Of all the innovations being implemented by architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies, building information modeling (BIM) has become one of the most disruptive. Using an intelligent digital representation of a building that integrates structured data from multiple disciplines, the BIM model is giving companies a sophisticated way to improve the quality of deliverables, control costs and improve schedules.
Technology advances are now enabling even more intricate workflows with connected BIM. In connected BIM, the model resides in the cloud and is accessible by the project’s architects, engineers, designers, general contractors (GCs), and trade contractors. Although it is difficult to show a return on investment at first when implementing BIM, more and more companies are discovering how powerful and capable the BIM process enables them to be – especially when they are connected through the cloud.
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Following are three ways connected BIM is changing the AEC industry.
- Digital Transformation
The new technologies around connected BIM enable the conversion of information to a digital format where that capability did not previously exist. Those technologies and innovations include IoT sensors and solutions, scanners, drones, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, mobile devices, and smart equipment, to name just a few. When these technologies are adopted by AEC companies, the results can include better productivity, cost effectiveness and improved schedules. Cloud-connected BIM is increasingly being used in design, fabrication and construction processes.
- Accessibility and Collaboration
Connected BIM makes the BIM model the underpinning of a construction project. It gives project teams access to project files and a multitude of data so they can review, make changes and notify others of updates in real-time. Everyone on the project, notably the teams working on the jobsite, can have immediate insight into changes that affect their work.
In addition, the connected BIM model contains all the project information. It serves as the heart of the project for everyone involved – from architects to subcontractors. With BIM, much of the planning is done ahead of time, which helps avoid errors and clashes that typically would result in rework. The Autodesk Construction Cloud platform is an example of connected BIM, and new benefits for users are being delivered regularly.
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Construction projects have lifecycles. The successful completion of each is essential to the next. In order to segue from one to another, the appropriate teams need to be looped in about the project’s progress. Real-time information is key to making informed decisions, and that comes from the connected BIM model. Even after project handover, the information in the BIM model can be used for facilities management and eventual renovations.
These are three of the most significant changes connected BIM is bringing to the AEC industry. With increased digital transformation, improved collaboration and access to data, and better control over project lifecycles, the AEC industry will continue to build on the benefits of connected BIM.