Why would it be a good idea to use BIM for your next infrastructure project?
The scale and the complexities that are involved in some of the modern infrastructure projects is at times staggering. Governments across the globe are now pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure projects which involve roads, tunnels, bridges, dams, stadiums etc. And all this is taking place in a timeframe that is quite unbelievable. Looking at the speed, complexity and the amount of money involved it is almost redundant to state how valuable BIM could get for these projects.
Building Information Modeling is a powerful methodology that provides the architects, engineers and designers all the tools they would need to plan, design, construct and manage buildings. To a great extent the capabilities of BIM have been restricted to vertical construction like residential and commercial buildings. However, recently its importance has also been realized in the field of infrastructure. Below we look at how the various advantages of BIM will translate across different stages of an infrastructure project.
1. BIM for Infrastructure at planning and designing stage:
The tools provided by BIM for planning and design become valuable right from the onset when it comes to infrastructure projects. It can allow architects and engineers to map out infrastructure design that would maximize the usage of available land. Its clash detection and 3D visualization capabilities also allow them to recognize any challenges that would arise with the proposed design. Those challenges and errors could be identified and risk could be mitigated. It also provides tools for proper collaboration between the stakeholders allowing infrastructure companies to better present their ideas to the stakeholders. It also allows the various members of the team to effectively communicate increasing productivity and reducing miscommunication.
2. BIM for better control over cost and time:
The two key aspects when it comes infrastructure projects that could go out of control are time and money. Infrastructure projects owing to their size and complexities often end up spanning years. Here, it is important to properly schedule as many aspects of the project as possible. Similarly, there is considerable amount of money involved in these projects which needs to be accounted for. Moreover, a lot of times the infrastructure projects are under media and governmental scrutiny where they can’t afford to mess up on any aspect especially the time and cost factor. Using BIM allows project managers to gain better control over cost and time aspect of the project right from the conception. 4D BIM links all time and schedule related information to the 3D model so that any workflow errors can be detected and project timeline can be maintained. In the case of 5D BIM cost can be connected to quantities so that any change in quantities is automatically updated in terms of cost. This way throughout the project the aspect of cost can be regulated and controlled.
3. BIM for Facility Management
The work never ends with the construction of the infrastructure as the very structure needs to be thoroughly maintained. Here also BIM could be very useful. BIM models that were used for construction can be updated to reflect the onsite changes and as-built models can be created. These as-built model provides all the information like the location of components, the manufacturer’s details, serial numbers etc. So the facility managers have a handy database which they can refer to and quickly carry out their scheduled maintenance tasks, monitor for updates and ever make any repairs. Using BIM also allows to carry out regular energy analysis to ensure the structure’s sustainability. Proper management of infrastructure is extremely important because any mistakes or ignored problems could cause lot of money and resources or in worst case it could have adverse repercussions. Thus, once constructed using BIM could help in ensuring effective facility management.
4. Scan to BIM for renovation:
Existing infrastructure around world is today in need to repair and renovation. This includes roads, bridges, water treatment plants, damns etc. It would be quite risky and error prone to go into it via more conventional methods. Scan to BIM Services provides the exact information about the infrastructure’s conditions so that it becomes possible for engineers to properly plan and design the infrastructure project. A lot of times along with renovation the scope of project also involves extension of the same. Here, the engineers must get a holistic view of the entire existing network which includes electrical lines, wastewater pipelines, gas lines etc. so that there are no clashes between the proposed design and existing facilities. Finally, it also provides the more conventional BIM deliverables stated above ensuring that the project is completed with minimal errors and on time and budget.