If you are in the construction industry, you may know that projects rarely stay within their projected budgets. While there could be many reasons for it, the main cause is often the ineffectiveness of the traditional project planning and management approach.
The good news is that you can avoid this problem by embracing modern technology like Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM allows all stakeholders in a project to have a grasp of every process of the construction industry beforehand, thus increasing the accuracy of the budgeting and planning process.
If adopted by the majority of stakeholders in the real estate sector, BIM has the potential to supercharge it.
But, What Is Building Information Modeling (BIM)?
When people hear about BIM, most think of 3D CAD. While 3D designs are part of BIM, they are not all there is to it. With BIM, you can do more than see the three-dimensional drawing of a project to see more information about a specific element of a building.
For example, in 3D CAD drawings, you can see where a wall is expected to go in the projects. BIM, on the other hand, helps you go deeper to get more information about the wall, such as the material used, the materials needed to complete the wall, the cost, the estimated time of completing the wall, and the order of installation with other portions of the project.
If you are a small construction company looking to have this technology but unsure where to start, this contractor software for small businesses may be an excellent starting point for you.
How BIM Can Affect the Real Estate Sector
Determining Financial Feasibility
For real estate investors, every project has to be worth their investment. So having the ability to “look into the future” is every real estate investor’s dream, and BIM helps investors achieve that.
BIM helps investors look ahead of the project in terms of costs, timelines, and everything else that is important in determining the feasibility of a project. While creating a virtual project through BIM costs money, it can be nothing compared to the possible losses that could result from poor feasibility.
Also, BIM allows you to test different scenarios and the impact they can have on the cost and the time needed to complete the project. More importantly, it allows you to see the impact of design changes on cost, thus allowing you to price your property appropriately.
Visualizing Project Pre-Construction
It is common for real estate developers to have a mental image of a project, and get it on paper with the help of an architect, only to discover they could have done some things differently mid-project.
Mid-project changes can be extremely disruptive in terms of cost and projected timelines. Unlike drawings on paper, the three-dimensional drawing used in BIM allows you to visualize the entire project before breaking the ground on a construction site.
To achieve this, BIM utilizes 3D visualization and space-use simulations that allow all the parties involved to experience how the space will look and feel after completion. This way, it is easy to identify the areas you think could use some changes before beginning the projects, avoiding mid-project disruption.
Improved Communication and Collaboration
Traditional paper drawing has one major limitation. It is poorly adapted for versioning and collaboration. But with many BIM platforms being cloud-based, a change in design or priorities gets all the parties involved on one page in real-time.
For example, suppose the engineer wants a specific wall to move by a few meters. In that case, they will only need to communicate it to the architect responsible for designing the project. Upon moving the virtual wall, the changes reflect in real-time.
Also, different stakeholders do not have to be in the same location when planning and to collaborate on a project. As long as all of them are added to the project and have a device connected to the internet, they can access the latest project plan version.
Shorter Project Life Cycles
The effectiveness of the planning process determines the time needed to complete a project. Studies show that almost 30 percent of the work performed on a project from day one to the end is re-work. Re-work often results from poor planning and human error in implementing the plan.
With BIM allowing project managers to visualize the entire project before it commences, it is possible to keep poor planning and human error to the minimum, thus shortening a project’s life cycle. Shorter project life cycles mean more client satisfaction and an increased return on investment for you and the homeowners.
Safer Construction Sites
The construction industry records some of the highest worker fatalities. In 2019, 20% of all the workers that died while on the job were in the construction industry, accounting for 1,061 deaths.
By using BIM to pre-visualize a project, project managers can better identify hazards that are likely to pop up in the construction process allowing project managers to plan site logistics ahead of time.
Most accidents that occur during the project will have your construction company liable. Fortunately, it is possible to deflect that liability to your insurer. However, accidents in your sites could increase your insurance premiums by significant margins driving up the cost of doing business.
With BIM helping mitigate such scenarios, it is right to say it can help keep your insurance premiums low and, ultimately, the cost of doing business.
The biggest challenge in the traditional approach to project management is inefficiency in almost all aspects of the project. With the entrant of BIM in the real estate sector, it is possible to eliminate or at least keep these inefficiencies to the minimum, thus supercharging the industry.