17 February 2023
How Can Offshore Design Partners Fit into Current BIM Workflows?
In 2021, the global market size for BIM was $5.7 billion.
In 2028, the projected market size for BIM globally will be $11.17 billion.
Everyone wants a piece of that.
Achieving greatness only needs the right partner. Design partners can offer invaluable benefits in today’s 3D BIM modelling workflows, but how does one choose the right partner and what will they need to know? One indication is the depth of knowledge and range of experience a design support partner can provide. But what does a BIM workflow in the modern age consist of? What is the potential of BIM services today in a construction project?
What Pies Does BIM Have Its Fingers In?
The future of BIM is being sculpted by certain state-of-the-art trends, such as:
Enhanced 3D Printing
Applications of 3D printing in construction? Small-scale manufacturing by designers or engineers and initial field tests in single-storey buildings can use 3D printing. Using BIM and 3D printing, drawings, plans and models can be produced faster, as BIM software can be used in design for greater customisation.
Using BIM, dimensions and structural elements can be specified and accurately simulated in a digital 3D model. On approval, all relevant data is transferred to a 3D printer, helping reduce the number of steps in the process. So, BIM enables the development of accurate design while reducing waste and costs.
Progressive 3D Laser Scanning
Today’s 3D laser scanners can record a building’s dimensions and shape. This information is then converted into data points. These data points can then be imported into a BIM construction model. 3D laser scanning saves time, as it records data faster than humans. The automated data collection eliminates human error and resulting delays.
Drone surveying can use 3D laser scans to determine the distance between points and the location of points in 2D and 3D. Drones can also amass data from locations that are humanly difficult to access.
Surge in Prefabrication
A coordinated BIM model can ease the prefabrication of components to be installed at the site. BIM generates detailed models in a fabrication-level 3D file format that can be directly used by Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) machines, enabling the creation of high precision and high quality components. BIM eliminates the need to produce CAM data for the manufacturer, reducing potential data inaccuracies and ensuring the manufacture of installation-ready components.
The UK is looking to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. BIM models can provide data that enables engineers to assess water, energy and CO2 emissions. BIM for sustainable construction can provide a building’s energy consumption data, which can be then used to decide how to manage the building’s energy cycle to reduce its carbon footprint. Using BIM technology to generate accurate building models, energy performance can be estimated. Also, simulations can be run using different parameters, helping to close the gap between estimated and actual energy performance.
BIM models can also help reduce wastage of time, labour and resources while improving sustainability goals during the entire lifecyle of a building.
Cutting Edge Cloud Computing
Cloud computing facilitates the storage and processing of data from remote servers on the Internet rather than use local servers or personal computers. Integrating BIM software with the cloud enables immediate updates, easy collaboration and easy tracking with universal access to data. Architects, designers and engineers have access to the same data from different locations, helping updated reporting and effective development of the model. Today, design meetings, document approvals, contract negotiations and site inspections can all happen in the cloud.
Drawing-free Construction Site
Using models on site with cloud computing can result in the reduced need for drawings while adjusting processes to digital deliveries. Building owners can use digital twins for more informed decision-making, while contractors can improve efficiency using BIM technology on site through the use of tablets, digital checklists in models or off-site prefabrication using the model.
Automated workflows offer a competitive edge for many companies. Easy scripting and Robotic Processes Automation can result in greater use of visual programming, so that myriad manual and repetitive tasks can be performed using automation, especially useful for extensive projects.
Scripting requires a coder or a developer to develop project-specific scripts or add-ons. Automation can create a project-specific script that saves precious man-hours, resulting in greater efficiency and productivity while battling rising global inflation rates and higher salaries. Firms can look forward to high-quality deliverable utilising reduced personnel as a result of automation.
Increasingly popular digital twins are fast becoming a necessity. More building owners need an actual as-built model reflecting the real building in every relevant detail, as well as all connected data and documents. Advances in FM software enable the management of digital twins after construction, making it a trend that may be here to stay.
Using real-time sensors to map vital operational areas, digital twins can generate data on device performance, reducing costs and time. This helps ensure accurate construction and reduced errors.
Thus, BIM can accelerate workflows while promoting integration and interoperability with other technologies that feed into BIM, such as AI, VR and IoT, helping perform processes independently and efficiently, without errors.
BIM enables and enhances procedures in an exponentially effective manner. Most new technologies will likely only operate on BIM-enabled projects. Adoption of BIM technology will no longer be a choice, but how can late adopters to this trend cope? They will need experienced and knowledgeable design partners to support their endeavours.
Offshore partners, an increasingly preferred design support option, have the expertise, knowledge and experience to deal with all of the trends mentioned above while delivering accurate 3D modelling services, architectural design services and building construction drawings. With years of experience in a range of global projects and the constant upgradation of skills and market concepts, some offshore partners practically excel in providing BIM solutions, making them invaluable cogs in current BIM workflows.
XS CAD has valuable experience providing 3D BIM modelling and BIM services for general contractors and consultants in building construction. Our range of services for global consultants and contractors include BIM for sustainable construction, BIM construction models, 3D modelling services, architectural design services and building construction drawings, and we can convert point clouds to MEP models. We create these models and drawings by using Revit, AutoCAD and BIM Collaborate Pro for cloud collaboration.