With the rising costs of production today, both design teams and builders are forced to look for better, more efficient ways to build projects on time, and on budget.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) can be traced back to its origin in the mid-1980s and has risen in popularity within the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industries.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is so much more than a technology—it’s a complex design and construction process that helps both design teams and builders create innovative buildings of the future.
But what are the benefits of BIM?
Traditional design pre-BIM was mainly done in a 2D plain. Because of this it was easier to not “see” what was wrong before the construction team started building. According to Propeller Aero, as reported on October 10, 2021, the ten most cost overruns on construction projects included:

Most Common Causes of Cost Overrun:

  • Inaccurate project estimates / project scope
  • Project design errors
  • Unforeseen project changes
  • Administration errors
  • Poor communication
  • Underestimating the timeline required
Cost Overrun

Ten Construction Cost Overrun Statistics:

1: Nine out of ten projects experience cost overrun

The vast majority of construction projects completed in twenty countries over the course of a 70-year period—85%, to be exact! —experienced cost overrun. The overall average overrun was 28%. The company that can nail the estimate process and keep a project running on budget will therefore have an enormous advantage over the competition.

2: In three years studied, only 31% of all projects came within 10% of their budget

Just 25% of projects came within 10% of their original deadlines over that same time period.

3: Large projects take 20% longer to finish than expected, and are up to 80% over budget

The same McKinsey study found that construction productivity has declined in some markets since the 1990s.

4: Construction material costs rose by 10% in 2019

The 10% rise in material costs far exceeds the overall inflation rate of 1.8% in 2019. It also means that efficiency with material quantities is more important than ever. The stakes of waste grow increasingly higher year over year.

5: Poor communication is the root cause of project failure one third of the time

A PMI study found that poor communication leads to one third of construction project failures. In this study, “failure” meant overrun of cost or timeline (or both). The same study found that communication problems had a negative impact on projects more than half the time.

6: 45% of construction professionals report spending more time than expected on non-optimal activities

What were these non-optimal activities? The biggest culprits were fixing mistakes, looking for project data, and managing conflict resolution.

7: 35% of construction professionals’ time is spent on non-productive activities

This means that over 14 hours per week are wasted on unproductive activities like looking for project information, resolving conflicts, and managing mistakes and rework.

8: Productivity changes could save the industry $1.63 trillion per year

According to McKinsey, boosting productivity could save nearly $1.7 trillion annually. That’s a huge impact from tidying up roughly 14 hours of work each week per person!

9: 75% of construction companies provide employees with mobile devices—but only 21.7% actively use mobile apps

Speaking of productivity gaps, that’s a huge, missed opportunity. The vast majority of companies purchase and supply their PMs and field superintendents with mobile devices, but less than a quarter use three or more mobile apps on projects.

10: 61% of respondents report that technology reduced project error

With project cost overrun abounding, what can companies do to improve performance and shore up their bottom line? We may be biased, but the numbers don’t lie. 61% reported that technology processes reduced project error.

Brighter days ahead

Here’s a bonus stat that should leave things on a cheery note—because cost overrun doesn’t have to be part of the new normal for construction. According to the World Economic Forum, full-scale digitization could save $1.2 trillion in the Design & Engineering and Construction phases alone.
There’s an enormous opportunity for construction companies to cast off inefficient processes in exchange for new ones by making use of technology. (Aero, 2021) [1]

Imagine it, Draw it, See It, Build it.

IMAGIN IT, SEE IT, BUILD IT
According to the SmartMarket Report created by DODGE Data & Analytics 2020[2] one of the major benefits of utilizing BIM for the construction process is the opportunity for prefabrication. “Prefabrication of single and multi-trade assemblies can be used on a variety of building types. “Thus, saving on installation time and creating less waste.
Prefabrication is the building of single and multi-trade assemblies off site in a closed environment sheltered for the outside elements which creates a much easier environment to control production, material waste, and safety.
The prefabricated assemblies can then be shipped or delivered to the jobsite and be installed in hours verses days. This also allows for a better capability to track and inventory parts otherwise lost in the field during construction.
BIM is being incorporated in many projects around the world by both large and small companies, and rightfully so. As adoption continues, companies continue to see additional benefits of BIM, all of which are vital to the success and maximizing productivity throughout a project.
The BIM process is most commonly used in large and small construction industries such as the architectural sector, engineering sector, and the construction sector.

What are the benefits of BIM?

