Don’t forget what you can do with BIM data
Although many construction companies use BIM to ensure efficient building planning, design and construction, it can be difficult to make sure you’re taking full advantage of everything BIM offers.
BIM obviously is an intelligent, 3D model-based process, but it fulfills other purposes too. Over time, additional features have been added to create options such as full-scale project management.
At its most basic level, BIM allows you to develop digital workflows through the use of consistent data. This supports project programming, project coordination and construction — and results in a deliverable at project handover.
For some construction companies, BIM is simply used to coordinate model data from various authoring tools or platforms. In other cases — especially with big companies that choose to make large technology and productivity investments — BIM is used to replace all project drawings and support job site work with mobile devices.
For most contractors, however, BIM use likely falls somewhere in between these two scenarios. Even when large contractors have specific BIM protocols they need to follow to meet project requirements, they may break away from those protocols in certain situations and expect 2D drawings as deliverables (even if they’re expected to maintain a specific BIM level in the project at handover).
Because of how they’re used to working with BIM, it’s also not unusual for contractors to overlook — or forget about — the complete opportunities BIM offers. Open, cloud-based BIM solutions offer a world of connectivity not available to construction companies before. This world tends to be crowded with BIM databases or CDEs (common data environments), which can become overwhelming.