BIM Adoption - Why Contractors Should Have Affirmative Approach?

If you are a general contractor, BIM is a proven tool to reduce project delivery and keep construction projects under budget.

Building information modeling can be really useful to contractors, however making the right use of information, and populating 3D models with new level of details is important. So what kind of information can it be? Well! For 10 different components that an architect sees, the contractor sees 100 different components and also the material of these components and how they come together to couple into a single component. To put it in a single word, ‘Constructability’ is what a contractor is concerned with- and the purpose is to make BIM 4D and BIM 5D i.e. construction scheduling and cost estimation easy and efficient.

What is a 3D constructible model?

Lack of details can limit the way a contractor can use a 3D model to improve productivity and increase profitability. A 3D constructible model contains in depth details about how a particular component can be constructed; it can help a contractor understand and investigate how each sub assembly and assembly is built and how it has an impact of the surrounding trades. A design intent model can be segregated into exact details containing individual concrete pours for slabs, individual cast for concrete slabs, individual partitions that are affixed together to construct walls, etc. The model hence represents how two merging components or two individual objects that come together will be constructed on field.

Autodesk Revit 2016 has several new features that help contractors use the technology to gain better understanding how each element of a building is designed and how it needs to be built/assembled/fabricated/constructed.

New features in Autodesk Revit 2016 for contractors

The new features introduced with Revit 2016 allow contractors to isolate selected building components for unobstructed 3D viewing. A component and its subcomponents can be seen in an exploded view (each element can be viewed disjoint from the other) for better understanding of how these sub components fit together (the means and method) to form a single component. There are also other features like fabrication part placement and structural engineering enhancements that enable LOD 400 so that MEP design and installation can be carried out efficiently.

Why should contractors use BIM?

As I mentioned earlier, BIM can provide 3D constructible models to contractors that help them increase productivity and profitability.

A general contractor is responsible for the means and methods of construction, in addition to construction coordination. He can access project specific documents and provide all the material labor and equipment required for construction. A general contractor may also hire sub contractors to coordinate the construction activities on site. As a contractor or a sub contractor, the work usually involves construction management and is subject to massive investments in terms of time and money.

A consistent and constructible BIM 4D and 5D model is of great help. Building information modeling for efficient constructability enables contractors to plan and manage construction activities under stringent schedules. It also helps quantity surveyors gather accurate material quantity and hence enable cost estimator make accurate estimations. These professionals in turn help the contractor with information that can provide great insight into bids, proposals and tender documents in addition to project scheduling and planning.

BIM 4D enables better and more detailed simulations for improved analysis and shared understanding and hence using BIM enabled 3D constructible models for planning and execution of projects can have a great impact on the project outcomes. Thinking about constructability, enables contractors explore the best possible options before taking the project on-site, and this results in higher control over both - the construction schedules and costs – and hence the project outcomes.

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