Now all this begs the question, what are the actual benefits of BIM? The benefits of using BIM tools and processes can never be exaggerated. Apart from the fact that it enables construction companies to execute error-free projects, the benefits seem to be endless, but here are a few of the most noticeable one:
More accurate and streamlined planning
Full project visualization
Higher-quality output
Reduced errors and rework
Reduced the delay in completing a project
Easy, real-time access to building information
Improved communication across teams
Better cost assessments
Ability to monitor changes
Lowers risks and costs to execute projects
Early identification and mitigation of clashes
Monitor and track progress during construction
Increase productivity, efficiency and accountability
Improve occupational safety and health.
Competitiveness – better projects and more bids.
Let us discuss the top 10 BIM benefits in detail.
Makes planning more precise

Makes planning more precise

Unlike the traditional method of using computer spreadsheets, BIM helps collect and automate construction information from the model. This means that manual works that often include human error are replaced by automated data generation. Here are some common instances of how BIM helps in daily construction:
It helps extract or export material information from types of material needed, quality, quantity and length, all from the 3D model.
It also helps accurately determine cost estimation. This is generally derived from the list of materials, and other information that is on the model.
The expenses and the necessary payments during construction are also determined using BIM tools and processes.
Early detection of a collision
No matter how good a model looks, there is still a chance that it is not accurate to reality. This means that while the construction model may look perfect, site conditions will ultimately be the one to verify it. This is exactly where the BIM comes in. BIM helps flush out flaws in the model – flaws such as potential clashes between the electrical cables, sewer pipes, etc.

Project visualization

This benefit of BIM refers to project presentation. There are times when clients sketch how he/she wants their building project to look like, but at times, the design concepts in their drawings are often unclear, even to the most qualified employees. BIM enables the creation of 3D models for easy visualization, making the presentation easier.

Higher-quality work

To produce a high-quality construction project, a well synchronized and reliable model is needed. This can be achieved if construction workers collaborate with the developers distributing the BIM tools so that the whole project can be viewed in real-time, and be better executed.

Access to building information is made easy

As people now store information on cloud servers, the era of storing information or documents in a local disk is gone. The main reason why cloud storage is more compelling is due to the fact that the building information stored can be accessed in any part of the world by authorized personnel. Not only this, but it also helps store data indefinitely, thereby preventing data loss.

Reduction in errors and the delay in completing a project

By using BIM tools, there is a massive reduction in the number of errors in models and on the construction site. Errors occur when design offices transfer 3D models through more manual processes, such as the use of paper. BIM eliminates these issues by digitizing the information and data transfer process.

Low risk and cost in executing the projects

A recent study has shown that almost 75% of construction companies leveraging BIM have seen major cost-savings. For example, by reviewing the project at an early stage, they are able to reduce the number of unused building materials and avoid wastage. Many have also found that BIM also helps to reduce labor expenses.

Competitiveness

It should not come as a surprise that the companies with more innovative ideas and skills get hired more frequently. BIM technology is not an innovation fo the future; it is already here. The adoption of BIM within construction companies is increasing and is being used as a differentiator in the industry due to the benefits throughout the project lifecycle, including post-construction and facility management.

Increase in productivity

Productivity in the building sector has increased over the years since the introduction of the BIM process and accompanying software. The increase in productivity has been made possible by automating tasks, introducing new technology into the industry, and the expansion of BIM practices and competency.

Improves occupational safety and health(OSH)

Although it’s important to build, it is also vital that you build safely. Before venturing into any building projects, the safety of the workers should always take precedent. BIM can also help in occupational safety and health. Before undertaking a difficult task, a risk and job safety analysis (JSA) is generally required.

Conclusion

The numerous benefits of BIM have made the use of its tools a necessity for big and small construction companies. Not only does it help to detect errors in a building model, but it also guarantees success and better outcomes on any construction project. It is indeed a technological evolution in construction.

Far from being a mere software, BIM is a comprehensive process for creating, managing and using the entirety of the data about a specific project. That process culminates in an output referred to as a Building Information Model, which includes the digital parameters for every aspect of the physical project.

[1] Propeller Aero/ 10 Construction Project Cost Overrun Statistics You Need to Hear/ PropellerAero.com/ 25.10.2021/ https://www.propelleraero.com/blog/10-construction-project-cost-overrun-statistics-you-need-to-hear/Accessed 05/03/22

[2] DODGE Data & Analytics/ Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020/construction.com/2020/ https://www.construction.com/toolkit/reports/prefabrication-modular-construction-2020/Accessed 05/03/2021