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Six ways BIM can make your firm more competitive

A correct use of this methodology can be key to highlight in the sector

Published: 23/11/2016

Country: Spain

Setting up an architecture office is born in many occasions from the passion of the discipline. However, to run and manage the business in a satisfactory way requires perseverance and hard work, beyond the mere love to the profession. In this context, BIM is configured as the key tool that every firm needs to stand out from the competition. We review some of the ways in which this new methodology can be useful in making projects more profitable. Do you know them all?

1. Avoid subcontracting

BIM has been a viable option for companies for decades. However, due to the long implementation process and technological investment required, it has not been very useful for small companies that still see more profitable outsourcing processes such as visualization of designs. But now, with the advent of BIM software, it is much easier for an architect to implement this methodology, so any kind of company can create their own models instead of having to pay for them. Miguel Morea explains in an interview with BIMCommunity, how they did this Little BIM and how this new modality of work has been used to make his office much more competitive. 

2. More flexible processes

Using BIM within a company also means an increase in flexibility when making any kind of design change. When working with visualizations from external sources, such as models or images, there are countless modifications and shipments between the parts. The same applies to the non-BIM processes, which require a detailed communication with engineers and contractors via email or even in person. But with the new shared models of BIM, these changes can be produced immediately, so the time and money invested in communications is minimal. This gives designers more freedom when it comes to make sure the project meets the expectations of its customers. 

3. Improved understanding of designed space

Designing a building using BIM's 3D modeling system, as well as the ability to quickly generate visual renderings of the proposal, also improves the understanding of the design and space among the architects working on the project. Crawford Smith, BIM specialist at SERA Architects Inc, explains:
"Model-based visualizations have helped everyone -regardless of their background- to quickly understand the accelerated development of buildings and tenants."

4. Provide fast feedback

In addition, by internalizing some of the processes that might have been outsourced previously, and by improving communication over those that still exist, BIM offers feedback on design proposals, especially when communicating with customers, as William Sharples, Director of SHoP:
"BIM has helped us to use the power of visualization to save time and distance."

Generating own visualizations allows to react much more ahead of the criticisms and suggestions of the client: minimizing the time needed for feedback, we not only minimize costs but also increase the credibility and reputation of the company and as a firm.

5. Creative exploration

Although the increase of the productivity and efficiency resulting from the direct use of BIM is relevant, it is less common to speak of an improvement also at the creative level. By meeting the deadlines ahead of time and producing more accurate and information-rich models, BIM allows architects to let their imagination run wild. This result is more innovative design proposals, so the client has more options and visual data. 

6. Advanced viewing options

One of the strongest arguments for the BIM implementation and that can still help a company stand out from all its competitors is the recent advances in visual technology: especially in the field of virtual reality. The 3D modeling process means that designs are processed and imported in a wide variety of RV environments, such as the new Autodesk LIVE that allows an interactive one-click rendering of Revit. Soon, virtual reality will be as sought after by customers as the current methods of representation and being a company that already works at this level can be key.


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