Most people perceive BIM as a software or 3D modelling. If there is a discussion about BIM, most probable question is “what BIM software you know?”. And question is, “To buy, learn and implement the software, it costs so much, so why should we do that when work is being completed in normal way?”   At this exact situation, I make them to sit down and will start explaining as below.

Trust me it is WAY more than that.

In simple, it is a PROCESS in which we use different tools/software for different purposes.  (The below image describes the same). The same work every department is doing at present in their project will do same ever after implementing BIM, but the change is the place we work.

Image Source: Catenda – makers of Bimsync

The main objective of BIM is Co-ordination and Collaboration in a Common Data Environment (CDE).

In other ways to understand better and clear, year by year construction projects are getting complex and huge in nature, have to play in a competitive bidding, meantime maintaining standards, quality and safety has been getting highly difficult. In this scenario, if we directly start doing work with normal 2d drawings and schedule, we cannot analyse all the risks and difficulties at the time of planning and cannot easily modify the method accordingly during execution. But this is what is happening. All different teams will do their work with their own strategies which mostly out of sync with other different department strategies and give them to execution team. When they are building up, the clash will arise, then they tend to discuss, there the culprit, change orders will rise which leads to time and cost overruns.

A video visual gives 1000X better understanding than image…!!

So, after understanding the problem as stated above, what might be the helpful solution for it. Whatever it is if that solves below questions that will be the most appropriate one. 

What if, we have one exact model to test it and find maximum clashes and resolve them even before starting execution and then we give As-Built model to the team so that we can reduce rework and changes during execution?

What if we get all the 2D drawings (plans, sections, etc.) from 3D model at any point, any level, at any location within seconds/minutes?

What if we can extract quantities, budget the project, and schedule the project timeline from that As -Built model by making Coordination and collaboration with the team in a common data environment?

What if we can track, update, monitor and act on the project in a digital environment so that team can communicate better, and data is available to everybody up to their own accessibility levels/formats and can dynamically update the data everywhere?

What if a system can generate alternative and better models by taking inputs following standards and team can discuss and implement?

What if we can digitally document whole project data and can be used in project maintenance phase?

What if we can see the project model at ongoing site so that we can analyse the issues and progress better?

That is exactly what BIM can provide. A process where all disciplines/departments can collaborate, brainstorm, workout, detect, change, and develop As-built model; track, monitor, check the work progress; visualise, report and explain and maintain data for whole project life cycle.

As the potential of BIM is being mandating by major economies like UK, as India is planning to become $5T economy with many policies like Make in India, and many Infrastructure projects are the main pillars for this to happen, this is the time our India, government have to mandate the BIM in projects. NITI AYOG estimates BIM may help save up to 20% on construction costs. Hoping soon INDIA will mandate BIM and adopt it.

Author – Sivaram Madhavarapu, Planning Engineer & BIM Enthusiast

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