BIM Benefits For Contractors

Contractors manage and execute the tasks that are necessary to complete a building project. They work closely with architects and engineers to ensure that the project can meet specifications and be completed on time and within budget.

They manage the construction project by supervising the project’s progress at each stage. They check budget allocations, hire subcontractors, and acquire the correct construction equipment. Moreover, they are responsible for performing quality control procedures, maintaining site safety, and keeping construction costs down.

BIM can help optimise all this and more.

BIM benefits for constructors on a construction site with two people on the right side

5 Key Benefits of BIM for Contractors

BIM centralises information and ensures that the contractor is always up to date with the latest data. As such, it can benefit contractors in several ways:

1. Better Pre-Construction Planning and Higher-Quality Results

BIM is more than a 3D model of a construction project. It is a process that includes detailed information about every aspect of the project.

This means that using BIM in the planning stage can sidestep many costly risks and reduce costs. With accurate calculations, contractors can produce higher-quality buildings. 

Additionally, BIM enables contractors to have a visual representation of the entire project. They can perform a virtual walkthrough with the architects and engineers to determine certain areas that need improvement. This collaboration during pre-construction allows all project stakeholders to determine the ideal approach to the project.

For example, they could identify where to place windows for the correct lighting. Or, they can determine the most suitable materials for the kind of building they are constructing. BIM can also help contractors identify alternative solutions or materials to reduce the overall cost of a project.

Furthermore, BIM improves site logistics for contractors. They can use it to simulate the best ways to manage equipment placement, vehicle access, and identify potential hazards on site.

2. Improved Data Management with Centralised Information

BIM allows for the creation of a common data environment (CDE) that employs standard data formats. This ensures that all project stakeholders can add information to BIM. It centralises all project information so that stakeholders can easily find the data they need. 

Each stakeholder, including the contractor, can access the BIM model and view any information. This way, they can ensure accuracy and easily track progress.  

For example, a contractor could input change orders directly into BIM. With a CDE, architects can read the information using BIM software. Most importantly, they can view these changes in real-time. This makes the construction immediately more collaborative.

Moreover, the contractor can input tasks for sub-contractors and builders. These workers can also check the tasks and record their progress in BIM. Contractors can quickly follow up on unfinished tasks without sending out repeated communications.

3. Accurate Takeoffs and Reliable Cost Estimates

Takeoffs outline the specific expenses and labour needed to complete the project. This includes creating an overview of the total costs of materials needed for a project. Thus, takeoffs enable contractors to estimate the overall cost of the project. 

Traditionally, contractors would estimate costs using 2D drawings. However, 2D takeoffs are less accurate and can lead to errors and reworks.

When contractors use BIM for a construction project, they can utilize 3D BIM tools to create a more detailed and more accurate cost estimation model for the project.

Furthermore, sub-contractors can coordinate with contractors and architects to detail the costs involved with their tasks for the project. They can add these details to the project model and update cost estimation calculations. 

4. Reduced Costs

Following on from the above point, by having accurate takeoffs and estimates, contractors can save money and resources. 

This is because they will be able to order more exact quantities of materials for the project. As such, they can avoid over- or under-ordering – thereby saving time and money.  

In addition, BIM also provides the perfect opportunity for prefabrication as it generates highly accurate models of building parts. So, contractors can save time and money using prefabricated parts instead of building the components on-site from scratch. 

5. Enhanced Coordination

With a CDE and BIM, project stakeholders can access the building model via the cloud using a range of smart devices.

Builders can view a 3D rendering of their task, including material and scope from any device. This makes onsite coordination easier and transparent.

Furthermore, BIM software can identify potential clashes during construction. This could be a clash between inserting plumbing or electric wiring in a certain section of a building. A contractor can use simulations to find the best position for both installations before construction begins. Ultimately, clash detection avoids reworking, delays and unnecessary costs.

Additionally, full BIM implementation allows contractors and stakeholders to design and document the construction project.

This is invaluable because BIM is a dynamic process that can change and adapt to stakeholder needs. This means that contractors can change documentation and design aspects on the fly. With a CDE and a comprehensive BIM, all stakeholders can access the documentation with the updated changes in a few seconds.

Lastly, BIM can also assist after project completion. During building handover, the owner or the contractor becomes the facility manager (FM). They need to maintain and monitor the building.

The facility manager would have full access to every stage of the construction project. As such, they will not need to communicate with any external parties. They can consult the BIM for product information, part numbers, and more.

Conclusion – BIM benefits for contractors

With BIM, contractors can work with highly accurate project models. This helps to reduce risks and costs before, during, and post-construction. 

Further, by centralising information and enhancing collaboration and coordination, contractors can ensure projects run smoothly. They can track progress easily, access up-to-date information, and streamline processes. As a result, they boost project productivity and reduce costs.

All these benefits of BIM for contractors lead to one thing: greater Return on Investment (ROI). So, by implementing BIM, contractors can improve their processes and entire business model. 

Not only is this beneficial for the contractor, but it helps deliver greater value to clients through increased accuracy and efficiency.

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