Sector - Software & Technology

The BIM advantage

A recent survey of building professionals has revealed the biggest benefits of using newly developed ‘PropTech’, with building information modelling rated as the most useful.

The survey, conducted by housing agents, looked at ground-breaking property technology used by architects, builders and construction professionals, to identify the biggest benefits.

BIM technology essentially facilitates architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals to create and use an intelligent 3D model to gain valuable insight into how a building project can be better planned, designed and managed.

The survey found that professionals view reduced rework through better coordination and clash detection (76%) as the biggest advantage of harnessing BIM. From BIM internal and external stakeholders can access a shared model to see where possible clashes may occur (eg: pipework running through steel beam etc) and then, coordinate between them to rectify the issue before construction even begins.

Visualisation through BIM is also ranked very highly, with 72% of those surveyed saying the enhanced visualisation from BIM enables them to positively elevate the planning and design process. Understandably so, as the 3D modelling element of BIM can provide a detailed real-world imaging of entire floor plans prior to starting building work.

The third greatest advantage was seen as the decreases in errors/information loss/duplicate data entry by using BIM. While 66% think the tech has a good impact financially, as it improves cost estimations and budget control.

Since BIM allows for documentation to be easily changed by all parties involved in a project to account for any new information/changes (eg: site conditions etc) – scheduling/sequencing activities can therefore be communicated and planned more accurately. In doing so, lead to shorter project cycles according to 54% of professionals.

Other advantages highlighted by the survey are: the capabilities of BIM in recognising hazards in the pre-construction phase; improving environmentally friendly capabilities; giving a key competitive advantage to attracting new clients and retaining existing.

Despite all these advantages, BIM use is not as prevalent as it should be. The survey showed that 68% say tarinikng and knowledge is the primary reason why the technology isn’t being used more. A shocking 63% attribute the little use or absence of BIM in certain organisations to a lack of in-house expertise to provide adequate assistance and guidance on the functionality of BIM.

While 39% blame the unprogressive culture of some companies as the principle factor stopping them from adopting cutting-edge technology such as BIM and 47% feel the projects many organisations/professionals take-on and handle are too small for them to justify the inclusion of BIM in their working practises/operations.

Robby Du Toit, the Managing Director of commented: “Building information modelling is rapidly becoming more and more prominent. The technology is letting organisations construct buildings virtually before they are physically completed. As a result, BIM unlocks the opportunity to seek out more efficient approaches towards the planning, designing and construction phase of different projects. This research certainly shows that BIM has left an encouraging impression on professionals who have used the technology. The benefits highlighted by them, demonstrates the huge potential BIM has and as understanding of the technology improves, it will continue to revolutionise the property industry.”

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