BIM and 3D Modeling: How They Keep Your Project Lean and On Schedule
Modern construction projects are often stressed by multiple demands on the contractor. Compressed schedules, limited labor resources, budget restrictions and the ever-present need to do more with less present substantial challenges to completing projects correctly, on time and within budget. Construction professionals who want to keep their projects lean, efficient and on schedule can benefit tremendously from the use of BIM and 3D modeling technology.
What is BIM and 3D modeling?
BIM, or building information modeling, is a process used to electronically visualize, evaluate and modify building components and construction projects. Using sophisticated computer software, BIM gives planners, designers, coordinators and builders a detailed representation of the elements of a construction project, how they interrelate and how they’ll look when the project is completed.
BIM uses 3D modeling to achieve its results. 3D modeling is the visual rendering of buildings and construction features as three-dimensional images on a computer screen. The computer-generated images give building professionals accurate representations of the project and its surroundings. This allows plans to be made, risks identified and problems detected and solved before any physical construction is actually done. Users can:
- Visualize what a completed building or another construction project will look like in three-dimensional space
- Check how a building project will fit in with its surroundings, including other buildings, landscaping and the natural environment
- Visualize and assess the placement of pipes, electrical wiring, ductwork and other necessary system components to achieve a practical layout, make the best use of available space and prevent the various systems from blocking or interfering with each other
- Change perspectives to see what a building or project will look like from different angles
- Add, remove or alter construction features to see how the project will look with these changes
- Generate a “walk-through” that provides the ability to explore and examine a building project inside and out from the perspective of workers or users
Benefits of BIM and 3D modeling
BIM and 3D modeling contribute substantially to keeping a construction project within budget and on schedule, producing benefits such as:
- Increased productivity: BIM and 3D modeling allow easier use of lower-cost prefabricated components and systems. Overall project schedules, plus smaller-scale schedules for off-site fabrication and material delivery, can be improved by knowing what will be needed when during the various construction phases. Material deliveries can be made more precise by ensuring supplies and components are sent exactly where and when they’re needed.
- Cost reductions: Fewer mistakes are made during on-site construction and fabrication, since options have already been analyzed in the BIM and 3D modeling systems. This prevents cost overruns, errors that must be redone and waste of time and materials correcting problems. Just-in-time delivery of materials, based on needs calculated through BIM systems, reduces the need for storage space and lets material be handled only once, saving costly time and labor resources.
- Easier installation: Prefabricated systems and other building components are easier to install if their placement and installation have already been planned using BIM and 3D modeling procedures. Complexities of the project can be analyzed and resolved in the BIM system, reducing or eliminating on-site problems with difficult angles, tight spaces, misplaced components, incorrectly sized pieces or similar issues.
- Improved site safety: Using BIM and 3D modeling to identify components that can be prefabricated off-site decreases the need for risky on-site procedures such as arc welding. Areas of potential physical risk to workers can be identified using 3D models of the project and site.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about the importance of BIM and 3D modeling to new construction and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
Image Credit: *CQ*