Building Information Modelling

The Role of Building Information Modeling in Design-Build Projects

As the power and reach of information technology has expanded over the last several decades, the building industry has grown with it by finding new ways to incorporate digital modeling and databases into building projects. The latest of these developments is Building Information Modeling, which offers designers and contractors the chance to integrate the many separate aspects of a building project into one cohesive digital model.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the creation of a digital representation of a building project that encompasses all phases of the project from design to completion. In addition to the plans for the physical elements of a building, details like deadlines, cost projections, and sub-contractor responsibilities can also be included. One of the biggest advantages of using BIM is that all the objects in the model are parametrically linked, making it easy to coordinate revisions throughout the entire project.

How does BIM work in the design-build project delivery system?

Because building information models are specifically designed to capture and organize information from the many different parties involved in a construction project, it’s proven to be an important tool for design-builders. The models provide a way for architects, structural engineers, mechanical systems experts, contractors, and building owners to combine their area-specific knowledge and help move the project seamlessly between phases.

Pre-design/design.  Design-builders can benefit from BIM even from the very earliest stages of a project. Because the use of BIM allows the design-builder to more accurately and efficiently estimate costs for a project, these models can decrease the cost of producing bids and increase the strength of proposals. Building information models also streamline the design phase once projects are won by making it easy to integrate input from all team members.

Construction. Building information models are more than just architectural drawings or engineering plans. They can also be used to integrate information on time and cost such as fabrication and installation deadlines, contractor responsibilities, RFIs, and the cost of materials. Having all of this information in a central location improves efficiency during the construction process by removing redundancies, minimizing waste, and improving the process of clash detection.

Operations. Once a building project is complete, the building information model can be passed to the owner/operator, who can use the model to streamline operations and maintenance. Instead of relying on physical examinations to handle problems, the owner/operator will have a complete picture of the building’s mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems that will help detect and resolve operational issues efficiently.

The design-build project delivery model allows BIM to be used to it greatest advantage. In traditional design-bid-build projects, many of the benefits of the building information model are lost when the project changes hands, but with design-builders, BIM can be used to improve project efficiency from conception and construction to operations and demolition.

If you’re interested in our design-build LEED or BIM projects, please contact us at 604-439-3344.

You may also check our Project Gallery for more information on our current projects.