Overseeing a project from start to finish is complicated, and real estate development is no exception. From the initial concept, to securing finances, land and permissions, to design to construction to sales…real estate developers need to have their hand on the pulse for the whole lifecycle of a project.
Thankfully, technology provides many options for project management. In particular, Building Information Modelling (BIM) enables the management of a construction project to take place in the same language as the construction itself: engineering. BIM is quickly becoming ubiquitous in the construction industry, but it is still rare to see it implemented at every stage of the project.
Here are some tips for real estate developers considering implementing BIM:
For real estate developers to be able to use BIM to manage the whole project, BIM needs to be utilized for all the phases of the project. This needs to happen at the level of the contract: make sure you require all project managers, designers and contractors to work with BIM and ensure they have an organized BEP (BIM Execution Plan).
One of the biggest issues with the implementation of BIM is the inconsistent quality of BIM models. Ultimately the BIM model is a database, and if the database doesn’t contain the information needed, it’s not going to be useful. Think long term – the model isn’t just needed for the planning stage, it can help you with every single step of the process. BIM managers can help with this process, as can a VDC team who can adapt a model from the design to construction phase.
One of the most obvious benefits of a BIM-based workflow as opposed to traditional 2D printed plans is the BIM model as the centralized single source of information. However, in order for this to work, the project workflow should meet the ISO 19650 standard and utilize a Common Data Environment (CDE). Globally, the most popular platform for this is Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC) or Autodesk BIM 360. Saving a project on ACC ensures that every relevant stakeholder has access to the most recent and accurate versions of the models.
Although BIM is becoming standard for the design stages, most other stakeholders in a construction project do not have experience with BIM and certainly not with BIM software. This means that accessing the data from the model can be impossible. Thankfully, this situation is changing, with apps such as BIMSearch designed specifically to make BIM data accessible even to those with no previous experience with BIM.
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