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BIM is the Foundation of Digital Transformation

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Why AEC firms are increasingly reliant on building information modeling (BIM)

“Building information modeling (BIM) is the foundation of digital transformation,” according to Autodesk, and LoadSpring couldn’t agree more.

Whether an owner, business executive, project manager, subcontractor, project controls director, or field professional, BIM apps help you make better decisions. Improved performance, increased efficiency, and cost reduction are critical to project delivery success—regardless of your role in the project delivery process.

And now, BIM is driving the way forward from cloud transformation to predictive transformation. Here’s why.

BIM is soaring

BIM use for projects has increased exponentially.

Part of the reason stems from a need to improve decision-making and team collaboration through every stage of a construction project—from initiation and feasibility to planning and design to preconstruction execution. Successful execution of the physical construction stages—performance and monitoring—leads to more lucrative operation and closure stages.

Another reason for increased BIM use is a common data environment (CDE). According to a 2022 buildingSMART International survey, 77% of respondents consider a CDE the most efficient method of exchanging large amounts of data. Not surprisingly, 53% of organizations surveyed increased their use of cloud-based project management from 2020 to 2022.

Organizations use BIM to capture and resolve quality issues, minimizing clashes quickly; facilitate end-to-end collaboration between stakeholders; and increase transparency and understanding of design decisions.

BIM informs better decision-making now and future states

Project team members make better decisions when utilizing data via BIM and AI, working in conjunction.

Future states of predictive transformation will likely exhibit increasing abilities to determine probable outcomes based on past performance and accumulated project intelligence. The future of BIM looks like AI code being generated at such a fast rate that architects, engineers, and construction designers will have difficulty keeping up with the speed of technology unless they are willing to learn about said technology, harness its power, and utilize it to their benefit and advantage – according to Sebastian Errazuriz in Martyn Day’s examination of AI in architecture.

To connect BIM data for better decision-making, project team leaders can utilize BIM apps that leverage AI. They remove construction design jams by automating repetitive tasks, such as correlating correct BIM classifications with geometric shapes allowing designers and architects to utilize AI in BIM for style replication, detail additions, geometric shape generation, and building renovation. When BIM and AI work in conjunction, they improve the design process, increasing the likelihood of construction project success.

BIM data and connected technologies render the preconstruction phase of construction project delivery more predictable than ever before. 3D visualization, construction simulation, and analysis allow teams to forecast construction schedule logistics more easily, anticipating roadblocks.

BIM speeds project performance

BIM speeds project performance because information housed within BIM apps may be automated and instantly shared with team members and joint venture partners.

However, the effective implementation of automation is often delayed due to a lack of theoretical understanding and other factors often related to a lack of access to education and technology. However, the fact that BIM improves collaboration helps get all team members on board—improving scheduling and minimizing setbacks.

This lack of efficiency isn’t solely related to the lack of BIM implementation. It’s also associated with budget shortfalls and difficulty implementing regional building codes and regulations. When all project team members access the same blueprint updates and adjustments, miscommunication is reduced.

BIM also improves logistical updates like machine and equipment maintenance. A project could be postponed if an unexpected equipment failure occurs—and heavy machinery often comes with regular maintenance schedules. Model simulation anticipates the need for upcoming equipment maintenance—since maintenance apps may be integrated into a cloud-based platform that includes BIM applications.

BIM accelerates productivity

BIM facilitates collaboration, which naturally increases project engagement and accelerates productivity.

Team collaboration best practices that boost engagement include access first; anytime feedback; cross-team communication; and cooperation, rather than file-sharing. This means having face-to-face meetings as much as possible, whether remotely or in person, to engage in a dialectical process of understanding knowledge and conceptual framing of information that is built up organically between team members. BIM facilitates such collaboration by providing immediate access to shared project data within and across teams.

This immediate access to BIM data lets you deliver projects faster and on time. Utilized in efficiency-style construction, BIM takes advantage of modeling & templated modules to speed builds to completion. At the preconstruction stage, accurate building specifications and BIM-related data are critical to minimizing the environmental impact of construction waste or demolition.

