Myths and Facts About BIM

Why BIM?

Point cloud to BIM (Picture created by VIATechnik)

Building information modeling (BIM) is an exceptionally powerful tool for the design and construction industries. Offering a 3D visual database of your project, BIM contains all of the design and construction details required to virtually see and build your project. Owners are now capable of seeing into the future and can make decisions with confidence.

If you’re an architect, designer, engineer, contractor, owner or client, you will benefit from BIM.

Why Now?

Over the past several years, BIM’s popularity has grown at a steady rate. It seems, however, that architectural professionals have rapidly changed their perception of BIM within the last year or so. Once considered a “nice tool,” BIM has now become a necessity. The extraordinary value of building information modeling (BIM) is now widely acknowledged and accepted in the A/E/C/O industry. Today, many governments even require that a BIM be developed for every building—a mandate expected to appear in the United States in the near future.

BIM is the leading innovative tool of our time, providing firms with an edge and setting them apart from other companies. Despite BIM being widely accepted in the A/E/C/O industry, there still seem to be some negative perceptions on institutionalizing BIM. Let’s discuss some of the myths keeping firms away from integrating BIM into their process.

Myths

BIM Productivity

  1. MYTH: BIM doesn’t have a good return on investment (ROI).
    • Although some firms are concerned about the cost of incorporating BIM into their process, many report an incredible ROI once they make the leap to BIM.
    • Most BIM software manufacturers do not require you to purchase annual subscriptions, and providers often have low-cost monthly rental fees.
    • A few tips:
      • Plan ahead. Take small steps when implementing BIM. Choose which steps are appropriate for your firm and tackle them one at a time.
      • Do a BIM test run on a pilot project. See how your firm does and then use the pilot project to prepare for BIM implementation.
  2. MYTH: BIM isn’t necessary for small firms.
    • A common misconception is BIM is only valuable for large firms. In actuality, small firms may benefit from the collaboration and efficiencies of BIM even more than larger firms.
    • BIM allows small firms to:
      • easily sell ideas to clients with 3D visualization
      • increase design accuracy
      • coordinate designs efficiently with other disciplines
  3. MYTH: BIM is just for the design and construction process.
    • Owners implement BIM in their project standards to benefit from post-construction features like asset management, facilities maintenance and overall building operations.
    • BIM is future-proof. The inevitability of software changes will not affect the BIM data because it never expires.
  4. MYTH: BIM is too difficult to learn.
    • There are many free resources and tutorials available online.
    • BIM software companies provide both short and extensive tutorials, along with monthly training updates.
    • There are many quick little videos available to help you overcome just about any obstacle.

Facts

  1. FACT: BIM improves design.
    • Visualization of the finished product produces more effective and elegant designs.
    • By enabling coordination across disciplines through design and contract document production, BIM further enhances the completed design.
  2. FACT: BIM allows clients to truly understand their buildings.
    • A dimensionally accurate BIM provides a sense of scale, allowing clients to experience the building prior to renovation. This feature gives them a true sense of what the space will feel like before construction begins, reducing misunderstandings between architects and clients during the design process.
    • BIM can help you predict power consumption, light use and similar factors, thus increasing energy efficiency.
  3. FACT: BIM provides a sophisticated way of sharing information.
    • Efficient data exchange aids with ongoing building management; tracking and predicting maintenance costs; improving design accuracy; and reducing duplicated work, ultimately giving your firm more time to design and focus on client services.
    • BIM allows you to resolve issues instantaneously and save time by automating lower-value tasks.

The A/E/C/O industry has tackled many obstacles over the years, and BIM is just another bump in the road—a bump with an abundance of benefits and applications. Make this transition easy by staying up-to-date and taking advantage of resources like Epic Scan and BIM Forum. Stay tuned for our next news article, where we will explore the applications of BIM.

If you would like to discuss an upcoming project, give us a call at 415.524.0516 or email projects@epicscan.com.


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