Is BIM only for the public sector?

Last summer it became mandatory for any architecture works on public sector projects to be completed in line with the BIM framework. But is BIM more than just compliance, and should every practice be evaluating BIM?

Studies have shown that BIM does more than achieve compliance for public sector focused practices. BIM drives efficiency for architects, enabling them to complete projects more quickly and with less resource, and more accurate forecasting of projects -

  • Faster and more effective design and engineering processes
  • Better design through rigorous analysis and simulations
  • Controlled whole-life costs and environmental data
  • Better production quality and automated assembly

But will these savings work for your practice or do they seem too abstract?

A decrease in errors and clashes in design have often been cited as ways in which BIM could make the design process better. But developers are especially keen to optimise efficiency within the buildings as a commitment to sustainability. They also want to understand how buildings will fare after commissioning, and through the entire life cycle. Arguably, the most important change affected by BIM is to reduce waste throughout the lifespan of the building. Modern buildings integrate numerous processes and systems, and as such the models become complex; this provides even greater opportunities for efficiency savings in the future – if BIM is adopted now.

Many buildings are now so intricate that Building Management Systems must be used to handle the vast volumes of data, if we want to properly measure the energy efficiency of a building. Additional, information is increasingly available through Intelligent Objects, and when coupled with BIM you can start to model and measure the energy efficiency of a building with near-perfect accuracy.

We conclude that BIM provides much more than public sector compliance; it helps architects design better buildings which are more efficient, less wasteful and with a lower total cost of ownership to the final owner.

What do you think? Have you had experience with this?

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