The Challenges in Adopting BIM. The Role of building Information Modeling (BIM) for MEP

BIM (Building Information Modeling) represents a wave of technological changes that have allowed the AEC industry to plan and manage projects much more effectively. With its ability to create a digital representation of a building with accurate geometry and relevant data, BIM technology has brought about a paradigm shift to the AEC industry. It serves up a plethora of benefits such as improving interoperability between teams, utilization of a single software tool, scheduling, and allowing more effective co-ordination of construction projects.

While BIM, the new buzzword bim companies new york city for the construction industry, is seen as a catalyst to revolutionize the future of the AEC industry, there are several reasons why it is also presenting an unparalleled challenge to the industry. This is affecting the method and also speed in which it is embraced by the industry. A few such challenges include:

1) Challenges in Coordinating with Multi-Disciplinary Teams -Though BIM’s ability of sharing a model is one of its biggest advantages over an AutoCAD file, one cannot ignore the permission required for adequate sharing of model information posing as a challenge. As multidisciplinary team would work on the same model, collaboration issues may cause delay in project and other problems.

2) Challenges related to Ownership and Authority- The accountability, ownership and copyright issues of the model are ambiguous. Exactly who will be the owner of the model or responsible for the accuracy of the information fed into the model poses a challenge in BIM adoption.

3) Challenges while Replacing 2d or 3d AutoCAD System with BIM Technology- Adopting Building Information Modeling means redefining the approach and the practice of the company along with the requirements of training and upgraded software, not to mention the cost of the new software to start with. One should ensure compatibility between the internal departments of the company and its outside clients after the adoption of BIM technology.

Technology is always a double-edge sword, Building Information Modeling is no exception. With the help of a proper methodology and thorough understanding of the potential of BIM, the challenges faced while implementing BIM could be minimized. BIM has the potential to change the face of the construction industry by minimizing issues like over-budget and declining productivity pervading the AEC industry. The question whether BIM would be able to reshape the industry has changed to when would BIM reshape the industry? By overcoming the challenges faced in adopting BIM, BIM can do woners.

Of late, the construction industry has been dealing with issues such as over-budget projects, declining productivity and failing to meet delivery dates. As economies stall around the world, builders continue to demand better buildings delivered within budget and on time. Architects, engineers and MEP contractors are thus constantly striving for newer ways to improve productivity, lower costs and streamline the building design and delivery process. BIM which is an information-rich technology that allows the digital representation of building projects simulating the design, planning, construction and operation of a facility has instilled a hope to minimize these issues to a large extent.

Regarded as a promising, new technology, BIM has been widely adopted for MEP projects as it has pre-construction, design and fabrication benefits. BIM provides MEP engineers with integrated, highly coordinated and internally consistent computable information about the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing system for planning, managing, decision-making and operating the facility. Using these offerings, designing a complicated structure can be done with ease, increased accuracy and efficiency. Since BIM allows creation of a virtual 3d model, it gives a better idea of the outcome of their systems before they are actually built.

The space for MEP systems is typically reserved before the MEP system is defined. Thus while designing a complex and a bigger size building, squeezing the MEP system into the building can sometimes become challenging. At such times, the 3d BIM model helps in collision detection – reducing the risk of construction cost overruns. A BIM model is an intelligent computable model and hence the ducts, pipes, walls and beams are actual defined entities and their functional relationships between building elements and systems is clear. This enables a holistic design approach which integrates not only the MEP disciplines, but the process as well – featuring an integrated digital environment for design, documentation and analysis.

BIM creates a virtual MEP model comprising of heating and cooling system, ducts and plant-room layout, electrical power and lightening layout, domestic water plumbing and gas piping system layout and fire protection system layout, thus offering a systematic and meticulous analysis of the system to be built. This analysis would help in increased efficiency, accuracy and coordination of the system reducing the time and cost involved in it.

BIM’s ability to digitally represent a building before it is actually built also allows firms to create, manage and share design information more effectively – resulting in increased profitability, reduced potential errors and risks and fewer inefficiencies in MEP building design. With the help of BIM, detailed views of mechanical, electrical and plumbing system are possible which will improve the quality of the overall project and ability to communicate the design intent.

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