BIM in construction
The construction industry is in the midst of a technology renaissance. BIM served as the initial catalyst for this period of innovation, but has now grown beyond “just BIM” to include innovations in many other areas such as mobility, laser scanning, and Big Data analytics
among others. Supporting processes are changing as well. The construction industry is realizing that these new technologies don’t fit into previous processes.
The promise of BIM is to build a structure virtually prior to physically constructing it. This allows project participants to design, analyze, sequence, and explore a project through a digital environment where it is far less expensive to make changes than in the field during construction, where changes are exponentially more costly. Today, this promise is becoming reality. An array of BIM software and mobile applications are delivering results that mitigate construction risk. Although some tools are more advanced than others, we are rarely at an impasse where some function is simply “impossible” and not able to be achieved through technology.
Benefits of BIM
The value of BIM in construction comes in many shapes and sizes. Whether it’s the ability to save time through automated functions, eliminate the need to travel to a meeting, or save money because better information is available earlier to make cost effective decisions, they all have the same focus: results. It’s hard to imagine an area of our daily lives in which technology doesn’t affect us, particularly in the workplace. The same is true within the construction industry. The advent of BIM and the rise of application-based technologies have opened doors and arguably created one of the most exciting new dynamics since Microsoft Excel.
Over the last 50 years, the construction industry has had just a handful of notable technological innovations compared to other industries. Granted, there were many innovations in material research, installation methodologies, and energy efficiency,such as prefabrication, eco-friendly materials, and green building design. However, the technologies used by project teams for construction management remained largely the same. Now, innovation is becoming a part of the way contractors deliver their work and differentiate themselves from their competitors. As a result, we are starting to see a healthy ecosystem of supply and demand for ever better tools between technology vendors and construction management firms willing to invest to drive efficiencies, as is evident in the rise of contractors adopting BIM technologies