By and large, building information modelling (BIM) has permeated all major construction sectors, including commercial, residential, and healthcare projects. Nevertheless, the adoption of intelligent 3D parametric model-based design and documentation techniques has been relatively slower in the homebuilding and residential domain than in the commercial realm. Whilst many small and mid-sized architectural practices and residential-focused participants believe the cost and effort of completely shifting to residential BIM modelling outweighs its benefits, other firms view the model-based approach as offering economies of scale only for large projects with higher repetitive designs.

On the other hand, few homebuilding firms and residential owners fall in between the above two ends of the BIM adoption spectrum. These project stakeholders employ a healthy mix of both conventional 2D AutoCAD-based methods and a 3D BIM approach to develop homebuilder construction drawings. Such stakeholders decide whether to go for BIM or not depending on several factors, including the project complexity and the delivery method.

As more and more residential owners and their team participants gain maturity in  using the modern model-based approach to construction documentation, there is an increasing realisation that BIM has a capability to not only bring diverse project stakeholders together in the early project stages but also make construction data more intelligent than before to aid informed decision-making. Depending on the level of details (LODs) used and the scope of the residential project, employing parametric modelling techniques provide several positive value propositions: greater interoperability and cross-discipline communication; early elimination of design/coordination clashes; and accurate cost estimation.

Considering that a master BIM model is an integrated representation of several discipline-specific BIM models: architectural, structural, building services (MEP), and pre-fabrication, amongst others, the communication between multiple parties involved in the project is open and transparent. As a result, the residential design team, the building services team, and the contracting team have a greater ability to discuss, share, and anticipate issues before construction kicks off. Apart from the homebuilder construction drawings extracted from the 3D BIM models, each participant has access to aspects concerning quantity of materials, scheduling, energy performance, and cost/time implications of different design alternatives. This surely makes decision-making more effective and accurate.

Besides streamlining multi-party coordination, employing residential BIM modelling can help the project management team analyse the constructability of a particular design. The smart parametric models allow the team to review design clashes and analyse documents for any missing information that is critical to a project. Consequently, in a few meetings project managers can review the master BIM models and discuss it with all key participants to eliminate design clashes and thoroughly embed construction documents with all the essential information.  Most importantly, all this information is available in the pre-construction stages as opposed to on-site when rectifications can have significant cost overruns.

Additionally, parametric BIM models can considerably improve cost estimation and strategic cost planning compared to conventional AutoCAD-based methods. As these smart models help extract accurate bill of quantities (BOQs) and bill of materials (BOMs), all stakeholders get real-time updates concerning the variance in cost of different design iterations whilst providing greater predictability to owners and investors.

The residential BIM models refine interdisciplinary coordination, provide detailed constructability analysis in the pre-construction stages, and offer accurate project cost estimation as well as helping leverage crucial design and construction data to support intelligent decision-making. So, if your firm operates in the homebuilding industry and is looking for an experienced residential BIM modelling support service to handle all your homebuilder construction drawings, please contact us.