Course : HND in Construction and the Built Environment


In the modern construction industry, the use of latest technologies like Building Information Modelling (BIM) has increased to a wide extent. Despite its presence in the industry for more than a decade, this technology has received immense popularity over the past 4 to 5 years (Papadonikolaki, van Oel and Kagioglou, 2019). This digital tool is beneficial for the construction in work like building, designing and even team management. For this reason, it is a widely used and accepted digital tool by contractors and engineers. BIM also increases the efficacy of resource management and worker's job management. Civil engineers consider it as a software tool that helps them in designing and tallying the project through the 3D model. In the present report, there is clear description on uses of BIM, key terms, and the BIM execution plan.

Unit 14 Building Information Modelling

Assignment - BIM: Concepts and Context

An explanation of the key terms and definitions in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how it relates to the construction industry.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the process of developing and managing the construction project related information throughout the project life cycle. It includes the digital description of every element of the building asset like the utilities, terrain and buildings of the construction project, which can be easily retrieved during the project. The use of a digital based BIM allows those people who interact with the building project to optimising their actions and eventually results in a greater lifetime value for the complete asset. According to (Gamil and Rahman, 2019), BIM is the process of information management in a team, where all the members are required to work according to similar standards. It can create value for the combined effort of technology people and methods used in building infrastructures. It is to be noted that through the use of BIM in building projects, the construction industry is undergoing a drastic digital revolution. It is the BIM which is able to bring together all the information related to every component of the building under a single platform and makes it possible for the related people with the project to easily assess that information for any purpose (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019; Mahamadu et al., 2019). For example, the project engineer or contractor usually need to access this information for integrating different aspects of the design more effectively. Hence, it Is the risk of any discrepancies or errors in the overall project, thereby minimises the abortive costs.

The use of this technology facilitates accurate, timely, and related information. This information is not only in the design and construction phase but also in the operational phase of the infrastructure's lifecycle, which helps the business owners to improve the efficiency of the facility operations (Georgiadou, 2019). The life cycle data stored as BIM information is also considered valuable to forecast the continuing capital improvement costs. Apart from this some other and see how forms of benefits of using BIM system is improved space management, streamlined maintenance, economical retrofits and renovations, improved project life cycle management, and efficient use of energy (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019). The data related to building equipment that is stored in the BIM model can help in eliminating the excess effort which is required for populating the maintenance system. In addition to this, BIM is also responsible for the analysis and comparison of different energy alternatives which can help the project managers to minimize environmental effects and operational expenses. Moreover, BIM offers a three-dimensional of the building which helps to gain a better understanding of the existing condition (Suwal and Singh, 2018). As a result of this accurate and dependable information, the cost and complexity involved in the renovation and retrofitting of the existing projects reduce. It becomes easier on the part of contractors and engineers to implement any sudden or surprise change Which may be during the operational or completed phase of the project. The BIM model also allows the building design professionals to help the owners understand The advantage of investing in materials and systems, which may be costly initially but have a better outcome with the growing age of the building (Abbasnejad et al., 2020). It is noted that the management of life cycle data for a building project is highly necessary to forecast the ongoing capital improvement cost (Fargnoli and Lombardi, 2020).

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An explanation of the terms that support BIM dimensions and the key themes surrounding BIM.

In the BIM software, the designers can generate 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, and 7D based building designs. One of the significant terms in BIM is the BIM Execution Plan (BEP) which is essential for providing the management of information related to the building project. The BEP is a plan which is developed by the suppliers for explaining the process of conducting the information modeling aspects of a building project. It acts as a foundation framework for ensuring the successful and effective deployment of the advanced design technologies for the BIM enabled building project (Liu et al., 2019). It is responsible for optimising work and model flow throughout the project process, in contrast with the optimization of siloed interest. This plan comprises of 6 different; introduction, an overview of the BEP, identifying goals and benefits of BIM, designing the BIM execution process, defining the software to be used, and concluding with the additional required resources (Fargnoli and Lombardi, 2020).

