The building and construction industry hasn’t always been eager to adopt new technologies. But as the sector fell behind in the fast-paced digital economy, this trend is starting to reverse.
Digital services like building information modeling (BIM) are becoming industry standards, but they can serve more than just construction.
BIM is a suite of tools that enables teams to create, analyse, and edit 3D digital project models. Like in many areas where virtual documents have replaced paper copies, it brings a wealth of productivity and versatility benefits. Its adoption has skyrocketed in recent years, but the industry may not be taking full advantage of it.
While more than 70% of architects, engineers, and contractors have used BIM in their projects, adoption after construction isn’t as high. People typically see these programs as construction tools, but they can do more. After project completion, BIM can continue to bring value through use in property management.
Work in the building industry doesn’t stop after construction, so why should BIM? If more property managers embraced these tools, they could see considerable returns on investment. Here’s a closer look.
To understand how BIM can aid property managers, it helps to know how construction teams use it. Perhaps the most crucial benefit of BIM is that it makes the design and building process far more efficient. Since large construction projects typically take 20% longer to complete than scheduled, efficiency is critical.
Teams can make and share digital models far more quickly than paper blueprints, which cuts down on time. Any stakeholders can access them at any time, so there’s less of a risk of miscommunication, too. When everyone is on the same page from day one, the design and construction process can go on with less disruption.
BIM also offers more visibility than traditional methods. Many BIM programs come with a feature called clash detection, which highlights potential problems with a model. If something doesn’t fit or violates a building code, stakeholders can see and resolve the issue before construction, thereby avoiding rework.
Clash detection can also highlight problems with workflows, further ensuring efficiency. Since these models provide a single source of truth, everyone involved can see these clashes as they arise. Different stakeholders can handle the problems in their area of expertise, and teams can ensure a solution doesn’t create another issue in turn.
These benefits aren’t just theoretical, either. According to one study, 75% of BIM adopters have reported a positive return on investment. Property managers should take advantage of these advantages too.