control are but a few of these.
The adoption of BIM brings with it improvements to project quality, efficiency and sustainability. If your firm is considering it, a company or personal BIM Level 2 Certification will show you meet the UK’s highest construction standards.
Many of the firms who have adopted BIM have seen more contracts awarded. So, this isn’t just a case of being innovative – it’s a case of winning business too.
Today, projects can start with drones and digital elevation to map terrain. Laser scans of existing infrastructure can accurately capture the local environment. This data is fed into BIM software and a 3D model is created, capturing the detail that paper simply cannot.
Then there’s orderliness and collaboration. Before the days of BIM Level 2, thousands of unconnected documents would be in play on a building project at any one time and it was only possible to connect these over a lengthy period. With BIM, a project’s documents are in one place. This allows the firm to create a truly global view of the project, and subsequently boost efficiency and make smarter use of resources.