3 Major Benefits from Optimizing Your BIM Workflows
4 March 2022Architecture and Engineering, Construction, RevitBIM, bim workflows, competitive advantage, optimization
For many architecture and engineering firms adopting building information modeling (BIM) in the past ten years, it hasn’t been a slam dunk. New technology continues to bring new processes and require new skillsets of design professionals.
BIM adoption generally has been driven by the need for more efficient processes and the desire to remain competitive. A 2017 Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Report stated that over half of companies that have adopted and optimized BIM found they had a positive return on that investment; another 15% said they broke even.
In the Applied Software webinar, “A Guide to Intentionally Optimizing BIM Workflows,” renowned Revit expert Lance Kirby explained that BIM within a company is a larger ecosystem than just the tools (i.e. Revit). It enables the typical deliverables plus other services.
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Many companies are turning to performance-based metrics to guide their workflow changes. Companies may look to optimize their BIM process for several reasons:
- They are waiting to see the benefits as they implement BIM-based workflows.
- They don’t feel like they are efficient or effective in the process, which can literally take years.
- They are concerned about what they are doing versus how they are doing.
- They want to further extend the capabilities of their top investment, people, which could mean offering additional services.
Kirby reminded that companies “need to be intentional” when implementing BIM. It is a delivery mechanism you invest in. When you optimize your use of the BIM process, you optimize your company’s competency in delivering work. He added, companies “need to constantly improve or fall behind.”
Kirby described three major benefits of BIM to a business:
- Establishing a consistent and repeatable project delivery process.
This includes providing teams with templated deliverables and applying building data to object-driven modeling. The key is knowing what is important and applying the data to that. Consistent good data leads to good models and good projects. Good project delivery also involves the ability to manage and measure the use of standards. You should determine how they are affecting your teams. Standards should not get in the way of people doing their jobs. BIM tools automate error checking during and post-project. Most companies that had a positive return on BIM reported their top benefit was the reduction in conflicts, field coordination issues and changes during construction. In addition, 3D visualization communicates to a project partner better than a 2D diagram.
- Improving your ability to show inexperienced staff how projects go together.
Onboarding new employees is easier with BIM. Using 3D, it’s easier to simulate the geometry of a building. The BIM tools are geared toward workflows. Content is configured in standard industry conventions. Projects are shared with multiple team members, allowing more eyes on the work. Each person’s work is part of the bigger picture, enabling teachable moments.
- Offering services beyond typical capabilities.
BIM enhances the ability to coordinate projects among multiple field teams. There are additional uses you can get people to buy into, extending your ability to derive revenues as a result of your BIM optimization. Visualization is one way to show the owner different facets of the project, as the model can produce different views as needed. In addition, your company can do environmental analyses, simulation, costing, solar studies, code analysis, and other services. As-built modeling can lead to products that have value to an owner (i.e. digital twins).
As companies implement and optimize BIM processes and tools, their investment increases their competency to deliver work that distinguishes them from their competitors and helps them continuously improve.
If you want to explore ways you can optimize your BIM process, contact Applied Software today.