Another key terminology used in BIM is Common Data Environment (CDE) which is the central repository for storing the construction project related data created by BIM. It is noteworthy that the contents in CDE are not only limited to elements created within the BIM, rather it comprises the documentation, graphical model and non-graphical model. The CDE is the single source of data that is utilised for gathering, managing and disseminating all these above-mentioned Information which is either developed through BIM or conventional data method. It is the CDE that makes it possible for recording, distributing and resolving all the key changes which are conducted through BIM, which is usually carried out through a connected system like the Internet or Internet over the cloud system (Liu et al., 2019). Some of the commonly used CDE in BIM for most of the advanced construction projects are Autodesk BIM 360, Trimble Connect, Bentley ProjectWise, Procore, Techture planBIM, Allplan and Bimplus (Chan, Olawumi and Ho, 2019a).

Similarly, the Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) is a form of non-patented information for publishing the subset of BIM, thereby making it different from the geometric information. It is also considered as an international standard related to building data exchange. it is usually used for the handover of product data from the construction to the operation phase (Liu et al., 2019). It is only concerned with the structure and format of the data and hence is considered as the starting point to define and accomplish the information exchange requirements (Antwi-Afari et al., 2018).

Another key term is the Periodic table used in BIM, which is responsible for documenting all the required stages for closer collaboration of both people and processes through the use of technology, efficient tools and standards. The periodic table reflects the overall workflow and process involved in the BIM . It offers easy-to-follow, perfect visual reference, and ideal for sharing (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019).

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An analysis of the importance of BIM, the ways in which it can be utilised and how key terms should inform all members of a project team.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become a widely used construction tool among architects, designers, engineers, and contractors to allow the free involvement of collaborators clients and other stakeholders in the overall design and development process of the built environment from the starting to the end phase. It is not only responsible for saving time and money but also ensures that the project data is stored securely. This innovative design technique includes a combination of software and design processes which allows developing data-rich 3-D model of the infrastructures. Hence, it is considered to be one of the most efficient ways of collaborating the development of building designs resulting to increased efficiency and improved design. BIM is different from computer aided design (CAD) systems, CAD allows to draw each model individually while BIM provides the opportunity to create a 3D model of the building (Chan, Olawumi and Ho, 2019b). The most amazing thing about using BIM Is that it allows to generation of consistent outputs that are derived from the same model. With the integration of virtual reality with the BIM model, the viewer can see ad experience the actual design model which makes it to feel like being in the real building. It allows coordinating the design with every member involved in the project. In case, the members associated with the project belong to different organizations, then the BIM helps in coordinating all these members to complete the project within the specified timeframe. It is because all of them are working with the same set of BIM models. It is through this technology, architects, structural engineers, builders, contractors, and owners can view different pieces of information according to their requirement and hence BIM Improve team collaboration as well as workflow efficiency in the construction industry (Liu et al., 2019). BIM offers all these above mentioned specialists Access information in their required format without the need to duplicate the data. Utilization of a single data set ensures that any changes made in one format will be automatically transmitted throughout the complete system. Hence, this technology in the construction industry embraces greater iteration during the design phase. the project teams are able to work co-ordinately and collaboratively, Without the need to repeatedly cross-checking the files and documents (Saka and Chan, 2020). In addition to this, the BIM database is responsible for storing of architectural and design related data which can be further utilised for 3D modeling and software simulations. In this frame of reference, it is also responsible for adding paints to wall, including interior features, investigating the impact of earthquake and testing the structural visibility. For all these benefits, The UK government announced the mandatory requirement of BIM level 2 in April 2016 for all the publicly funded construction projects (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019).

Through the use of BIM Execution Plan (BEP), it becomes easier for the client's selection process. It takes into consideration the BIM capability of the contractor while hiring them for the building project. The pre-contract BEP Responsible for outlining the tentative plan for project development, while they post-contract BEP Discusses the specific strategy included in project deliverables. Similarly, the Common Data Environment (CDE) Is the digital collaborative platform where all the team members can assess the stored project information. All the team members have the right to assess and make changes wherever necessary, thereby reducing the risk of miscommunication and duplication (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019).

