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Is BIM delivering the benefits?.

Building Information Modelling or BIM for short, is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project throughout its whole life cycle and it has been delivering cost and efficiency savings for many years, but is the industry really receiving all the benefits it deserves?

BIM is not just a piece of software or simply something to do with 3D design. 3D models are often thought of as the heart of BIM, but it is more than that. It is a comprehensive process for creating, managing and using all of the data about a specific project. That process also includes all of the digital parameters.

BIM has resulted in dramatic changes, according to Chelmsford based Edocuments, but there is still a huge gap in the way that Operation and Maintenance manuals (O&M) are created, with many construction companies and facilities managers still unaware that they could easily and economically integrate the delivery of this essential information within the BIM process itself.

Without Models and O&M information being delivered by a single process, the information user runs the risk of having unclear and incomprehensive information.  Even worse the operation and running of the building could be at risk if the wrong set of data is used.

In the most extreme example this could be dangerous, as critical data relating to safety of the building and its assets may be misleading. That said, many companies have identified the risk and to avoid costly errors are using a data driven platform for production of O&M manuals, Health & Safety files, Building logbooks, 3D models and other essential handover information.

According to Jamie Dupée, Chief Technical Officer for Edocuments, it is great news for organisations like theirs who have focused on this for the last 20 years and are market leaders in this key area. 

Their software platform has dramatically simplified the whole O&M process, but more importantly, it can be used effectively with other software platforms, using plug-ins with Autodesk tools such as BIM360 and Revit together with a host of other applications such as CDEs and web portals so that construction professionals can really benefit from the BIM process and these additional functions.

There is no doubt that data is now more detailed and complicated and it has become increasingly clear that construction professionals, particularly those involved in the FM, Estates and BIM sectors, don't always have the skills or time to check information.

Inputting and managing data should not be complex and according to Edocuments, we need to get to a point where information seamlessly flows from stage to stage across the industry. When this is achieved there will be huge time savings and data accuracy will increase and the industry will really reap the benefits of BIM.

It is not going to happen overnight. Construction professionals need easier processes and simpler tools to ensure that information management is as automated as possible, features which are provided by Edocuments.

The benefits are there for all to see. Industry estimates suggest that BIM related projects deliver an 80% decrease in the time required to generate an expenditure quote; up to 40% reduction of unbudgeted project changes; potential savings amounting to up to 10% of the contract value and time savings of up to 7%.

The BIM process is there to be exploited and used to meet the expectations of the modern construction industry. The benefits already exist and we are not taking full advantage of what is on offer – but hopefully we are getting closer.

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