The 1001 benefits of BIM

Innovative, collaborative, and efficient, BIM technology has it all. Adopted more and more by public and private clients around the world, the BIM approach simply represents the future of the built environment. 

What is BIM?

Developed by Autodesk, BIM 360 is a cloud-based platform that enables a construction project to be managed, from design to maintenance, in a single online location. Connecting all involved parties, including clients and subcontractors, the platform collects all project data, allowing real-time monitoring during the design, coordination, construction, and operation phases.

From 3D modelling to property management, the BIM approach opens the doors to a collaborative, interdisciplinary and interactive world that facilitates the creation of more energy efficient buildings, higher quality infrastructures, and buildings with optimized life cycles. The BIM platform offers 1001 benefits that invariably translate into a significant return on investment at all levels.

Here are some of these benefits: 

Benefit # 1: Prefabrication 

Between ventilation ducts, electrical ducts and plumbing pipes, to name but a few, the combination of systems to be skilfully concealed in the ceilings, walls and floors of a construction project sometimes requires quite a bit of gymnastics. However, this puzzle is easily manageable with BIM tools. 

With detailed 3D modelling that integrates all architectural, mechanical, electrical, and structural systems, it is easy to clearly and quickly identify tricky spaces that will give construction workers a hard time. With this 360-degree view, system conflicts and time-consuming adjustments can be prevented by prefabricating parts, in advance and off-site, that will fit together as intended with all the other equipment once on site. 

Thanks to BIM, prefabrication of parts and pieces not only saves workers a lot of headaches, but also reduces delivery and installation times, safety risks, as well as the amount of materials used. 

The various shapes and sizes of ductworks, combined with plumbing pipes and fire protection systems, within a limited ceiling space, can definitely result in a complex configurational structure.
The prefabrication of these parts eliminates tricky installations, offers significant savings in terms of labour costs, and avoids pointless delays.


Benefit #2: Visualize your decisions

BIM can be broadly defined as the digital representation of an infrastructure for the purpose of visualization, analysis, and validation. These purposes represent an undeniable advantage for all parties involved in a project as they allow them to visualize their decisions.

Indeed, once the various construction disciplines are integrated into the same 3D model, technical issues and conflicts “almost” appear by themselves. We then analyze, reflect and, sometimes, question several aspects of a project, especially in terms of installation and maintenance, which are often overlooked during the design phase. 

We recently experienced this type of situation during our project at Collège Sainte-Anne. On the initial electrical plans, starters were to be installed on each pump of the mechanical room. However, once the 2D plans were modelled on BIM, we quickly realized that it was possible to optimize this layout by consolidating all the starters in a single location. This consolidation would not only facilitate the installation of the devices, but also ensure a much more efficient maintenance. 

BIM was an essential tool in finding this optimal alternative location that took into account all the possible constraints, such as plumbing and fire protection. BIM also allowed us to clearly present the issue to our partners, and thus quickly obtain the approval of our client, who could easily visualize and understand the situation at hand. 

It is essential to remember that our clients are often construction neophytes. Visual aids such as these are crucial to help them understand the technical issues being discussed and make informed decisions about their own project. We can’t all be construction experts, but with BIM, we all have a clearer view of things.

Extract from the electrical drawings showing the initial location of all the starters (in red).
Screenshot of our BIM model showing the final location where all the starters will be consolidated for easy installation and maintenance.

More to come...

Date de la parution

4th march 2022

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