Utilizing BIM in the Pre-Construction phase
Building Information Modeling is one of the most fascinating technological advancement in the AECO industry. The benefits of having a single source of project information has led to the wide-spread acceptance of BIM Modeling over the previous decade. In an effort to increase the efficiency of the sector, governments of several countries have been advocating the use of BIM. In fact, several governments in countries such as the UK, France, Queensland in Australia, etc. have mandated BIM in different capacities. This gives a much required push and assurance to the players that virtual design construction is here to stay and any investment in terms of software or training will be beneficial in the long run.
Utilizing BIM Services enable firms in saving costs by improved decision-making at all stages of infrastructure development in the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction (i.e. maintenance and operation) for new as well as renovation projects. By creating a digital building that is replete with all project-related information, it enables architects and engineers to detect any discrepancy along with pin-pointing the exact location right at the design stage. These clashes are resolved to produce coordinated BIM models that are free of any interferences. The 3D models can further be used to extract 2D drawings without any additional efforts. Moreover, any design change is automatically updated in the drawings once it is updated in the model. This results in saving a considerable amount of time and efforts.
The 2D drawings i.e. Architectural Construction Drawings, MEPF Shop Drawings, etc. generated from the coordinated BIM models are clash-free and are used during the construction phase. Once the construction in completed, the 3d models are updated with as-built data. These models are used in the maintenance and operation of the facility i.e. the post-construction phase.
BIM in the Pre-Construction phase
In order to understand how BIM Modeling can be used in the pre-construction phase, let us consider a real-time project of developing a residential building. It was an eight-storeyed building with two basement levels for parking space.
The pre-construction phase was broadly classified into three phases:
1. Developing BIM models: Developing Architectural, Structural, and MEPF BIM models from the designs created by the architects and engineers. This phase commenced with the development of Architectural model based on architect’s design. Structural model was created from structural engineers’ design. These two models were copied to the MEPF plan and served as a reference for creating MEPF model with design inputs from HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Fighting designers.
2. Clash Detection and BIM Co-ordination: Performing inter-disciplinary interference check and clash resolution to generate coordinated architectural, structural, and MEPF models. Since architectural and structural models were developed before routing the MEP Services it helped in reducing clashes. The remaining clashes were detected and resolved in close coordination with all the relevant design teams.
3. Extracting 2D Drawings: Extracting Architectural Construction Drawings and MEPF Shop Drawings from the coordinated models. During the final phase, 2D drawings were extracted from the final models. These drawings were directly used on-site for the purpose of construction.
The use of BIM in the pre-construction process enhanced the construction speed while minimizing the costs. This approach was more environment-friendly as on-site re-work and subsequent wastage of materials was reduced.
Building Information Modeling bridges the gap between different teams of a project (the design team and the construction team) and the end user/facility manager which results in the loss of information. It allows all stakeholders to be updated with the latest information at all times of the project. Building engineers and contractors are often stressed for accelerated delivery schedules. Several project constraints along with access to limited resources in terms of manpower and finances put an additional pressure on them.
The use of advanced BIM technologies such 4D and 5D BIM prove to be significant in overcoming these restraints.