The modern-day architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry are confronting enormous institutional and technological shifts, for instance, the growing demand for proper application of sustainable practices and the ever-increasing utilization of information technology. Therefore, civil and structural engineers, architects and other relevant construction professionals must adapt and be capable of sustainable dealing with the briskly changing technology, the modern-day complex problems necessitating multidimensional solutions, as well as a world that is rapidly becoming interconnected.
On this line, technologies like Building Information Modeling (BIM) have over time become very valuable for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals. In particular, this is instrumental when it comes to architectural and engineering design as it helps to avoid design problems and considerably reduces building costs. Before delving further into the discussion about the exploitation of the power of BIM in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, it is imperative to understand what it is exactly.
Understanding Building Information Modeling (BIM):
Autodesk, which is one of the most prominent players in the development of design software, defines BIM as a smart 3D model-based process offering professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields, the tools and insight to plan, design, construct, as well as manage buildings and infrastructure more efficiently. As such, BIM reduces cost and time wastage and at the same time increase project quality.
It is also crucial to understand that Building Information Modeling isn’t a single piece of model or software, but a unique way of processing and collaborating information embedded in the model. The complex nature of collaborating information during construction projects has, therefore, led to the development of CAD (computer-aided design) packages like Archi-CAD, Vector Works and Revit to fully harness the functionality and power of BIM. This breed of CAD packages allows for better information management within the model.
More specifically, BIM empowers the engineering and architectural designers using these types of CAD packages to develop a comprehensive project design using the actual objects on top of the symbolic 2D lines in traditional CAD. As a result, the architects, engineers, builders and project owners can visualize a simulated construction of a structure or building before its actual construction.
What is more is that BIM allows the architects, engineers and project owners to digitally explore the main physical and functional characteristics of a project, for example, the environmental impact and cost scheduling before the commencement of a construction project. In return, this reduces uncertainty, enhances interactions and understanding of the project, resolves conflicts between disciplines, simulates and analyzes the building process as well as performance.
Apart from being leveraged by architects and engineers, construction and project managers also capitalize on the power of BIM. It aids them in preparing more accurate quantity takeoffs by way of visualizing the building processes using clash detection and four-dimensional simulation. The execution of onsite operations by construction and project managers is also made more effective by BIM. The result of all these assistive aspects of BIM is time-saving, reduced construction waste and construction cost.
To conclude, it is evident that the streamlined and economical design process of BIM offers demonstrable cost reduction, complexity reduction, and quality improvement, among many other benefits. It is, therefore, increasingly becoming the standard on construction projects in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). And this is majorly driven by the increasing complexities as well as the demands of modern design projects in major metropolises like London, San Diego, and the greater California area.