In competitive environments, accurate designs that minimise change are key to achieving business objectives. In terms of design, building information modelling (BIM) has the potential to provide significant benefits to the Indian construction sector. Considering the high volume of real estate and infrastructure construction activity India is witnessing, BIM, if deployed appropriately, can provide significant savings, enhance the quality of the built environment that gets delivered and allow the industry to make expected contributions to the growth of the country. Sadly, much of this potential remains untapped. Sunil MK, head, AEC division, Autodesk India & SAARC, says, “Projects frequently suffer from adversarial relationships, low productivity rates, high rates of inefficiency and rework, frequent disputes and lack of innovation, resulting in time or cost overruns in several projects. BIM aims to change the situation for the better. BIM extends the capacity of the project team to start thinking about time, cost, quality, sustainability and other pragmatic parameters in the early stages of the project.”
According to a recent study by RICSKPMG and Autodesk, BIM offers several benefits:
• BIM results in improved coordination among various disciplines involved in various project phases. For instance, through BIM, a model created by an architect can be used by structural designer, MEP consultants or facade consultants for their respective domain specific design and engineering tasks. Federating the input of all these disciplines as the design evolves leads to the identification and addressing of potential clashes or collisions. This can be further used by contractors to make manufacturing or fabrication plans, thus increasing coordination among various stakeholders.
• It helps improve construction cycle by reducing duplication of work, identifying standard and repetitive components and removing issues before the construction process commences.
• 3D visuals generated via BIM provide clarity on the product to various stakeholders, thus providing them sufficient visibility of the practical challenges.
• An issue that is observed during the construction stage is clashes between various disciplines, which require significant rework of the design or construction. BIM helps in identifying such issues at the design stage itself and allows for a collaborative process for resolution. BIM also helps high light other construction issues, such as constructability, material usage and timelines and allows value engineering exercise to be conducted.
• Users can resolve coordination issues, produce a near ‘zero-defect’ design and predict the material required more accurately, leading to reduced wastage on site during the construction and maintenance processes.
• BIM helps in reducing duplication of work, reducing wastage and also in keeping a check on the cost. It guarantees a better certainty of the end product over traditional CAD technology.
• A user can keep a check on the progress of the project across all the phases of design development to construction to project operations and the maintenance phase. It is useful in managing changes in a project. It allows visualisation of changes more effectively. Change propagation in the model is easier in BIM as compared to 2D documentation.
According to a recent report by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, the world faces a major infrastructure finance gap in the coming years. This shortfall is a unique opportunity for institutional investors because public resources are under sustained downward pressure.
An estimated $57 trillion will be needed to finance infrastructure development around the world through 2030 – and the shortfall is estimated at $500 billion a year. This shortfall can be taken care of by adopting advanced technologies that will help achieve efficiency without compromising on quality and standards. Lee Miller, VP and director of buildingSMART Implementation, HOK, says, “Leveraging technology has become essential in how we plan, design, build and operate, in response to the growing demand for higher performing and energy efficient infrastructure and buildings, rising costs, greater global competition, expectations for sustainability, and an increasing focus among owners to maximise the return on their investment. Adoption of 3D design technologies like BIM to improve collaboration, efficiency and performance in planning and design phase, during construction, in post-build savings and for ongoing operational management has become critical.”
Some of the recent projects like Navi Mumbai Airport Terminal used AutoCAD Civil 3D and Khed city developed by Kalyani Group have leveraged Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite. Kalyani Group saved 7% of their construction cost by using BIM in construction business, which is huge.
BIM can be used across several categories in the construction Industry. For architecture, the products help in developing higher quality, more innovative projects with tools for design, documentation, visualization, and simulation.
Also designers can improve communication throughout the project lifecycle by more securely managing and sharing data with collaborators and stakeholders.
In construction, BIM can evaluate and enhance the constructability of designs and improve the project delivery process with field management and virtual construction software. MEP consultants can use the software effectively to design, simulate, and document complex building systems more accurately and efficiently, while structural engineers can design, analyse, and collaborate more accurately with structural engineering tools that support the process.
Miller says that BIM can help professionals to do their jobs better, with greater collaborative input. “Companies must empower project teams to seize the opportunities that BIM provides through dedicated guidance and training.”
The construction industry in India has been traditionally slow to adapt to global trends. It is an attitudinal issue. It is important for all stakeholders to come together — industry, academia and policymakers — and gradually nudge owners and operators to embrace technology. The benefits in terms of sustainability, cost optimisation and efficiencies of scale that technology brings in are huge and industry players who have successfully integrated technology need to demonstrate this success. Sunil says, “We have consistently tried to bring key stakeholders of India together through our leadership summits to lead the adoption of BIM in India. We have also agreed on the creation of a national task force on BIM implementation that includes members from institutions and developers of the industry.”
The construction industry is experiencing a shift: more contractors are using mobile devices to transfer and share information amongst multiple stakeholders. This transformation has necessitated the need for cloud and mobile technologies that will allow contractors to work anywhere, share anywhere, and have access to an infinite amount of computing power. Key Autodesk technologies for the building industry—including BIM 360 Glue and BIM 360 Field—are helping transform the $7 trillion construction industry. With BIM 360 Glue, contractors have a cloud-based solution that provides easier coordination, simple clash detection and coordination. With BIM 360 Field, contractors have better field management, commissioning and handover.
The Autodesk BIM 360 Field supports 2D and BIM-based workflows. This combination enables entirely new ways of managing field processes—such as quality, safety, and commissioning checklists; distribution of plans and drawings; and mobile 2D and BIM construction document access—supporting time and cost savings for construction and capital projects of all types. Similarly, Autodesk BIM 360 Glue is a cloud-based BIM coordination and management service that provides anytime, anywhere access to connected project information to accelerate multidiscipline collaboration, reduce coordination review cycles, and improve project efficiency.
BIM was pioneered by Autodesk and today the company is a leading provider of building, information, modelling solutions to the construction industry. The company has several firsts and on-going innovation over the past 30 years – first mainstream CAD product with Auto- CAD, first to introduce BIM to the market and the first to develop full blown CAD in the cloud. In addition, Sunil is keen to extend BIM across the building lifecycle beyond design to support fabrication and construction of structural systems with best-in-class solutions. “We are expanding our technology and gaining domain expertise to accelerate the adoption of BIM for structural detailing and fabrication, and to connect BIM workflows between engineers, engineering consultants and contractors.”
Miller says, “It‘s important to actively engage with clients and partners to conduct research and innovate new ways to solve their challenges. With BIM project teams can collaborate on virtual models, test ideas, optimise building performance and coordinate work prior to procurement or construction.”
It defines the best process to deliver projects to clients by producing high quality and efficient designs and to offer services that can most effectively achieve their goals. BIM not only makes better buildings but in many places is facilitating a better process for design, fabrication and construction that improves quality, compresses schedule and saves money by reducing waste. At HOK, Miller uses a process for innovation called Fully Integrated Thinking, or FIT.
The FIT framework enables designers to inform their decision-making through the lens of natural, social and ecological systems. Created with Biomimicry 3.8, FIT allows us to discover solutions to today’s design challenges by emulating natural strategies that have evolved over 3.8 billion years.