BIM proposes, improved project coordination, better designs, project scheduling and accurate material takeoffs and hence improved cost estimation. Ability of BIM to detect clashes at an early stage eliminates last moment clash detection and mitigation costs during the construction process, hence contributes to major cost savings. BIM also addresses several challenges of a building and construction project like reduction of waste, creating high value, improving productivity and achieving higher sustainability in addition to contributing to lean construction.
Building information modeling offers detailed documentation of a building; across the architectural, structural and MEP disciplines. The ‘I’ in BIM is very important, and is represented in a visual format, for all stakeholders to understand how the building progresses across the stages of design, planning, construction, during occupancy, renovations and repairs down to the stage when a building is demolished.
All these factors contribute to the emergence of BIM, as the most sought after technology across the building and construction industry. Experts have predicted that the global market for BIM will grow at a CAGR 17.4% over the period of 2014-2018.” According to experts, most of the architectural firms, real estate agents, developers, architects etc want to and are using BIM capabilities to boost the productivity and to achieve higher profit margins. However, the major setback here is the lack of BIM experts. It is essential for a BIM expert to have comprehensive knowledge of architecture and construction process, in addition to, having proficiency in using BIM software tools. This in turn has led to BIM services being outsourced.
Scan to BIM – an emerging trend
While the need to improve the productivity and quality of construction is driving the acceptance of BIM across the industry, use of BIM for renovation and retrofits is an emerging trend. ‘As Built’ environment is surveyed using, hi-end scanners. This scanned data that is available in the form of point cloud, is restructured to create a 3D model ready to be loaded with information.
When scan to BIM was still at its nascent stage, the importance of modelers and BIM experts was undermined. It was a general view that scanned data can be directly imported into BIM software and with minor alterations here and there an intelligent BIM can be achieved. However, it soon became very apparent that was a myth. A considerably large building requires minimum 250 to 300 scans to collect the data in entirety. However, this data can have a lot of errors, and inconsistencies. The responsibility of rectifying these inconsistencies and developing a clash free BIM, lies upon the BIM expert.
In the absence of scanned data, for certain sections of the building, BIM experts create models based on engineering assumptions. Hence, even though major portion of data collection is done by the scanner, the importance of BIM experts and modelers cannot be undermined.Now it is up to the organizations to use the BIM capabilities to the maximum, as it transitions into the future. Adopting BIM for Construction projects has become a necessity; however, flying blind is not the right strategy. It is essential to plot a change plan, be future-wise, think long term and therefore implement BIM to extract the most out of it.