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  • Leo Vidal

How Can BIM Impact a Project's Cost Savings?

Updated: Mar 24

In the ever-changing world of construction, efficiency and profitability are paramount. All project managers, contractors, and stakeholders are looking for ways to streamline processes, reduce expenses, and maximize profits. Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been a game-changer in the construction industry, offering a wealth of tools and strategies to achieve significant cost savings throughout the project lifecycle. In this article, we'll explore how BIM can help in cost management, from the initial planning phases to ongoing maintenance at the operational stage.



Understanding the Cost Landscape


Before we get into the details of saving costs through BIM, it's critical to understand the varied nature of construction expenses. From material procurement and labour costs to equipment rental and overhead, managing project finances requires a deep understanding of the entire cost ecosystem. In addition, unforeseen contingencies, change orders, and delays can quickly add up to costs if not managed effectively. BIM provides an integrated approach to cost management, including various cost-related processes in a centralized digital environment.


Optimization of design and planning


One of the main ways BIM can save costs is by streamlining design and planning processes. Traditionally, design changes and revisions can be time-consuming and costly, leading to delays and cost overruns.


With BIM, project participants can collaborate in real-time in a digital environment exploring design alternatives, assessing their economic implications, and making informed decisions early in the project lifecycle. By leveraging BIM's 3D modelling capabilities, teams can visualize the project before construction begins, identifying potential cost-saving opportunities and optimizing engineering solutions.


Exact calculation of quantities


Accurate quantitative estimates are essential for accurate project costs. Manual calculations are prone to errors and inconsistencies, resulting in inflated budgets and inaccurate forecasts. BIM automates the quantity calculation process, pulling data directly from the digital model to generate accurate material quantities and cost estimates. This level of detail not only improves cost accuracy but also allows for proactive budget management and resource allocation. By integrating BIM with cost estimating software (such as Presto/Cost-it, Procore, RIB, CostX, etc) project teams can quickly generate detailed cost breakdowns, allowing them to make informed decisions and optimize project budgets.


Conflict detection and resolution


Conflicts and mismatches in construction can have significant cost impacts if not addressed promptly. BIM's conflict detection capabilities enable project teams to identify and resolve conflicts in the digital realm before they impact on-site construction activities. By simulating construction sequences and analysing collision reports, teams can proactively mitigate conflicts, optimize spatial layouts, and minimize costly demolitions and rework. This proactive approach not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of budget cost overruns associated with conflicts and unforeseen delays.


 

Increased coordination and collaboration


Effective coordination and collaboration are essential to achieving cost savings in construction projects. BIM serves as a centralized platform where all project stakeholders can collaborate in real time, sharing information and coordinating activities seamlessly. From architects and engineers to contractors and subcontractors, everyone has access to the latest project data, fostering transparency and accountability across the board. By breaking down communication barriers and facilitating cross-functional collaboration, BIM streamlines workflows minimizes errors, and generates efficiencies that translate into cost savings.

 


Life Cycle Cost Analysis


While the initial construction costs are significant, the true measure of a project's financial viability lies in its lifecycle costs. BIM enables comprehensive life-cycle cost analyses, considering not only construction costs but also long-term operational and maintenance costs. By simulating different maintenance scenarios and lifecycle strategies, project teams can make informed decisions that optimize the total cost of ownership over the life of the asset. This holistic approach to cost management ensures that savings made during construction are maintained throughout the asset's lifecycle, maximizing value for owners and stakeholders.

 

Building Information Modelling (BIM) offers a comprehensive approach to cost savings in construction projects, from streamlining design and planning processes to improving coordination and collaboration among project stakeholders. By leveraging BIM capabilities to perform accurate quantitative calculations, detect collisions, and analyse lifecycle costs, project teams can identify cost-saving opportunities early in the project lifecycle and proactively manage project budgets for maximum efficiency and value. As the construction industry continues to embrace digital transformation, BIM will continue to be a cornerstone of cost-effective project delivery, driving innovation and efficiency for years to come. 


Contact us if you need to reduce the costs and risks of your project.












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