Since it was introduced to the construction industry, BIM has been the talk of the town because of its power to transform the construction process and project result. But despite the fad, some construction companies are still confused with how BIM can actually help in their construction project management. And that is why we’re writing this blog today.
In this blog, we’re going to delve deeper into the impacts of BIM in construction project management – how it can make the process more efficient and how it can improve the overall work quality at the site.
BIM for More Effective Construction Project Management
When BIM was first introduced to the industry, one common misconception is that the software is merely for 3D modeling of the project. Its real purpose of putting all project information in a single space was kept in the dark. Fortunately, contractors learned and project managers are finally perfecting the art of using BIM for better construction project management.
Ultimately, BIM is a technology that creates an accurate visualization of the project by translating all specs, information, and description into a 3D model. This way, all stakeholders are able to come up with smarter decisions as they can already determine the step by step process that needs to be followed to finish the project on time and are also faced with the possible problems they can encounter from the original plan they drafted. To put it simply, BIM is a way to look into the future of the project even if it’s still yet to be started.
Obviously, how it impacts the project result is simple. With the construction leaders already aware of the errors they may encounter, they can revise the plan to make it better or if really unavoidable, they can come up with mitigation plans as early as the pre-construction phase.
12 Ways BIM Can Change You Construction Project Management
BIM technology has been revolutionizing the construction industry and clients are obviously happier since the risks for errors, reworks, over budget, and overdue have been greatly reduced. For the project team, BIM has been a way for the project managers to handle the construction site more efficiently. If construction crew management software is used for better progress and worker activity tracking, BIM, on the other hand, is used for better overall project management
- BIM facilitates Integrated Project Delivery
In a construction project, there are several disciplines involved like HVAC, mechanical, electrical, concreting, architectural, plumbing, roofing, masonry, and so much more. All of their works can be difficult to manage when the contractor only relies on reports, phone calls, and emails. It is even harder for one subcontractor to communicate with another subcontractor whose works are dependent on each other like plumbing and HVAC, or HVAC and electrical.
But with BIM, all disciplines can collaborate closely even without regularly meeting each other. They can use a subcontractor scheduling software like Pro Crew Schedule to communicate reports and issues while BIM can be used for communicating remedies and new plans. The main goal of BIM is to reduce work errors, cost, and redundancy by combining all information from all involved parties and translate them into an integrated model that can improve the efficiency of the whole project team.
Overall, putting all engineers, subcontractors, designers, and project managers under a single umbrella will create a win-win situation for all of them, including the client. The flow of information becomes smoother so everyone moves according to the requirements of the client, making everyone achieve the success they seek in a project.
- Improved Collaboration and Communication
As we just mentioned, BIM helps improve the communication and collaboration between all disciplines in the construction project. It gives all parties a visual reference of their plans to see whether their works complement each other.
BIM provides the ideal collaboration that any paper drawings cannot provide. It allows the different project teams to share their own project models with other stakeholders so they can make adjustments when necessary. They can also input their daily progress so that other teams are updated when it’s already time to work on their part. This is especially helpful for trades that are dependent on each other just like we mentioned earlier.
Like construction crew management software, BIM is also Cloud-based, turning collaboration and communication in real-time. What makes it more amazing is that information can be viewed on mobile devices, making sure that everyone in the project team gets access to up-to-date information at any time.
- Full Project Visualization
Like we mentioned earlier, BIM can give all stakeholders a BIM is the only software right now that can give the construction team a full visualization of the project even before the shovel hits the ground.
This way, the client gets a full experience of the team’s output through the 3D model that’s based on the plan. So, during the preconstruction phase, the client and the project team can already discuss points of improvement, hence eliminating the need for time-consuming and costly change orders.
- Reduced Construction Cost
A study made by McKinsey found that 75% of construction firms using BIM saw higher returns. This follows the benefits of visualization on the early stages including risk mitigation, lower insurance costs, reduced opportunities for claims due to errors and accidents, and detection of areas where prefabrication will be a better solution than on-site construction. All of these result to a higher profit for the construction team.
Real-time collaboration also plays a big part in reducing risks of costly repairs that were brought about by errors from outdated information. And when repairs are taken out of the picture, the construction company is able to earn more and might even get bigger opportunities with the same client for completing the project successfully.
- Improved Project Scheduling and Task Sequencing
Earlier, we talked about how visualization can help all stakeholders determine the proper step by step procedure to be followed. This shows which subcontractor work is dependent on the other so that the two parties can talk out their schedules and activities. This allows for a more organized work which leads to more efficient results and faster turnover.
- Increased Productivity
BIM is a way to increase the productivity of the main construction team and subcontracting teams. By being able to plan activities and set schedules more accurately, all teams won’t be left clueless on what needs to be done next if they ever finish early. Hence, no time will be wasted and it’s even possible for the project to be turned over earlier than expected.
And like we mentioned earlier, BIM is also a way to determine areas that will be better off prefabricated than done on-site. As you know, having a component manufactured off the site can speed up the construction even more, reduce wastes, diminish labor and material costs, and improve efficiency. It is an opportunity for everyone to focus more on their jobs so they can deliver more and higher quality output.
- Safer Construction Sites
Project managers and safety engineers can’t always keep an eye on everyone while working at the site. But with BIM, they are able to determine high risk areas during the pre-construction phase so they are able to plan for better safety measures and site logistics to keep the workers away from construction hazards when the project kicks off until it finishes.
- Better Builds
From an improved project management, BIM leads the construction team to produce a more impressive building quality. Because of the collaborative function that comes with BIM, all parties are able to work effectively together, making their output more in accordance to the requirements of the client.
- Improved Clash Detection
Since a construction work is the combination of several disciplines, there is a possibility that the different plans from these different teams can lead to the clashing of geometrical designs. BIM can integrate all of these plans together before the work starts so that the whole team can determine discrepancies and make necessary changes before the project starts.
- Better Constructability
BIM provides all parties involved with a way to review and monitor constructability. From start to finish, it allows project managers to look into errors early on and look back into what could’ve possibly went wrong during the process after the project is delivered. This allows the project manager to plan better on the next projects and avoid committing the same mistakes.
- Better Information Analysis
Having a visual analysis of the project facilitates for better decision making. With the information injected to the program, the whole project team is able to determine problems in materials, space, orientation, mass, and other elements in the structure, hence getting the chance to resolve issues early on.
- 4D and 5D Modeling
Unlike regular CAD programs used in construction modeling, BIM offers opportunities for 4D and 5D modeling, which are better than 3D models when it comes to project analysis and management. A 4D model lets a project manager evaluate project progress and have a clearer understanding of the phases even without visiting the site. A 5D model, on the other hand, allows cost evaluation so that project managers can determine the lowest cost solutions and avoid going over the budget.
- More Accurate Estimates
BIM assists project managers in determining the right quantity take-off of materials so they can come up with more accurate estimates that can help them win more bids. And when they finally get the project, BIM now becomes an aid to project managers in guiding their team into using the right amount of materials so no money is put to waste.
From the points we discussed above, BIM can definitely be another effective tool in better construction project handling. These are the reasons why contractors and subcontractors pursue the use of BIM in their projects. Partnered with a reliable construction schedule software, any firm can surely improve their project management and achieve success in every project they take.