For many years, building model authors had no real options in the market when it came to co-ordinating and re-examining multi-discipline Building Information Modelling (BIM) models. They were stuck with separate vendors proprietary authoring products. Although it took a while for the AEC market to catch up, there are now a number of different options from software vendors who have seen the value in providing model collaboration.
The 3D opportunity
Contrary to the conventional lines and curves of 2D CAD systems, 3D BIM enables visual reference and virtual reality providing the opportunity for a BIM review process. An effective BIM collaboration process would involve importing models and associated data from multiple authoring tools into a single BIM environment for effective review, visual communication and collaboration.
The move to digital and file sharing across projects
Effective BIM review necessitates information to be shared at different phases of a project, from design through into site construction. This enables different project members to simultaneously benefit from appropriate and timely information, delivering enhanced workflows, and accelerated schedules with minimized risks.
Other than the ease of communication enabled by virtual reality, real time data access enables efficient decision making, resulting in improved workflow, superior understanding and a team based environment.
A BIM mandate
According to Paul Morrell, the Government’s chief construction adviser, the use of BIM will be made mandatory on all the government projects by 2016. The adoption of BIM methodology is seen as a driving force for reducing costs on public sector construction projects and for the UK to lead the way forward in the construction sector.
This government strategy is to increase the adoption of BIM to elevate UK companies to compete at international level.
The UK Government’s strategy of BIM implementation over the next four years will certainly impact on business practices and will alter the nature of collaboration and the interaction between supply chains and clients.
Many clients and owners are acknowledging the importance of employing BIM on their projects to obtain maximum business efficiencies. Implementation of BIM can facilitate cost reduction and diminish time schedules. Furthermore, BIM review enables early detection of design clashes and thus provides the opportunity for the elimination of errors through co-ordination for better site construction.
What options are there available for BIM Review and Collaboration?
There are several products available on the market. Several of these were reviewed and covered in AEC Magazine’s excellent independent article which can be accessed here. Also, a blog article on selecting BIM Review Software can be found here.