Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) are highly competitive and fast-growing industries. Hence, integrating the latest technologies, such as building information modeling (BIM), is essential for the design, building, and operation of these industries. This article presents an overview of BIM technology and its application in the construction industry.
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BIM and its Impact on the Construction Industry
Resource efficiency is crucial for sustainable development in the construction industry. However, inefficient decision-making related to reuse and recycling stems from inaccurate quantification of construction and demolition waste (C&DW) because of a lack of sufficient data regarding components and building materials.
Additionally, approximate calculation methods, such as waste index and material flow analysis, used to quantify C&DW materials rely on data collected from industry surveys and site visits and are inefficient.
BIM technology provides an integrated project delivery (IPD) approach to information management in the construction industry. This technology simulates the processes, aspects, and systems of a constructed asset in a virtual model. BIM technology aids in the generation and management of the physical and functional elements of buildings, which are utilized to make informed decisions from conception to demolition.
BIM in Optimizing Energy Efficiency Constructions
Global concerns regarding carbon emissions and the depletion of natural resources have led to the emergence of sustainable architectural design. The development of BIM technology has gradually helped reduce carbon emissions in the construction field.
BIM aids in sustainable construction in three phases:
- Design Phase: BIM technology improves transparency during the design phase. In other words, it allows the parties involved (architects, builders, and suppliers) to consider the sustainability of materials and design even before taking the project live.
This technology enables the visualization of the final outcome and function of a building model, thus providing a real-time summary of how the proposed materials and items are intended to be used and placed to help anticipate the expected performance upon completion of the project. This makes the entire construction process time and cost-efficient in the design phase itself.
- Construction Phase: BIM enables the use of cutting-edge techniques, such as robotic systems and prefabrication, enhancing productivity and sustainability in construction and expediting project completion.
Real-time collaboration and three-dimensional (3D) simulation using BIM also aid in enhancing efficiency by reducing the need for multiple deliveries, minimizing waste materials, and consequently reducing carbon footprints.
Overall, BIM contributes to a building’s environmental sustainability in the long term by offering numerous advantages, such as saving time, reducing errors, and improving designs.
- Operational Phase: BIM enables the easy sharing of 3D models, facilitating facile building operations during and after construction. Additionally, internet of things (IoT) devices, which are easily integrated into buildings, track multiple aspects, including temperature and lighting, for efficient operation.
Many professionals in the construction industry leverage BIM to provide sustainable operational advice and maintenance plans in the project’s final specifications, thereby enhancing the value and sustainability of the building.
Advantages of BIM in the Construction Industry
- BIM helps architects and engineers reduce energy consumption by simulating the energy analysis and performance of a building. Thus, it aids in the optimization of energy efficiency.
- Due to the ability of BIM technology to simulate a construction process, it can help reduce waste materials and boost productivity,
- BIM can help in the selection and classification of materials used in construction and can predict its effect on the environment.
- BIM reduces the overall cost by reducing waste and enhancing energy efficiency.
- Along with light and temperature, BIM can also predict water demand, identify water-saving fixtures and appliances, and replicate water distribution systems, ultimately improving the building's water use.
- The data on the building systems, components, and equipment obtained using BIM can help maintain building operations after the completion of the project.
How Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) Improve Accuracy and Efficiency in Construction Projects?
The past decade has been significant, with over 60% of AI application research being conducted in the construction field, leading to the integration of the latest technologies, including Blockchain, IoT, and Cybersecurity, into this field.
Integrating AI into the construction industry involves applying state-of-the-art computing techniques, including robotics and machine learning (ML), to streamline, automate, and optimize construction processes. This is termed smart construction and helps improve the efficiency and productivity of construction projects.
Robotics employs automated machines to execute tasks such as excavation and bricklaying. On the other hand, ML helps analyze data and optimizes the construction process. Augmented reality (AR) is another AI technology that helps workers transform virtual data into a physical form, thus improving efficiency.
Smart construction involves using sensors that facilitate real-time data analysis to optimize the safety, performance, and efficacy of building construction. IoT and robotics automate dangerous and repetitive tasks. This development promises a competitive future for AI in the construction industry.
Overall, BIM software technology involves the entire life cycle of a building construction. This allows collaborative work by different stakeholders by facilitating data management, process management, and documentation throughout the construction life cycle.
BIM helps improve project management, promote productivity, and augment project completion in a sustainable manner. Hence, BIM is viewed as a catalyst for innovation and productivity in the construction industry.
The ability of BIM software to predict the placement and functionality of construction materials helps in reducing multiple deliveries and minimizes waste materials and carbon emissions. BIM is used throughout the project life cycle for data generation, manipulation, collection, management, and effective dissemination.
Moreover, smart construction that leverages AI is revolutionizing the construction industry by transferring the way stakeholders operate and maintain buildings, as the entire process is being visualized even before construction. This ensures the efficiency and safety of the building. The continued development of AI-based technologies can help innovate effective solutions for problems faced in the construction industry.
Market Report: Architectural Design Software Globally
References and Further Reading
Designing for Sustainability With BIM: Optimizing Energy Efficiency . (Accessed on 23 rd October 2023)
What Is BIM and How It Has Revolutionized Construction | CIC .... (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2023, from https://www.cicconstruction.com/blog/what-is-bim-and-how-it-has-revolutionized-construction.
Han, D., Kalantari, M., & Rajabifard, A. (2021). Building information modeling (BIM) for construction and demolition waste management in Australia: A research agenda. Sustainability, 13(23), 12983. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/23/12983
Datta, S. D., Tayeh, B. A., Hakeem, I. Y., & Abu Aisheh, Y. I. (2023). Benefits and Barriers of Implementing Building Information Modeling Techniques for Sustainable Practices in the Construction Industry—A Comprehensive Review. Sustainability, 15(16), 12466. https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612466