How BIM’s Visibility
Drives Project Productivity
December 20, 2022
Lack of project visibility has long been a challenge in construction. Much of it can be attributed to decentralized communication channels, siloed data of unknown accuracy and currency, and manual practices — all of which have essentially killed productivity, contributing to all-too-frequent unsatisfactory project outcomes.
It also can come down to not having the right tools in place. Building information modeling (BIM), more a process than a technology, is one such tool. One of BIM’s strengths is opening up visibility into a project with its virtual 3D modeling, allowing you to see the structure before it’s built. And that visibility also extends to the rich data linked to every element within that model — including dimensions, manufacturer details, and material composition, for example.
This integrated visibility enables project owners, contractors, stakeholders and the broader project team to truly see and understand project status and progress. When teams understand what’s happening and what needs to be done, it’s far easier to put effort and assets where they’re needed — saving money and wasted work.
Virtual experimentation with design and material options
BIM allows you to explore different design options before committing time or resources on any one solution.
By creating a digital representation of a building or infrastructure project in its entirety, architects and engineers can view how each component will affect the next one — or how they’ll interact with other elements in the environment — because changing one material in a building may require structural, electrical or mechanical changes elsewhere.
Instead, you can quickly test multiple iterations of each modification without having to physically construct each option first. This reduces risk by minimizing surprises and avoiding unnecessary change orders later on — and duplicated work effort — while still allowing design flexibility early in the process when things can still be changed easily.
Detection of structural issues and hazard aversion
BIM shows a level of detail that enables teams to see potential issues with your structural design early on in the design process — so that construction can proceed efficiently with minimal disruption or delay. Because issues are identified digitally rather than in the field with physical inspections by humans (which can be subjective), there’s greater certainty about whether an issue exists or not.
That way, you can address them before they add costs to your project budget or delay completion of your project deadlines. This is especially vital for large-scale capital projects that require multiple trades and hundreds of workers. Early detection means fewer hours spent fixing structural issues after construction has already begun (and there’s more at stake).
An integrated project view that everyone can access
When projects are complex, it can be difficult to keep track of the details and understand what’s happening on-site. The more people involved in any given project, the harder it is to keep things running smoothly. Projects are more efficient when teams can see all aspects of their work in one place via the BIM model — from design information to construction documents to as-built documentation.
With everyone having access to the same information at once (and from multiple perspectives), there’s less need for redundant work or confusion over who should be doing what next. It’s this opportunity to see design and data together enables the team to visualize and understand the building as a whole system, providing a holistic view of how each component affects every other component.
Transparency into real-time data and updates
As building information modeling evolves from a standalone process to a core component of construction, it’s becoming increasingly important for owners, contractors and other stakeholders to have access to real-time data about their projects.
Perhaps more than anything else, visibility into real-time data is proving to be the key to interpreting the current state of the project and its likely trajectory, and the foundation upon which to make decisions that will most benefit the project.
The decisions that are made day in and day out are just as relevant to improving project productivity as focused physical work. Having access to more data than ever before — including cost estimates, material lists, schedules and much more — means less guesswork and more confidence in those decisions, which has been impossible to do with manual project management processes.
It’s not just about better visibility
Within the BIM model is the potential for better-informed decisions that keep the project moving forward. This means that it’s not simply about more visibility, but about realizing the power of that visibility. BIM isn’t a magic bullet for improving project performance and productivity. But it is an investment — and a worthwhile one.
When implemented with discipline and purpose, building information modeling fosters transparency across every team, which translates into more time, money and effort focused on value-added activities that really drive project success. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how BIM can support your productivity goals, and also how InEight modeling can be a solution to optimize your future projects.
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