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What is BIM?

Building information Model (BIM)

BIM is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project throughout its whole life cycle. As part of this process, a coordinated digital description of every aspect of the built asset is developed, using a set of appropriate technology. It is likely that this digital description includes a combination of information-rich 3D models and associated structured data such as product, execution, and handover information.

Internationally, the BIM process and associated data structures are best defined in the ISO 19650 and 12006 series of standards. – www.thenbs.com

BIM is about more than creating a data rich 3D model of your finished asset, it is about changing mindsets, processes, and toolsets to make a project more efficient and reduce replication errors across deliverables. Reduction in these risks is achieved by more openly sharing information across the different stakeholders, contractors and design houses, in order to achieve a fully coordinated design before we arrive on site.

BIM has often been seen as something which is reserved for large scale projects, but increasingly in my experience, we are seeing it adopted on even the smallest projects. Tangible benefits are already being seen on projects with a correctly set up BIM approach, with a reduction in re-work, site issues and data replication issues being some of the big hitters for those who decide to adopt a BIM approach. We get the most out of BIM.

In my opinion if you have a physical asset, whether it be a Building, piece of equipment, or piece of infrastructure you should be adopting BIM. Put simply, if you have a physical asset you need to build, maintain, and then decommission and demolish, BIM is the approach you should take. The ability for a properly formed BIM strategy to be integral in not only the design and construction phase, but through the lifecycle of the project, and dependent on the scale, into demolition can save you time, reduce project Risk and reduce costly re-work which poorly coordinated projects suffer from at the most expensive time of a project.

One of the most common blockers in adopting a digital transformation strategy which enables BIM to flourish, are the people in an organisation. All though not a new concept, there is still scepticism around the use of models, CDE’s and other data management tools. The fact that most BIM methodologies allow for a more liquid flow of information between different parties can be a terrifying prospect for those who have traditionally been used to receiving fixed information and then raising variations for every change that occurs from that point forward. The truth is that this doesn’t change. The only difference is that information is shared more regularly to alleviate coordination issues earlier and without ambiguity and misunderstanding information. Models are given status codes, instead of traditional drawing revisions, and changes are still monitored and go through the change process, so this is no reason to not adopt BIM.

The second reason we regularly encounter is the personal protectionism side of it. The belief that this set of tools, workflows and methods will remove the need for somebody’s employment. This again is far from the truth. BIM Simply reduces rework and errors therefore saving a project money. When I have experienced opposition to adopting even 3D modelling, education has been the best medicine to allay fears of replacement, and the eventual realisation that if we do not move with the times, we will be left behind. Changing the mindset of an individual or team can be one of the most challenging aspects of adopting a BIM approach, but education and understanding is a simple way to solve this problem.

The 6 dimensions of BIM:

1D: A point on the page – the specification, what the physical object’s purpose is and how it needs to operate, what aesthetics it requires and how long it is to perform for.

2D: Traditional drawings / plans – historically what we have always used. There is still a place for these drawings in the modern construction and manufacturing environment, btu we should no longer be 100% reliant on them to give us our project outcomes.

3D: The 3D model – 3D has been around for some years now, building a 3D models can improve understanding, gives us the ability to clash check designs and should be used as the basis for our 2D drawing information.

4D: The time element – adding a programme to you design 3D models now gives the ability to check you can deliver your design to programme and you can physically build or manufacture your project.

5D: The cost / quantities element – with the 3D model created, being able to generate quantities and then associate cost with those quantities gives a more accurate take off for the project. Changing the model should automatically change the quantities and at the click of a button, update your outputs.

6D: The asset data – i.e. all the info attached to the 3D model (specifications, service manuals, installation guides, etc.) this is the real benefit of BIM. Having all your data housed in one place meaning changing it once updates the information across all platforms.

At Proicere we focus on the time and schedule (4D) and Cost / quantities (5D) elements of your projects. We have a vast amount of experience in heavy industry, Pharmaceutical, Commercial and oil and Gas sectors and have proved the value that BIM can bring on these projects. We take what the designers have generated through the design and build construction, installation, and manufacture programmes around these designs. A project is about more than simply taking the finished design and adding some programme activities to it. Temporary works, plant and equipment involved in the construction, demolition or manufacture also play a key part in generating a schedule that works. Having the ability to virtually walk through a sequence of works and iron out any coordination issues before we reach site or manufacture. According to recent articles in New civil engineer, the construction industry spends more on rectifying errors than it makes in annual profit. 4D planning has a proven track record of reducing risk on programme, rework and time on programme end date.

In addition to the savings and risk reduction from a programme perspective, further benefits can be found in highlighting health and safety issues, with Virtual method statements becoming a huge part of project deliverables. We at Proicere have also started to develop gaming style walkthroughs and then immersed these walkthroughs in Virtual reality and Augmented reality which is helping those at the workface identify issues with ongoing tasks, check progress and virtually walk through a task before it takes place.

We also take quantities from these models and use them to drive durations of tasks within the model. this approach gives us an underpinned strategy for task durations and less deviance throughout the programme.

The start of any process is to commit to it. As previously mentioned, one the most difficult obstacles to overcome is that of changing attitudes and mindset. Alongside this there is a key document which everybody looking to use BIM as a tool to their advantage should have. A Building information model execution plan (BIM Execution Plan). This plan details which tools you are going to use, how you will exchange data, what data will be contained within your model, what your Common data Environment looks like and naming conventions along with a whole host of other information which will form the backbone of your BIM Strategy and how you will interface with others. This would normally be undertaken by a BIM Manager or allocated person. This strategy is then enforced throughout your business or project to enable the change. Having personally had experience of setting BIM Strategies for some of the UK’s biggest clients, I know this in itself can be a daunting task. But on successful implementation, you will reap the benefits in quality, time and cost savings and put yourself right back in and ahead of your competitors.

Group 2431

Dan Ashton / Proicere

One Response

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