Integrated project delivery (IPD) is considered as an advanced method of project delivery since all the entities related to the project have to work in a highly collaborative manner to achieve the goals set out for the project. The owner selects an Architect, contractor, and a construction management team if required before the kick-off of a project’s design. A joint contract is signed between all three entities after goals, objectives, and scope are established collaboratively.
The Architect designs the project in consultation with the client and then passes forward the designs to the contractor team who builds it. If the project is massive or the client does not have adequate technical awareness on how to handle such a project, he/she can appoint a construction manager or a construction management team depending on the project’s requirement. This team can handle all the technical aspects the client struggles with and can produce a smooth flawless workflow between the different entities.
Since in IPD, a single contract is signed between the different teams working in the project, the risk of execution of this project is uniformly spread among them. So increasing the collaboration between the teams is the best solution to get their tasks done, and this is where Building Information Modelling (BIM) plays an important role. Not using the traditional method of drafting a plan or sharing the project information between the different entities can help in saving time and interchanging information in a better and more organised manner.
A single plan of a project can contain various data which can be hard to identify for the multiple teams. When this data is organised, it can be termed as information, and this information in an organised manner will be easy to access for the different teams working on the project.
Introducing BIM in IPD, assists owners, designers and constructors in reducing wastage in time, and improving productivity. When implemented at the beginning of the project, it helps in sharing information openly to the owners whereby they will have a clear picture of how to project will be executed throughout the planned phase. Using BIM creates a centre point for all project information to facilitate a process for smart designing. Contractors work most effectively when provided with the most amount of data and details that 3D models offer.
During the pre-construction phase, the introduction of BIM will make it easy for the architects to communicate with the clients and produce way more information into the project plans compared to the traditional ways. It enables different teams (Architect, structural, MEP, etc.) to manage the design collectively from various remote areas. The communication between them will be enhanced, and collaboration will increase. Once the architects have designed it, the client will be able to visualise the final outcome of this project and once approved by him, the design is handed over to the contractor team.
Once, the contractor receives the drawings and models; he can use the BIM models as an information resource during the construction phase. The data helps him assign tasks efficiently to the different subcontractors utilising the model and track the progression of the project by updating the model. Contractors can also link BIM to schedule while recording labour productivity information to bring transparency to the client during the construction progression. The changes in the models will be visible to the various teams and this enhances collaboration between the contractors and the other stakeholders. Additionally, the contractor may need to upgrade the models to a higher Level of Development, detail out the geometry to the level of a nut and bolt and also adding more information to the elements.
In the Postconstruction phase, the primary task is to hand over the completed project to the client and operate the facility management process smoothly. Once the BIM models are transferred to the owners, they will have the knowledge of which component is located where, its properties and also a lot of associated metadata.
For the Construction Management team, BIM comes in handy throughout the various phases of the project. During the pre-construction phase, they can manage the requirements of the client and convey them to the design team. They can also monitor if the design is under the budget of the client and if it will be economical. In the construction phase, the management team can assess the progress of the construction and also verify if they are using materials as per the client’s requirement. The construction management team can also keep a look at the economic point of the project and inform the client about the cash inflow and outflow. In the post-construction phase, the BIM models are used by the management team for the facility management operation.
Therefore we can see that BIM is not just merely a technology, or that it only refers to 3-Dimensional designing (though 3D models are indeed at the core of BIM). BIM is a process that helps in creating and managing all the information about a project, leading to an output known as a Building Information Model, which will contain digital descriptions for every aspect of the planned physical project. This will make communication more accessible and more effective between the various teams.
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To conclude, we can see that implementing Building Information Modelling in an Integrated Project Delivery method increases the efficiency of the entire process from the pre-construction phase to the post-construction phase. It enhances the collaboration and coordination between the various teams working within the project. It also increases the productivity of the departments within these teams and reduces the time period required to achieve their tasks. The technology advancements of devices and cloud-based software are facilitating the adoption of this technology during this era. Therefore, implementation of BIM can hence prove to be a cost-effective solution to the modern construction Industry. If you’d like to get the best of technology in construction project planning, standardization and delivery, try out planbim.io!