BIM brings together every minute detail of the asset in one place to ensure all stakeholders — whether they are at the office or on the construction site — have access to the same information. It illustrates the entire building lifecycle.
Improving Communication With BIM: 3 Major Aspects to Keep in Mind
Nick Marchek, BIM Specialist | Microsol Resources
Back in the day, creating and managing a building project without digital technologies took not only lots of effort and time but money and expertise as well. But even then, mistakes could easily occur due to human error and the fact real-time changes couldn’t be seen in the paper drawings.
Now, we have Building Information Modelling, the creation of digital descriptions of construction projects. BIM brings together every minute detail of the asset in one place to ensure all stakeholders — whether they are at the office or on the construction site — have access to the same information. It illustrates the entire building lifecycle, leaving no room for doubt regarding space, products, systems, and sequences. Naturally, this also makes a service like BIM 360 Docs a valuable tool, as it manages data-rich project documents and makes them accessible anytime and anywhere (via various mediums) to the whole team involved.
How BIM Makes Communication Easier Throughout the Project’s Lifecycle
Facilitating Better Understanding With Clients
When investing in a building project, clients want to know all the steps necessary to see the project through completion. However, when clients are non-technical stakeholders, we have to adjust the visuals and explanations to their lack of expertise. In that case, there is a need to communicate the process in a more comprehensible way so that there is no confusion or unpleasant surprises later on.
Communicating the building design to clients can be done through 2D drawings and plans. These offer plenty of details, and clients would understand them well if they were guided through them by designers. But it’s unlikely for those plans and drawings to encompass whole projects and include every detail of the building’s lifecycle. As a result, clients simply don’t have all the information (even the minute details) on their investments.
BIM bridges that knowledge gap and allows for effective communication with clients through renderings and walkthroughs. Visualizing the project no longer depends on the client’s imagination. Now, BIM brings the virtual project to life so that even non-technical clients can understand it.
In essence, they get a chance to see their needs translated into design and all the information on it at once, as BIM compiles all the data into a complete design project. Better still, they can use BIM in the future as well, long after completion, to resolve any potential operational problems and aid management. One such example is the Istanbul Grand Airport, which should take advantage of the technology to ensure it operates smoothly for the next 25 years.
Aligning Design With Construction
In terms of design and construction, it’s easy to notice that BIM helps align these entities and allows them to work in each other’s favor in a number of ways. One of those is the sheer act of designing constructible designs. Designers no longer have to rely on their skills alone; instead, they can communicate with and gain insight into their designs from the people that will execute them later on.
And the fact all the changes are shown in real time helps other team members as well to stay in the know by receiving timely updates. More importantly, though, effective communication through BIM reduces the likelihood of any rework. The construction team won’t have to rely on potentially outdated drawings, as everything will be updated in the software. They will have access to the latest version at all times and thus detect any interferences before starting the construction.
Finally, using BIM to connect the construction site and designers increases productivity and accelerates schedules. Since the software allows for transparency before all team members, it helps them make decisions faster and avoid delays. It saves time in general — and time is money, after all.
More Comprehensive Office Information Flow
And we mustn’t forget about the information flow that goes from the construction site back to the main office. Yes, it’s far more important for designers and engineers to relay any changes and comments they have through BIM. Still, using it to communicate data collected at the site itself should aid business in general.
For one, real-time updates don’t leave anyone guessing, especially not stakeholders eager to see how the project is going. Thanks to BIM, they have access to valuable information, including the latest versions of the project and plans. This doesn’t just give them some peace of mind; it lets them gain insight into the progress directly and compare it against the set schedule.
At the same time, the construction team can use BIM to carefully track labor costs and information. By doing so, the office would have an easier time calculating the expenses and use these numbers for future reference. Furthermore, the team can help future facility management by inputting equipment and material information during construction and installation. That way, there wouldn’t be any confusion regarding maintenance schedules or inventory later on. The BIM keeps all that data safe.
With new technologies emerging every day, staying on top of our tasks, especially in construction and design, is of the utmost importance. BIM aims to help by consolidating data in one place and letting team members collaborate seamlessly and transparently. It is no longer only a visualization tool but a valuable asset that boosts productivity, saves time and money, and reduces the risk of mistakes and rework. And that’s precisely what makes it worth the investment — its long-term goal is improved project delivery through streamlined data and communication management.
About Nick Marchek
Nick Marchek is a Building Information Modeling (BIM) Specialist at Microsol Resources, an Autodesk Platinum Partner, and based in the Philadelphia office. He provides consulting, training, technical support, model management, and implementation services to our architectural and building engineering clients. Nick is an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Revit Architecture Certified Professional. He received his Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in architecture from Pennsylvania State University.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow
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