Importance of Building Information Modelling in UK
Building Information Modeling has been accepted and used predominantly in construction by the United Kingdom. The modern technology has paved way to exceptional benefits and an automated construction process which is the key to cost efficiency and quick completion of building construction projects. Established companies in UK and Ireland, have started working with the BIM (Level 1 and 2) to add value to the construction processes they follow. One of the most key factors that have made BIM Services so important is Government support. Government has made BIM utilization mandatory for all its project in the month of May, year 2011. This was done with an intention of cutting costs and increasing overall productivity of the construction companies.
Initial construction process involved a manual designing and drafting process, development process which created drawings at all stages. We never developed any virtual models to visualize how the building is going to look like or gauge the utility of BIM Models within the existing environment. This created construction hassles, budgeting issues and less productivity. Since there was no 3D concept, every one worked with the 2D drawings. All the design issues travelled on site and had to be resolved during construction. This resulted in massive loss of time, delays and costed money as well as reputation in case of erroneous designs and clashes between different disciplines. Use of Virtual Construction Modelling introduced the collaboration system which resulted in meetings of all parties involved in construction during the modelling and BIM coordination stage. This helped in resolving 80% to 90% of issues off site. Generating building data, managing them and presenting them during building construction is the core feature of BIM Modelling. Features like 4D construction scheduling helps in live updation of the building designs during construction.
Parametric features of BIM makes it easier to present Architectural, Structural and MEP components in 3D format. These components can be used across multiple projects with advanced data like manufacturer details, material specifications, varied height, width or any other specific parameters etc. There are many software that support BIM however Revit pioneered Virtual Construction Modelling and it is the most widely used software for this technology. Some countries in Europe may not use Revit owing to their familiarity or ease of languages with other software but overall in UK Revit rules the roost.
What makes BIM Modelling mandatory in UK?
The benefits virtual construction modelling offers while working on large scale construction projects has positive implications. UK Government has been proactive enough to acknowledge it and has made its utilization mandatory for all Government projects. What are the key factors that paved way to the massive success of BIM in UK?
Ability to work with multiple levels of detailing: Building Information Modelling offers flexibility to create models based on the requirements of the project. There are several levels of BIM Modelling stages that the client can opt for. Right from Level 0 to Level 5, each level has its own significance and level of detailing. Architects or Engineers who just want to present the design can opt for Level 0 or 1. This level is not predominantly used for construction purposes, clash detection etc.
Level 1 BIM and Level 2 BIM (Partial collaboration) are widely used for construction purposes. Data sharing, Collaberative approach along with clash detection are the key offerings. IN this level we can work on conceptualization along with the drawing creation for construction drawings. However the collaborative approach is not complete with the LEVEL 2 BIM. Relevant parties can use the same 3D model however they are not able to work on the same model at the same time. Level 2 BIM Modelling is the minimum required detailing standard as per the Government of UK.
Apart from just the 3D geometry, it also needs to contain 4D Construction Scheduling and 5D costing. There is a specific BIM guide line specification that ensures all the conditions are met to reach Level 2. Immense support from UK government and the mandate to see the LEVEL 2 implementation indicates its interest in promoting fast and cost effective construction process.
UK is currently going through a major transformation in the field of construction and according to the latest construction strategy, LEVEL 3 BIM is going to get mandatory in future.
The utilization of BIM Modelling, Clash detection and BIM Coordination is rapidly increasing with the Government policies for Building Information Modelling. When the companies will move from Level 2 to Level 3 BIM there will be achievements galore. Some of the advantages are listed below
Ability to achieve more in less time: There will be a rapid boost in the productivity owing to a collaborative approach. Instead of editing, marking up or communicating changes we can use the shared model between different parties at the same time. This will help in cost effective project execution and accurate deliverables
Improved sharing of data: Data can be managed effectively between multiple people and shared faster than before
Smaller construction companies can work with BIM: The complete collaborative approach with Level 3 can be helpful for smaller companies using BIM. The process can help overcoming the challenges arising in the day to day construction processes like onsite issues, designs, interferences between two disciplines etc.
Accuracy: With the help of BIM coordination or clash detection, onsite construction issues can be resolved in the virtual modeling stage. More complex and large scale buildings can be constructed in a short span of time with better accuracy. Environmental analysis (6D) and Facility Management (7D) can also be added to the bandwagon of Building Information Modeling when we adopt more advanced versions.
It is fortunate that the UK Government has identified the potential benefits and are encouraging this the contemporary technology to overcome the traditional processes. This drive of changing the older systems to newer efficient construction process is certainly going to take the UK construction industry places. BIM Modeling offers excellent methods to meet the required standards of environment friendly construction, Modernization by offering excellent collaborative tools to construct smart infrastructure cost effectively without wasting lot of time. Adoption of Virtual Construction Modeling is a small step towards big technical advancements.
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