BIM pays off
Except for the question of whether it is worthwhile switching to BIM, all these questions must be answered individually, depending on the project or company. Each company must decide for itself how best to implement the new planning method. Anyone who wants to sell you BIM primarily as new software has not understood the implications of this model, because BIM is much more than that. It is true that there is software that makes BIM possible. And of course, you need software that is BIM-enabled. But BIM in itself is a completely new way of planning projects.
To implement BIM, you need to find software that can create and edit parametric 3D objects. The software must also have interfaces that allow data transfer. However, the purchase of software is only the first step towards BIM. The majority of the changeover must take place directly in management, not in IT. For management, the BIM model is the complete data basis for the project. Everything directly related to construction and real estate is recorded in the BIM or can at least be recorded. BIM is intended to enable holistic planning, i.e. planning in which everything is centralized and combined in one place - the BIM database. Everything is recorded, from the first draft, through the actual construction phase, to facility management and recycling of the building. In order for all this to work, the effort involved in BIM projects is different from that of conventionally planned construction projects. While in a normal construction project many decisions are made in later phases, in a BIM project almost everything has to be available in the planning phase. Even before the tenders are even prepared, it must basically be clear which system, which material and which pavements will be used. An enormous amount of time is spent on integrating all the information into the 3D model. This makes many newcomers to the field nervous at first. But in the later stages you save this time and also gain time because there are fewer surprises. BIM does not protect anyone from the stress or effort of making changes. But by entering information into the 3D model, many errors are detected early and can therefore be avoided early on. All interactions between the individual trades can be recorded and managed by BIM. Efficient collision management is called that. And this term is quite accurate, because costs due to incorrect planning are reduced to a minimum by BIM.
Minimize risks through early data
Although the construction and maintenance of the BIM model is very time-consuming, it saves time in the end, the effort is only postponed to the beginning of the project. The tendering phase is shortened because data from the BIM can be used directly for this purpose, which also allows for better comparability of offers. Calculations are also faster as a result. Planning is made easier by the wealth of data. All information required for ordering and production comes from the BIM, where even the details and assembly processes have already been simulated. Everyone who takes on a task in the series of construction planning, whether architect, project manager, general planner or even facility manager, can train to become a BIM manager. The BIM Manager records all information so that everyone can always access it. The BIM Manager also has the task of ensuring that all specifications are met. Ideally, these are defined together at the beginning of a project so that compatible information is always fed into the BIM and can be retrieved. It is possible to work with both manufacturer-specific and general information, depending on the nature of the project and whether it is a project with a public tender.
Transparent and smooth process
The BIM model is used in parallel and simultaneously by all participants. No one can work on anything in a quiet chamber, everything is always transparent. This eliminates errors due to outdated plans. But this real-time collaboration also brings challenges. Everybody has to get involved in the BIM, nobody should be left out. Plans for approvals, for example, can be easily derived from the BIM, which already contains all relevant information. Everyone always has access to the project in real time. No one has to wait for plans to be handed over. BIM brings a team closer together and requires flexibility, rethinking and the willingness to engage in new planning. One thing is certain, it is the future of the construction industry, no one can ignore it anymore.
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