Architects, engineers, MEP contractors, sub-contractors, surveyors, general contractors, construction firms, in fact AEC industry as a whole; is inclined towards the acceptance of BIM. Today most of the building or infrastructure projects use BIM, and that day when BIM will form the foundation of every single building construction is not too far.
Leading building construction firms have adopted BIM since a long time now, however; that is not the case for small and medium sized companies. They face challenges in adopting BIM technology full-fledged owing to several reasons. But in order to get globally competitive, it is mandatory for these small & medium building construction firms to adopt BIM – now.
One of the major challenges for these firms in adopting BIM is that not every organization can afford to invest in BIM technology and train their in-house professionals to get acquainted with it – instantaneously. To achieve a fully practiced BIM platform, it requires value addition to the skill sets of professionals, right from top management to operational level. Secondly, BIM technology demands investment in computer hardware and software licensing causing heavy monetary investments to construction firms. This heavy expenditure is out of scope for small and medium construction companies. This makes offshoring BIM solutions a best viable option for these firms.
The idea that BIM is only for big business is challenged by the growing number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that can demonstrate a return on investment. – National BIM Report 2012
Offshoring/Outsourcing BIM services were not the first choice of construction firms, in the initial years, due to quality issues in the solutions delivered. However; today, most of the leading players in the AEC industry have resorted to outsourced BIM solutions. It is due to the quality deliverables, higher competences and their track record of successfully delivering projects of higher complexities within timelines.
Resorting to BIM services from an offshore BIM support solutions provider essentially removes the concern of costs related to infrastructure, technology and staffing. What remains to be dealt with, is evaluating the fees of the outsourcing company. The construction firms have options to pay a onetime lump sum or payments per projects, which is always beneficial than bearing recurring costs. A qualified and experienced BIM service provider delivers information rich intelligent BIM ready 3D models with required Level of Detailing – LOD from 100 to 500, which certainly falls in the budget of these firms.
Though a big decision driver, cost concern is just the clichéd and overused takeaway with offshoring. The worth of offshoring lies within the expertise they possess. BIM services by these offshore design support firms fetch results in form of enhanced performance of the building model, clubbed with cost-effective sustainability solutions. On the other hand, to obtain the same quality of BIM output with in-house BIM capacity of small & medium size construction firms, time consumed is too high.
If we talk about complex construction projects of commercial buildings such as shopping malls and retail building designs, coordinating designs from different disciplines becomes a tedious task with 2D diagrams on blueprints. Alongside, managing the onsite activities become crucial with BIM. Manual resources that small and medium construction firms have onboard, in no case, match the requirements of these construction projects of multiple complexities.
Construction scheduling and cost estimation of such big building facilities generated with help of BIM by expert BIM service provider gives an edge. BIM 3D models help avoid design misinterpretations and contractors can stay with planned schedule. Another feather that BIM adds to the hat of small and medium construction firms is that it saves them time by reducing scrap and rework. Construction sequencing set by BIM models and surveyors minimizes rework to almost nil. Thus, with BIM, small & medium construction firms may require investing in one-time payment to the outsourcing company but cumulatively it leads them to save ample amount of time and obtain work of higher quality.
With the level of complexities involved in commercial construction projects, it becomes crucial to have ‘know-hows’ before actual construction breaks the ground. The firms are left with no choice but to adopt BIM in order to provide visuals of what the built structure will look like, and saving hundreds of dollars and resources. Be it a big construction firm or a small one, if there is a commercial construction project on hand, bottom line is the firm needs BIM. Develop an in-house BIM capacity or go for BIM outsourcing solution. Looking at the construction firms’ capacity to evolve as against the construction project goals; later is a more viable an option to delve on with better pursuit of excellence and higher quality landscapes.