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What’s this BIM thing and how can it help you!

Computer software such as Autodesk Revit enables Building Information Management to be implemented in construction and the built environment. Building models, both new builds and refurbishments can be designed in 3D creating a virtual environment. BIM enables traditional construction professional tasks to be completed within the model by automation. These tasks can be completed throughout the design, construction and operations stage of a project, throughout the buildings whole life cycle and its eventual demolition.

Quantity Surveyor Perspective – 5D “cost” Concept

To determine a projects construction cost and requirements material quantity take-offs are performed manually. By adding 5D “cost” information into the model, the model allows you to perform automated take-offs that are 100% accurate and considerably faster than traditional techniques. The model can also include information that allows a quantity surveyor to generate a comprehensive list of essential design information required for estimating elements of work. Bills of quantities can be produced identifying sizes of building elements, area estimates, productivity projections, productivity rates, and labor costs, to create a live cost model.

Designers Perspective – 3D “virtual design model” Concept

A 3D model of a facility will theoretically provide a virtual visualisation tool that will enable designers and contractors to work together, identify and resolve any problems associated with the project before commencing work on-site. The Contractors can also use these pre visualisations of the project to determine how the building will be constructed. 3D models also enable the client to visualise, have a better understanding and make decisions about the aesthetics and the functionality of the building.

Project Manager Perspective – 4D “time” Concept

By adding 4D “time” attributes to the model construction planning and management tasks can be completed through automation. This includes the scheduling of resources and quantities to assist in planning, programming, and phasing of activities. For large complex projects or those on challenging sites, this can be a particularly useful tool as it can be used to examine critical path activities and visually show the dependency of some sequences to others. As the design changes, the model will be able to automatically identify any changes that affect the critical path and have an impact on the overall delivery of the project.

Client and Subcontractor Perspective – 6D “facility management” Concept

Facilities Management is the most innovative and useful aspect of BIM. Because of the ability the model has to harness information within itself. Information such as specifications, operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals and warranty information. This eliminates the problems that can currently be experienced if the O&M manual has been misplaced or is kept at a remote location. When the model is handed over to the client at the end of the project, the client will then have a powerful tool that enables them to manage their assets effectively and efficiently throughout its whole life cycle.