6 BIM Questions and Answers to Help You Decide
Most of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry now recognise the benefits of Building Information Modelling (BIM).
This is possibly more apparent in the UK, where there is relatively strict legislation for using BIM to optimise publicly funded construction projects.
However, while they recognise the benefits of BIM, not everyone has truly adopted the technology yet. There is a lot of noise surrounding the topic and an ever growing array of software. You need to make sure you ask the right questions to work out how it can benefit you.
Without asking the right questions, a lot of AEC professionals end up purchasing software that doesn’t work for them. Or worse of all, they blame the software that was the wrong fit for them and opt out of using BIM altogether. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of BIM questions and answers to help you and your company decide if it’s right for you…
Question 1: Do I Really Need BIM?
While the companies we at Kreo have spoken to have told us that they are convinced of the need for BIM, you will still come across those who think they do not really need BIM. We believe that all AEC professionals should use BIM and we have written several times about the benefits.
The question you should really ask, instead of whether you should use BIM, is: “Can I really afford to fall behind my industry?”. As BIM becomes more commonplace and develops into an industry standard practice, will you risk losing out to your competitors?
BIM allows for an infinitely more efficient way of working. It’s important to remember that, once upon a time, our industry professionals were asking themselves, “Do I really need CAD?”.
This might have seemed like a reasonable question at the time but, years on, those who answered “no” have long disappeared. As with all industries of our time, if you do not keep up with technology, you will get left behind. The answer to this first question is really "yes", in order for our other BIM questions and answers to have any relevance.
Question 2: What Will I Be Using BIM For?
Once you ready (and have convinced your company) to start implementing BIM, you should identify where your projects could benefit most from using BIM.
From there, you need to work out which kinds of software will benefit different areas of your projects. Different kinds of BIM software will also apply to different roles.
Take Kreo’s products for example:
We provide a range of products for our customers, so that we can offer them a tool that works more broadly across the requirements for BIM level 2. We do this without the need for training, as we believe that's one of the barriers for a lot of companies starting out in BIM.
Kreo Plan gives customers the ability to estimate the cost and schedules of their projects more easily, as well as helping them to manage the tendering process. With Kreo Plan, project managers can plan out every aspect of their projects in one place and contractors can effectively collaborate in order to come to an agreement on a bid.
Along with this, we offer Kreo View, a free Revit plugin that allows any number of participants on the platform collaborate on the same BIM model. They can make comments directly onto the model, making it quicker easier to visualise and communicate across organisations.
Finally, Kreo Design lets you create architecturally and structurally linked BIM models from scratch. As an output, you get the Revit-compatible file that includes all specifications and element counts.
The answer to the question ultimately comes down to how far you want to use BIM - you can use it right from the feasibility stage of a project, right up to demolition. The real question comes back to which BIM software you need and at what point it's right for you.
Question 3: Does BIM Really Improve Collaboration?
The simple answer is yes. One of the primary benefits of BIM is that it can assist in improving your collaboration with the other members of your projects.
One of the main reasons for inefficiency in our industry is down to a lack of collaboration. We have failed to collaborate fully on projects throughout time. This has led to delays and pushed costs high above initial estimations.
The way that BIM can improve the collaboration of your projects is by opening up channels of communication and making it easier for you to work effectively with other parties involved with your projects.
Despite the emergence of BIM, our industry still has an issue with classification systems when it comes to the labelling of BIM models demonstrating that our industry still has some way to go in order to fully incorporate BIM into our processes and become truly collaborative. Using the same classification system is like using the same language. Without prioritising this understanding, we risk making huge mistakes.
Question 4: How Can BIM Save On Time and Cost?
The two most important words in construction usually come back to ‘time’ and ‘cost’. Being able to reduce both these elements of your projects is the holy grail for project managers and contractors alike.
It’s no wonder then, that one of the major reasons for the existence of BIM is to reduce these elements and improve the efficiency of our projects. With BIM, not only do we unleash creativity and free up collaboration, but we also save time and reduce costs by becoming more efficient.
By automating the time-consuming elements of our roles, we free up space to take on more projects and, by gaining accurate estimations, we reduce the chance of encountering unexpected costs. Out of all the BIM questions and answers we get from the companies we speak to, this is the easiest to answer!
Some of the main issues we encounter when taking a look at the causes of inefficient projects are mistakes from early planning. These result in discovering unexpected costs or dealing with unplanned time constraints later down the line. You can greatly reduce the occurrence of these issues by simply implementing these systems into the way you go about the planning stage of your next project.
Question 5: How Accurate Are the Estimations?
Speaking of accurate estimations, how exactly does that work?
Using software like Kreo, you can estimate the time and cost factors of your projects. By inputting a few key details, you get an accurate estimation of how your project is expected to pan out and you can plan accordingly, using this information to tender suitable bids.
In addition, using artificial intelligence, we can now run intelligent "What If" scenarios to determine the potential outcomes given any alterations in factors like time and budget. This allows us, at a moment’s notice, to plan for any number of outcomes and foresee pitfalls far in advance.
No more manual calculation and recalculation for every conceivable change that could occur. Planning your projects has never been more simple, fast and intuitive.
Question 6: How Do I Get Started with BIM?
If you’ve decided to take the next steps to move forward with BIM, you’re in good company.
Of course, with any change of process and the adoption of a new system or technology, there are always stumbling blocks. These mostly come in the form of a resistance to change and the need to provide training for your employees. However, incorporating BIM into your processes has never been easier.
When it comes to actually implementing BIM, you’ll need some assistance. For a full breakdown of how you can incorporate Kreo’s products into your current practices, book a free demonstration with us. We are eager to help you get started on your company's journey with BIM.
Use our BIM questions and answers with your team
By now you should have a pretty good idea of how BIM software can revolutionise the way you work on projects. If your colleagues haven't caught on yet, or need further convinceing, why not discuss our BIM questions and answers blog with them? If we don't answer all of their questions, get in touch with us and we'll gladly write more!