How AI is improving BIM and helping the construction industry

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is increasingly becoming a vital process in the construction industry.

Creating a BIM model enables those involved in a project to make optimise their decision-making before going anywhere near a construction site. More recently, BIM software companies have begun to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the BIM process to improve these models and the process of BIM.

AI is already helping the construction industry work more efficiently and will soon become the norm, as in other industries. In this post, we’ll define the BIM process, AI's role in BIM and some of its advantages.

What role does AI play in BIM? 


BIM is a digital description of every aspect of a construction project. BIM is widely practised in the construction industry, offering a significant improvement over older pre-construction planning methods. A 3D information model is formed from both graphical and non-graphical data. This is then compiled in a shared digital space called a Common Data Environment (CDE). This information is constantly updated as the project progresses, meaning that the model is always up-to-date. 4D BIM is when scheduling data is added to each component of the project. This produces an accurate programme and an ability to visualise the build schedule of the project. 5D BIM is when cost data is added to the programme, interlinking with schedule.

BIM software can now use machine learning. This is a subset of AI that trains a machine how to learn from data and identify patterns. It can then make independent decisions on how to automate and improve on the model building process. This is also known as AI-assisted BIM. 

How does AI improve BIM? 

Data collected from simulations, models and past projects helps construction industry experts to innovate with each new building project. But BIM software yields so much information that human experts struggle to get the most out of it. Using AI to make use of the information makes the process a lot more effective.

Incorporating machine learning into the BIM process reduces human error and speeds up the time it takes to process the data. In a Kreo survey of over 200 AEC professionals, 70% said it took longer than four weeks to prepare a bid. AI helps to drastically reduce that time-span.

AI allows for faster exploration of all the possible permutations of a construction solution. It helps to quickly generate design alternatives and learning what works and what doesn’t from each iteration. Furthermore, by using AI in BIM, construction companies can complete work that was previously too detailed to be carried out in earlier planning stages. 

Another way that AI helps improve BIM is at the classification level:

  • Machine learning inspects each BIM element, identifying and classifying it for the model
  • If the algorithm can't classify an element, it asks the human expert, but learns so it never has to check that classification again

Artificial Intelligence in construction is already a reality, but there is huge potential for what this technology will be able to still achieve. Using machine learning to improve BIM demonstrates just how much of a positive impact AI can have in this domain. With the help of AI-assisted BIM software, the construction process can become more cost-efficient, faster and more profitable. 

If you want to see AI-Assisted BIM in action, try out Kreo! Our software uses AI to transform pre-construction, making modelling, quantity take-off and schedule estimation easier, faster, and cheaper. 

Watch our webinar replay below on the topic of AI in BIM:

Raw Q and A webinar AI in BIM


The Kreo Software Blog.