Collaboration is an essential element of construction projects, it is one of the most commonly known factors of the industry. Every single construction project is a massive engine that consists of multiple parts working towards the same goal. As such, trying to cooperate with other project participants is always a good idea for all project participants in the first place.

Unfortunately, the reality of the construction industry shows that it is not that easy. Plenty of contractors, subcontractors, or other teams do not wish to do anything but their part of the project – something that plenty of teams perform in isolation, rarely knowing the current state of affairs with other project teams. This is one of the biggest reasons why construction has a massive percentage of reworks per project – a lack of communication between different departments or participants.

BIM is supposed to be the solution to this massive problem, and it managed to do quite a lot lately. Building Information Modeling is an extremely sophisticated methodology that includes collaboration, designing, planning, construction, 3D modeling, and plenty of other elements. One of its biggest advantages so far is the ability to share up-to-date information with all project participants when needed.

Comparing BIM solutions to one another is not an easy task. However, there is always an option to look for the best BIM software list, as well – saving both time and resources that could be spent on more meaningful tasks. 

3D modeling is an essential part of BIM as a whole, but it is not a replacement for traditional CAD software. It would be more correct to treat it as an evolution of the CAD concept that is expanded greatly to offer more advantages. Unlike Computer-Aided Design, BIM operates with BIM objects – components that the BIM model consists of.

Every single BIM object represents a part of the building or structure that is being made – be it a door, a window, an electric component, an HVAC system, etc. These objects also “store” information in them, making it possible to perform various calculations and estimates a lot faster than ever before.

The methodology in question is not without its faults. It can be extremely complicated, and the lack of proper standardization in the industry makes it even more difficult to work with. This becomes a massive problem when multiple contractors use different BIM software that may not be compatible with one another, preventing data sharing completely.

This right here is an industry-wide issue that is slowly getting resolved as time goes on. There is already at least one commonly used open-standard format called IFC, and plenty of less-known solutions add support for data formats such as RVT. RVT is an Autodesk Revit file format, it is one of the most popular BIM offerings on the market so far.

The productivity issue as a whole is not particularly new to the industry – it goes as far back as the 1960s, at the very least. Many factors contribute to this problem, including the overall number of reworks, the lack of a centralized data source, miscommunication, and more.

As if the issue itself was not problematic enough – it is made even worse by the fact that the majority of industry professionals are extremely conservative. There is very little in terms of new blood that is being introduced regularly, too. Constant adherence to traditional methods and tools makes the aforementioned issue several times worse than it could have been.

While BIM is not a miracle solution in and of itself, it can indeed solve plenty of these issues with time. The issue here is that BIM for architects itself is extremely complex, and implementing it correctly is a very complicated matter. The concept of BIM “maturity levels” is a good way to showcase that.

BIM maturity levels are a simple system that includes four levels – from zero to three. Level zero shows a complete lack of BIM solution in a company’s work, while level three is a perfect world where the entire company rebuilt its processes around BIM and is reaping all of its numerous advantages.

Currently, the number of construction companies that can be attributed to level three is very low, and even level two adoption is not as widespread as one might think. The most popular BIM adoption level is one – a basic BIM implementation with very limited results and minuscule changes to the existing processes. BIM can rarely work with pre-established conservative methods that plenty of companies use on a day-to-day basis – and rebuilding these methods from scratch would always introduce a lot of pushback from the professionals themselves.

BIM itself can be extremely advantageous to an average company if implemented to its fullest. It can offer real-time updates of a project model made by any team or department that is involved, it can offer clash detection capabilities, and it can even evaluate the construction site based on many criteria. Other, more general advantages of BIM include better accuracy, higher mobility, easier project visualization, and a far more transparent approach to interactions between shareholders, including every single participant’s share of work.

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