Building information modeling is a highly collaborative intelligent process based on 3D models and supported by various tools, technologies, and contracts that involve generating and managing digital representations of a place’s physical and functional characteristics.
Through BIM, home builders can collaborate more efficiently with architects, engineers, and contractors.
Essentially, the BIM process enables the creation of virtual 3D models that can be explored, tested, and manipulated, to make it easier to understand the relationships and interactions between spaces, materials, and systems.
The Components of BIM
In BIM, “building” signifies the verb “to build,” rather than simply refer to a building, which is what most would readily expect.
This makes perfect sense when you return to the definition of BIM, which identifies it as a process. Hence, the building of something rather than a building. More accurately, “building” in BIM implies the act of building something together with other professionals, because BIM is a collaborative process.
BIM is powered by information, which influences every aspect of a project.
The amount of information that can be derived from any single project is massive—ranging from prices to performance ratings to renovations down the road.
BIM lets you and your clients know the home you’re building inside out, top to bottom, way before you’ve broken ground.
This coherent, well-structured narrative ensures that you and your collaborators are on the same page throughout the build.
In BIM, a project is built as a 3D model the first time around. The build in the virtual environment allows as many modifications and returns to the drawing board as it takes to perfect the design—both in terms of aesthetics and function.
The second time around, the build takes place in the real environment, guided by all the information gathered during the virtual build.
The Benefits of BIM for Home Builders
1. Reduced project risks
Clashes in structural, mechanical, and plumbing systems and design errors can easily be detected up front with a 3D model, saving builders from costly construction changes on site.
2. Improved timelines and cost savings
Greater cost predictability
Accurate material count, cost estimates, build schedule, among others ensure that home builders are right on the money and right on time. The 3D model makes this accuracy possible.
Staff efficiency and productivity
In BIM, the data, the tools, and the technologies available, as well as the collaboration among those involved in a project ensure the timely delivery of top-quality builds.
“BIM . . . helps make design, engineering, project and operational information accurate, accessible and actionable for buildings and infrastructure,” says Ralph Bond, PR manager for AEC and infrastructure at Autodesk.
The data in a BIM model makes it possible for builders to fix problems early on and subsequently improve the design prior to the build, which translates to fewer hassles on the build site.
3. Better project outcomes
BIM facilitates home builders’ collaboration with all the parties involved in a project since everyone will be working with coordinated models, which gives them a clear idea of how their work relates to the overall project. Clarity equals efficiency.
All the data available gives builders plenty of options and flexibility as well as ensures that any modifications made are accurate.
BIM 3D models facilitates the creation of fully detailed, site-specific plans for each home, with accurate material count and design specifications, ensuring the build is on track.
4. Information-empowered marketing
BIM enables builders to create accurate, detailed, and realistic 3D renderings and walkthroughs on the fly. These remarkably realistic visualizations help them gain faster buy-ins and approvals.
The wealth of information on a home means that your marketing campaigns are primed to answer any questions from prospective clients.
Any home that is the product of a successful BIM process is a product of top value.
The Price of BIM
The two most popular BIM software are Revit and Autodesk BIM 360. Neither of them is cheap. An annual Revit subscription will cost you $2,425, with the monthly subscription at $305. For Autodesk BIM 360, you will spend $35 per month per user.
But global trends are pointing to the inevitable large-scale influence of BIM in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry. For home builders to win more work, they will need to keep up with technology to deliver projects more effectively and create better, sustainable design. BIM is looking more and more to be among the solutions you need to invest in.
You can offset the cost of BIM by forgoing hiring and training an in-house team and working instead with a CAD outsourcing company who can step in to ensure your 3D models are delivered on time and with pinpoint accuracy.
At Purple Cow, we scale our services to your specific project needs. Contact us to find out how we can be another one of your sound investments.