1. BIM for Infrastructure: A vehicle for business transformation
There is a constant rising demand for the infrastructure projects all over the world. This rising
demand is putting a lot of pressure on the construction industry to deliver, and this cannot be
achieved by traditional methods of construction and management. The capital needed for
infrastructure development is huge and this has led to new forms of project management like
P3 or the Public Private Partnerships which brings private investments to development projects.
P3 has opened new paths but still the demand cannot be fulfilled without incorporating
Innovation is the key to thrive in such situations, and Building Information Modeling is offering
one such solution. To realize the full benefits of BIM, the firms must move beyond using it just
as another form of 3D modeling. They should incorporate the full process in their system.
Waste and inefficiency is intolerable and every possible step is taken to expedite project
schedules, save money and make project more economically feasible. Building Information
Modeling (BIM) has the potential by which the business of planning, design, construction, and
management of the world’s infrastructure can be changed to deliver higher productivity,
quality, and cost-effectiveness.
Using BIM on a project brings all the stakeholders and their shared interests together and
provides a uniform platform which in turn helps in reducing miscommunication, design errors,
lower risks, more efficient work progress, improved decision making etc. thus transforming the
entire process of development, execution and management of projects. The model-centric
approach offered by Building Information Modeling enables planners, engineers, and designers
to explore and validate innovative design ideas and what-if scenarios with project investors.
Before actual work is started on site, all parties have a better understanding of scheduling (4D)
and cost (5D), environmental impacts are assessed and understood, and the public can visualize
what the project will look like at various stages of completion.
London’s M25 Motorway-
- Multibillion Dollar expansion and modernization project
- Had a strict deadline and followed a new P3 approach – Design-Build-Finance-Operate
2. - 16 organizations were involved – made project management more complex and risky
- BIM provided better communication and coordination between various stakeholders
and financial constituents and as such the project was completed within planned budget
Labor Productivity rates have experienced a high rate of escalation due to incorporation of
computer based and automation technologies in various industries. But, construction industry
has still to catch up.
- The productivity rates in construction industry has almost remained constant, and this is
due to the fact that construction industry has been slow at adopting such measures
- BIM provides a suitable solution to help achieving such dramatic productivity increase in
BIM is not just a 3D model-
- Many firms are using BIM for just making 3D models, but real power of BIM lies its
capacity to integrate information into the 3D model and making it data rich
- These data rich objects are intelligent, knowledge-based, scalable and visual
- BIM is process which uses data as an intelligence tool to facilitate coordination,
communication, analysis and simulation not only in design and construction phase, but
also in operation and maintenance.
Benefits of BIM in various phases of project-
- Planning: accurate and speedy planning process by integrating and analysis data from
various sources; visual and information rich model can be used to help approval from
non-professional stakeholders – 3D is better than 2D
- Preliminary Design: existing site conditions can be used as data to model the conceptual
designs. Keystone Parkway intersection – an unusual double-roundabout interchange
design was approved which would not have possible without BIM
3. - Detailed Design and Engineering: infrastructure projects require multidisciplinary
collaboration, and data-rich objects with defined relationships to each other and
environment make the special analysis of these complex projects easy for all.
- Construction and Program Management: interoperability of BIM models is one huge
advantage – information from one source can be shared with another without any need
of recreation and rework. Construction can be done more effectively integrating
scheduling (4D) and cost (5D)
- Asset Management, operations and maintenance: O&M phase of a project is often the
longest phase. Incorporating the views of O&M during the design and construction have
a huge impact on cost of running the project after it is completed. Also, the model used
for design and construction can be developed further and used for O&M
Data is always an important constituent of any infrastructure project, BIM brings this data in
the project model and makes various iterations and analysis possible which further leads to
improved design models and efficient project management and construction.
The BIM model is not just a 3D representation. It is a data-rich model that is connected to
various factors like site conditions and environmental impact etc. Various actions can be taken
on this model and real time results obtained. Augmented reality is also getting a lot of attention
and this area is being developed rapidly. It employs game based technologies and uses it to
advantages in infrastructure project.
Cloud based optimization and collaboration provides a central platform for all stakeholders to
interact and collaborate. The data is available on the click of a button which saves time and
resources. All these technological advancements and continuous improvements in BIM will
make the traditional systems obsolete soon, and firms who are successful in incorporating all
these advantages of BIM by changing its organization and working will have an edge in future.