Those in the construction industry have likely heard of BIM and its myths without taking the time to discover the benefits behind it. Unfortunately, the following misconceptions are enough to cause many contractors not to reap the benefits of BIM.
1. Implementing BIM is costly
Although this is not entirely false, many contractors don’t take the time to look at the bigger picture. At first, companies will have to bear the upfront expenses of providing training, equipment, and software, but this is an investment that pays out tenfold in the future. When appropriately used, BIM significantly reduces time spent coordinating in the field (and we all know time is money), lowers waste, and reduces the likelihood of construction-related injuries and accidents (resulting in lower insurance costs).
2. BIM is just for showing off 3D models
Those who do not fully understand BIM believe that it is just another way to create 3D models to show off. In reality, 3D modeling barely scratches the surface of the possibilities with BIM. According to autodesk.com, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is defined as the “holistic process of creating and managing information for a built asset,” meaning every element in a BIM model contains individual properties such as height, material, quantity, and even cost, to name a few. This information is helpful in many ways, including but not limited to clash detection, cost estimation, and building maintenance.
3. BIM is not for small-scale projects
BIM shouldn’t be restricted to use in large, complex projects. BIM can be utilized for small-scale projects, too! Smaller projects are still required to meet environmental standards and regulations mandated by the government. Using BIM on small projects will streamline construction, thus saving time and money, especially when incorporating prefabrication into the construction process (we’ll talk about that more soon.)
4. BIM is only practical during the design phase
Another common misconception regarding BIM is that it only assists the engineers and architects during the design phase. In reality, BIM is beneficial for all trades from the beginning of the project to the end. For example, at the start of the project, BIM can show a proposed completed product to the owners before construction begins and continue to be beneficial until well after project completion for building maintenance, future renovations, and even demolition.
5. BIM is a software
BIM cannot be installed. It is a process. Various software programs can be used in a successful BIM department.
6. Implementing BIM requires hiring a new team
Companies fear hiring a whole new team of people to implement BIM. In reality, current staff can become BIM professionals with the proper training and leadership from an experienced BIM Manager. Utilizing the current team and bringing in a BIM Manager will aid in streamlining workflows and standards, and who doesn’t enjoy learning something new that could advance their career?
Next time you hear someone spewing myths about BIM, take a moment to stop and think about the bigger picture and educate others on the benefits. BIM is the future. Don’t get stuck in the past.