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Traditional 2-D design and data-sharing processes use up valuable time and are prone to errors, potentially delaying estimates and disrupting project timelines.

With progressive BIM technology, construction professionals reduce project errors and generate upwards of 50 percent time savings during estimation periods.

Why Model-Based Estimating Is The Way of the Future

Time-consuming manual tasks can lead to duplication and inaccurate estimations. Cloud-based solutions offering model data management capabilities provide tremendous value by effectively organizing, sharing and producing construction data in ways that save time and increase estimate accuracy.

3-D models provide rich detail and granular data points that 2-D drawings alone often lack. This data allows estimators to account for nuanced design changes in their cost projections. With cloud-based BIM platforms, models can be analyzed easily and shared across a variety of devices, regardless of geolocation. BIM modeling encourages collaboration across all phases of the preconstruction and construction process, including cost estimation, design reviews, change management, value engineering and schedule management. This single pane of glass on data models enhances collaboration among teams, creating a smoother, more streamlined construction process.

Four major benefits are associated with the usage of BIM technology.
  • Tremendous cost savings. Because BIM modeling eliminates the burden of time-consuming tasks, organizations experience immediate value in cost savings and error reduction, producing more accurate bids compared to manual 2-D drawings.  
  • Access data in seconds, anywhere. When utilizing BIM cloud technology, users can access real-time, updated data points from anywhere in the world and extract quantities with lightning speeds, eliminating the need for manual review of 2-D drawings.
  • Better organization means better bid days. With BIM models, estimators can quickly categorize and reorganize model objects by work breakdown structure with just a few clicks, helping teams better prepare for more efficient bid day processes. 
  • Generate extremely accurate estimations. BIM modeling provides better accountability on design changes compared with 2-D drawings. When taking advantage of BIM, estimators can immediately identify changes in design versions, ensuring the most accurate bids and project estimates available. 
Tips for Moving Forward
When examining where BIM technology fits in a construction project scope, contractors should take a few best practices into consideration.
  • Invest in a BIM manager. BIM managers can deliver sound strategies on what platforms to use and how to effectively leverage BIM modeling across all divisions, from scheduling to project management.  
  • Research the available solutions. A multitude of BIM solutions are available on the market today, so proper research and testing is a great way to sort out the platform that works best for the project. Make sure the technology is cloud-based and offers a free trial to test features.
  • Read case studies. One of the best ways to understand how BIM modeling fits in a project scope is to find out how other construction leaders have successfully leveraged BIM in the past. A quick Google search will generate an assortment of hits on BIM case studies that range from multimillion-dollar new construction projects to small renovations. 
  • Talk with designers. Having an open dialogue with designers early in the preconstruction process can be quite beneficial, especially when determining where BIM fits in the project scope. Put together a plan understand the various goals in place and evaluate how BIM modeling can help achieve them. Create a checklist of progress against these goals to further improve the project’s outcome. 

Tim Kelly is product manager at Houston-based Assemble Systems. For more information, visit assemblesystems.com or follow @assemblesystems.

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