In addition to premanufacturing, BIM solves material supply and shipping issues by anticipating exactly how much lumber, concrete, glass, or steel to order for each component of a building site. Allowing quality assurance (QA) teams to communicate with project leads on implementing changes and related design updates speeds rework along, minimizing time spent on any redesign.

Building designers and engineers can more easily coordinate their designs and make plans when collaborating in real-time via BIM applications based in the cloud. A cloud platform maximizes site productivity by allowing teams to access the same apps from anywhere.

BIM cuts costs, increasing time-to-value

Utilizing BIM before construction begins increases time to value.

Reaching your schedule and estimating goals is often trickier than anticipated due to hold-ups in the preconstruction scheduling and building phases. The use of BIM apps during the inception and planning stages not only speeds up construction and assembly. It can help you to make better logistical decisions about what to order or when to schedule subcontractors to build according to plan.

Because scope creep is one of the biggest culprits behind inflated construction expenses, resource allocation is no small feat. BIM allows you to avoid the need for construction rework halfway through a project’s completion, saving time and money. Because BIM anticipates formerly unexpected costs like IT workload, you can more easily mitigate financial risks.

Anticipating risks limits the scope creep that occurs when construction plans are not simulated beforehand, so BIM’s simulation and modeling abilities should not be overlooked.

BIM connects data-driven activities

Cloud-based data exchange via BIM facilitates interoperability and collaboration, connecting all data-driven activities for a given project.

BIM digitally integrates structured data from blueprints, objects, and other sources and disciplines to represent the built asset across its lifecycle. BIM document management, for example, facilitates access to 2D or 3D plans, blueprints, 3D BIM models, and other types of project documents. During the planning stages, data from 3D visualizations and models capturing real-world data allows you to generate contextual models of the natural and built environment. The design phase incorporates conceptual analysis, while preconstruction informs scheduling and logistics.

BIM app-connected operations and specifications can help guide fabrication by the time the build starts. When construction statistics are shared with contractors beforehand, project leaders enable more cost-effective reconstruction, rework, or demolition—making for more efficient project closure.

BIM is better in the cloud

Cloud transformation is the future of business, and BIM is at the forefront.

Because BIM connects all data-driven building information modeling-related activities to the same place, this cloud-based connection facilitates accessible data exchange for informed, up-to-date team collaboration. Cloud-based BIM apps offer greater transparency and immediacy of access while limiting downtime.

BIM adoption is also more effortless in the cloud since the time required to access data is available in near-real time. Since platform-based environments enable cloud transformation, contractor management software tools and apps become accessible via the same platform—eliminating unnecessary IT workload investments. Team leaders can also control BIM administration, limiting access to sensitive data. Typically, when BIM tools and apps are housed in a cloud-based platform, license compliance updates are automatically included in your contract–minimizing compliance-related delays, app version update delays, and support tickets.

BIM has influenced industry influencers so profoundly there is now a term for the percentage of projects where companies use BIM: “BIM intensity.” Dodge and Autodesk recently found that a company’s level of BIM intensity directly correlates to that organization’s digital transformation maturity level. Luckily, system requirements for implementing cloud-based BIM are minimal, allowing you to allocate resources for project-building challenges on or off the construction site. Joining this mass digital transformation across project-intensive industries requires investment in a cloud-based infrastructure.

Ultimately, cloud-based digital transformation allows your team to manage project controls more efficiently and thoroughly from anywhere—saving your project delivery teams time and money.

53% of BIM buildingSmart’s industry survey respondents cited an uptake in cloud infrastructure as the most significant organizational change over the past two years. 21% of respondents claimed they wanted to move their BIM infrastructure to the cloud but hadn’t yet. This massive shift to common data environments (CDE) indicates an escalation and proliferation of shared data across project-intensive industries, an industry pivot that should not be ignored.

LoadSpring recommends implementing BIM into a cloud-based environment that utilizes advanced BIM solutions like BIM-based project management, BIM document management, and BIM administration. To discover how LoadSpring Cloud Platform helps you harness the power of BIM tools and apps like Navisworks, AutoVue, Revit, OpenBuildings, Powerproject, Cost-OS, Structural Designer, iTWO, and Synchro Software, contact us. As soon as the LoadSpring team becomes familiar with your organization’s unique BIM cloud requirements, we can get you on the road to BIM-powered success—starting now.

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