Ryan Holland, design manager at Russell WBHO, was a guest speaker for the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) CPD event; ‘BIM: The Digital Journey’.
Ryan gave an insight into the ways in which Building Information Modelling (BIM) can help to save time, reduce costs and limit the risk of projects, thereby providing benefits for the entire project team.
Experienced in delivering BIM Level 2 for both public and private sector clients, Ryan outlined the advantages of using the information created by the design team, to better understand the improvements that can be made in the delivery of projects.
BIM represents a change of working practices, a process rather than simply a set of hardware and software, Ryan told listeners. More efficient processes are the fundamental component of BIM, providing huge benefit by improving communication between all members of the project team.
“Projects can be delivered more efficiently when everyone works together, and BIM places emphasis on improving that communication,” said Ryan. “I’m hugely grateful to the CIAT for inviting me to speak to its members and provide some insights into how the information produced by the design team has positive impacts on how the information is used by main contractors to improve the safety, programme, cost and buildability of projects.”
Speaking about the benefits of using BIM throughout all stages of a scheme, from pre-construction through to handover, Ryan showcased examples of where the use of detailed models helped produce accurate logistics and methodology plans, which were then used to assist team briefing when discussing complicated site set ups.
He also demonstrated how new technology is increasingly playing its part in the management of projects, such as virtual reality technology, laser scanning, model simulations, and the use of touchscreen technology on sites.
“I have seen first-hand how using BIM can improve communication and as a result reduce errors and delays, and allow the whole project team to be collaborative in identifying and then resolving clashes,” he added.
The use of BIM Level 2 has been a requirement for all government-funded projects since 2016. There are also an increasing number of private sector clients taking the initiative to invest in BIM-enabled projects in order to realise the benefits in terms of cost and time savings.
Ryan also discussed how BIM benefits clients long after completion of a project, by providing the operation and maintenance information in a recognised standardised format, compatible with a number of different facilities management (FM) systems.
This information handover can support the client’s management of the assets throughout the remainder of their lifecycle, with this approach providing significant benefits when compared to current methods, which can involve extensive administration and management, and therefore an increased risk of errors and higher maintenance costs as a result.
What is BIM
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process that involves managing and coordinating the design information of different members of the team, and using available software packages to highlight and resolve clashes and errors, with the intention to resolve all issues before construction work commences on site. This reduces re-work on site, which is costly and time consuming.
The main element of BIM is the information. All models are backed up with a database, which can be interpreted and used for many different purposes. The graphical data can also be used to create valuable outputs, such as detailed logistics and methodology plans and 4D programme simulations. These outputs enable the team to be better informed about project constraints and issues, and potential areas for improvement.
- BIM usage statistics taken from the NBS National BIM Report 2019