A critical analysis of the impact of BIM on construction and how it can positively affect the phases of a project.

Construction projects Include includes 3 major project life cycle phases; design, construction and operation. BIM is considered as an ideal tool to digitally represent data repository of all the data related to the building life cycle. Through this innovative technology, contactors and designers are able to manage and store data in accordance to the phase of the construction phase, which allows making proper use of the project information in the future. In the design phase, the D-BIM is used for storing the data which is largely related to the activities in the design process. It is to be noted that the design phase is forecast on demonstrating the construction intention of the clients. The design work required a multi-disciplinary collaborative approach which is possible through the use of BIM (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019). The primary activities in the design phase which is assisted by the BIM are to organise, design and signing the bidding and contract related documents. The objective behind using BIM ensures that the information can be utilised by multiple users, thereby enabling interdisciplinary collaboration and improving operational efficiency. In the construction phase, the C-BIM is used for storing the relevant information (Ahankoob, Manley and Abbasnejad, 2019; Saka and Chan, 2020). The information in C-BIM is considered as more abundant than the D-BIM As the control and management of the construction project is a dynamic approach. In the construction phase, the BIM is implemented in the sub-phases like preparation, construction, handover and defective obligation. In the preparation phase, the prime objective is to obtain key information regarding regulations and technical standards and construction permits. Finally, the operation phase emphasises on the maintenance of the construction projects. Efficient operation management will not only facilitate with a comfortable environment but also ensures for the achievement of sustainable activities with long-term performance of the facilities (Liu et al., 2019). Through the use of BIM, the designer, contractor, and owner can keep track of their performance. The major work in the operation phase which is handled by the BIM software are Maintaining building and facilities, regular maintenance of construction equipment, public security management, formulation of rules and regulations, and employees file management (Saka and Chan, 2020).

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A BIM execution plan, critically evaluated and showing an understanding of BIM dimensions' influence on a project.

To effectively implement BIM, it is necessary to develop a detailed and elaborate execution plan which is known as the BIM execution plan (BEP). It illustrates the overall vision oh of the implementation process where the team can be guided throughout the project process. it is to be noted that BEP is required to be developed in the early stage of the project and should be regularly updated when any significant changes are implemented. the major benefit of using BEP is to provide a clear understanding and communication for all parties related to the strategic goal of implementing BIM in the project (Liu et al., 2019). Moreover, the project team is also able to design an execution process which is sweet table for the business practice of each member. The plan acts as a benchmark to guide and make understand the process for those participants who will be joining the project in the future. The procedure involved in BIM project execution planning are as follows:

Identifying BIM goals and uses - In this step, it is essential to define the project and its related team value which is possible through the recognition and understanding of BIM goals and uses.

Design BIM project execution process - Here, the focus is on developing a process that encompasses the task supported by BIM, and also the information exchanges.

Developing Information exchanges - It focuses on developing the information content and highlighting the responsible party for each information exchange.

Defining supporting infrastructure for BIM implementation - In this step, Reject infrastructure is defined which is required for supporting the developed BIM process. After identifying the benefits of using BIM for the project, the BIM deliverables are defined and the team are required to work according to the proposed execution plan.

Through the effective implementation of the BEP, the five dimensions of BIM; 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, and 7D of the building project can be generated with minimum cost and time.

In summary, the report highlights the key benefits of using BIM in the construction industry. It is concluded that BIM models are considered as a foundation for efficient space and resource management, which ultimately helps the facility professional to minimize major costs and time in the real estate industry. It is identified that before the implementation of BIM, there should be a detailed BIM execution plan which will set a base for all the team members. Hence, the BIM-based design model provides the complete cycle of the construction project in a virtual manner.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) FAQ in Construction

  • What is BIM?
  • How is BIM impacting the construction industry?
  • What are the core concepts of BIM?
  • What are the benefits of using BIM?
  • Is BIM difficult to learn?

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