Building Information Modelling (BIM): Dawn of a New Era
The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry has always had a tough time keeping pace with the technology-driven world. With mushrooming population & rapid urbanization, digital assets are being deployed to transform the planning, designing, construction, operation & maintenance of physical assets in order to meet growing demand.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0 as it is popularly referred to, has brought the construction industry to the cusp of disruptive metamorphosis. Owing to omnipresent digital connectivity & easily available geospatial data, the construction industry is witnessing seamless integration with technological developments, thus rendering conventional practices obsolete. The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating the transformation process which is already expected to be implemented at scale within the next decade.
What is BIM?
Building Information Modelling is an intelligent 3D Model based process that allows AEC professionals to gain valuable insights & provides access to tools in order to execute infrastructure projects efficiently causing minimum environmental impact. BIM concatenates seemingly non-overlapping tasks using technology to bring a project to fruition.
As illustrated above, BIM facilitates decision making throughout the entire life cycle of an AEC project from conception to renovation & maintenance. A BIM is an assembly of simpler components or “objects”, each carrying its own set of attributes and characteristics which in turn make their procurement easier.
Why is BIM rapidly gaining popularity?
- Integration of Design with the Value Chain: One of the greatest advantages offered by BIM is the complete elimination of cross interactions across various roles (as shown in the graphic below). BIM draws in all the involved aspects of an AEC project under a single umbrella
- Detection of Clashes & Resolution: BIM makes visualization as close to reality as it can get, thus enabling constructors to easily red flag points of conflict or stress that may cause trouble as the project goes along. Aided troubleshooting also means quicker resolution of dilemmas.
e.g. Should there be a clash in the plumbing and electrical fittings, detection is much easier using BIM.
- Simulation & Development: New designs always factor in the geographical conditions and faceoffs with natural disasters where the project is finalized to be executed. BIM tools empower the design engineers to simulate those conditions in order to realize their impact on the integrity of the structure. This ensures safety is a part of the construction process.
Where is BIM most used? And By Whom?
Here’s where BIM will unleash its plethora of benefits by harnessing its technological capabilities:
Major beneficiaries include the following:
- The entire AEC Industry
- Building Owners
- Construction Contractors
- Sustainability Experts
Larsen & Toubro has thoroughly grasped the capabilities of BIM & mastered its application. Having been an engineering & construction-centric organization, they have already employed BIM to offer turnkey designs in their township and high rise construction projects.
Countries with BIM mandates by the Government:
Legend: Orange – Current , Green – Upcoming
BIM Projects in India:
AutoDesk Revit MEP
BIM in India is not very heard of and shy of the spotlight, let me unveil the mystery and offer some real examples of BIM application in large Indian Projects:
- The initially proposed Passenger Rapid Transport System for Amritsar, the first of its kind in in India, was scheduled, designed and planned using BIM technology. (Govt laxities ensured the project never saw the light of day)
- The Metro Rail project in Delhi used BIM to construct their underground rail tracks.
- The construction of Terminal 2 at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru used BIM 360 as its go to design-and-planning platform.
- The Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation has announced complete integration of 5D BIM in its 8 km long metro rail project costing a whopping INR 8,500 crore.
- Airport Authority of India (AAI), for the construction of a new Integrated Terminal Building of the Guwahati Airport, will harness the power of Autodesk BIM Platform Revit in its entire design process.
Users have observed over a 50% jump in productivity in the long run post the implementation of BIM in their AEC projects. 20% reported a 100% gain as well! A report titled ‘Market for BIM building information models – Opportunities and forecasts for 2022’, estimated that the BIM market is poised to reach USD 11.7 billion by 2022, with a burgeoning annual growth rate of 21.6% !
Voracious reading regimes coupled with a penchant for writing led me away from a glamorous yet mundane corporate career. When nobody's calling, the mountains always are - you'll invariably find me atop one.