The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is on the rise but PropTech specialist Virtual Viewing warns that incorrect implementation can increase construction costs, cause delays and even carry legal consequences.
Recent statistics by Statista* reveal that 73% of UK construction professionals have implemented BIM into their project in 2020. That’s a 4% increase from 2019 and a staggering 60% uplift since 2011 when only 13% of respondents confirmed using BIM. The UK’s use of BIM hasn’t gone unnoticed as it was recently announced that the US intends to adapt the UK’s national BIM development programme in order to comply with the international standard for BIM- ISO19650.
Stewart Bailey, director of Virtual Viewing, says: “BIM has become an essential tool for efficiently managed construction sites, helping teams to create homes that are safe and commercial developments that are functional. Although the industry is incorporating BIM into their sites more frequently, we are witnessing projects where the system hasn’t been used properly by all parties involved. This stops the technology’s capacity from reaching its full potential and can cause a variety of problems along the way.
“In addition to construction delays and increased costs caused by poor communication between teams, companies must be aware that any data gap can cause the BIM model to be outdated. This can result in the final development differing from the originally approved plans and building permission. After the passing of the new Building Safety Bill, this could be a criminal offence.”
To maximise your BIM performance, Bailey shares his Top 3 Tip
1. BIM Beyond Build
An often overlooked key USP of BIM is the array of benefits this technology holds for the future tenant of the property. Not only does a correctly designed BIM structure benefit the construction process, it also functions as an information hub for the property’s end user. Your BIM system could hold all of the property’s important documents such as warranties, contracts and even feature digital home user guides. Virtual Viewing’s clients who have incorporated this in their BIM for residential projects confirm that it has contributed to buyers feeling more confident about the project and effectively boosted sales.
At the same time, giving the owners of the property a 3D model protects you from unfair post-construction law suits as the model acts as direct proof of your work and could help identify where any problem with the build may have originated instead.
2. Joined Effort
To maximise the productivity level of your BIM, Virtual Viewing advises giving all relevant parties involved in the project access to the platform. This is the only way to ensure that everyone feeds progress updates into the system from their side in order to avoid problems further down the line. For example, if the design team were to develop a plan without considering updates from the construction team such as site conditions and material availability, it could have dire consequences on the success rate and construction timeline. Communication between teams is therefore essential and fully implemented BIM can offer exactly that.
3. BIM Managers
To avoid any such hiccups in communications, it’s crucial to have a BIM Manager on board who is capable of overseeing the whole construction progress whilst monitoring all parties involved. Companies often make the mistake of not maximising the use of their BIM Manager to ensure that responsibilities are clarified from the very beginning – a good EIR (Employer’s Information Requirements) document is essential. A good BIM Manager will be able to truly maximise your BIM performance.
One of Virtual Viewing’s apps is called SlimBIM2go™; a revolution in the application of BIM. Through advanced model processing SlimBIM2go™ uses a stripped-down version of your BIM model. The clever process and programming techniques allow you to simplify BIM models and make it fully interactive on mobile or tablet devices. To find out more, visit www.virtualviewing.co.uk or call the team on +44 (0) 203 714 8710.