#BIMfor Building Owner/Client

Chairman, Emaar Properties, Mohamed Ali Alabbar (right) inspecting the construction of the Dubai Mall

Moving on in the #BIMfor series, we highlight the benefits of  Building Information Modelling (BIM) to probably, the most important stakeholder involved in shaping the built environment, the building owner/client. In a world with increasingly limited resources and as the source of funds for the project, it is necessary for the client to understand the ways he benefits from involving BIM in his project, including lower costs, reduced risk and increased programme certainty among others.

Here are 7 benefits to be gained by the client from implementing BIM

1. Cost savings during construction and maintenance of building

A detailed BIM model at the beginning of a project provides energy, cost and time savings during the construction programme. With this model, it is easier to control building cost through accurate costing and on-demand printing of drawings by the design team. Also, the BIM models can be analysed from feasibility stage and tested more accurately than 2D processes to outline business cases.

If the structural digital asset (model) is demanded by the client as part of the deliverables, the information in it can be used by the client for post-occupancy decision making and building maintenance. As only 20% of a building's cost are incurred during construction, (the other 80% during building maintenance), it is extremely important for clients to have a cost effective way of maintaining buildings, something BIM-based design provides.

2. Increased programme and cost certainty at an earlier stage

With the BIM models containing intelligent objects of all the building parts, as well as information like schedule (4D BIM) and cost (5D BIM) provided at an earlier stage, there is little to no chance that any change occurs to the cost or time required to complete the project.

With the increased certainty, there is a greater degree of comfort to a client not currently available with 2D based design methods. This enables him to better plan for the funds to be spent on the project and compare project outcome data in a far more detailed and accurate way than previously possible.

3. Greater sincerity in bidding by contractors

With more accurate estimating brought about by using BIM models, contractors cannot submit artificially-lower bids solely for the purpose of winning contracts by underestimating material volumes and costs required. Instead, contractors will be more sincere and concentrate their efforts on more efficient ways of project delivery as a means of winning contracts.

4. Lower risk involved

Using BIM, the proposed model can be tested more accurately to ensure it has a sound business case behind it before construction begins on the project. Also, the client can be informed at a very early stage about maintenance cost plans for the building. In addition to this, clear visualisation and construction simulations of the building also helps to bring down communication barriers between clients and designers/contractors during the planning stages of the project. Buttressing this point is a 2007 Stanford University study which notes that up to 40% of unbudgeted changes can be eliminated using BIM.

5. Better planning and management

From the BIM model, there is better planning and management of the project. Better planning is made possible by virtually seeing the construction process and monitoring progress against programme, leaving little to no room for revision. Better management is achieved as all the building data is stored in a central database that is easily managed. This data can also be used to generate long-term maintenance cost plans for the building.

6. Better understanding of the project to be delivered

A by-product of better communication using the model, a client after seeing what the project team is designing, in its final form, has a better understanding of what is to be done, even before anything is started. With this improved understanding very early in the project lifecycle, the client is able to proffer his/her changes and preferences to the project and be able to compare requirements and results for different design options used by the design team. 

7. Improved safety prevents lost time injury, compensation and improves reputation

With improved safety on the site, brought about by BIM, the client does not incur extra costs on compensations due to death or injury. Using the BIM model, workers are guided through the site even before they even step foot on it. this is especially helpful for new workers. Also, with 4D sequencing and planning, the traffic for the site can be identified and potential sources of hazard dealt with. A safer site also bodes well for the client and gives him a good public image.

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#BIMfor Building Owner/Client #BIMfor Building Owner/Client Reviewed by Izu Obi on 20:16:00 Rating: 5

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