Successful management of large and small BIM projects

BIM is the most important theme in the construction industry. And that's good this time. Because those involved in construction are made familiar with the planning method. This reduces inhibitions and uncertainties. However, skepticism about BIM can grow due to outdated or incomplete information.

First questions arise quickly. When is BIM worthwhile? But only for large construction projects from 5 million euros? How can I establish BIM as an individual? How can I get colleagues into the BIM boat?

The first specialist articles and books are then read.

The questions become more concrete. What are the training and investment costs for new software? What is the changeover effort, especially for two-dimensional planning? Is this effort then worthwhile for small offices with the correspondingly small construction projects?

This leads to questions of professional policy. How does BIM affect the profession of planner? How is the structure of planning offices developing? Is it foreseeable that planning services from a single source will become more important?

These questions lead to the existential question: Is BIM worthwhile for me?

Yes, BIM is worth it!

This article cannot answer all questions - especially not in general. BIM as a planning method has the foundation on which it works. How these cornerstones are established in companies, however, must be decided individually by each small and large company.

BIM is often marketed as a software solution. However, this is not correct. BIM is not a software. The software can be BIM-enabled. BIM is a planning method - which offers many advantages for those involved in construction.

But to use BIM, software solutions must offer certain features. For example, software products must support parameterized 3D objects, building structuring that simplifies planning, evaluations and interfaces for data exchange. Sounds very technical and IT-intensive at first.

In fact, the introduction and implementation of BIM are more management than IT. For management, the central data model through BIM is an enormous advantage. Details and building data on the planning, execution and use of a property are collected in this one data model. The idea behind BIM? Holistic planning for the entire life cycle of a building. From conception, design, specialist planning, production to maintenance and its disposal or recycling.

Due to the initial additional effort, BIM creates uncertainty for users. This is because setting up and maintaining the central data model for BIM can initially be more complex than conservative, drawing-based planning. A lot of time is invested in 3D modelling without immediately benefiting from it. But especially the initial effort with BIM is worth it!

Create error awareness

The BIM method cannot absorb stress, a lack of thinking, a lack of detailed planning and even less the constant changing of plans. However, by accumulating information, errors can be detected early. This makes collision management much more efficient and reduces the risk of additional costs due to bad planning many times over.

Risk minimization thanks to frontloading of information

Ideally, the additional work involved in setting up and maintaining the BIM data model will be offset later, since subsequent processes benefit from this and fewer errors occur during the construction phase, for example.

In addition, the workload is shifting: preliminary and design planning is given greater weight because the BIM basic model is generated mainly in this phase.

In the tendering phase, a more precise and faster cost calculation and construction time planning is possible. If all information relevant for production, delivery, assembly and execution is entered into the BIM model, the corresponding processes can be optimized. For example, construction and assembly processes can be simulated down to the last detail using the BIM model in order to prevent surprises on the construction site.

A good BIM manager for small and large projects

Architects, civil engineers, general planners, facility managers or a committed service provider - almost anyone can develop further as a BIM manager. And be absorbed in the role.

The BIM manager of small and large projects usually sets up the BIM project at the start. It already records all the data available to it in a central data model. In this way, nothing is lost and subsequent construction actors can access the relevant information.

The BIM manager is also responsible for compliance with specifications. For example, in component modelling, building structuring or data transfer, certain specifications may prevail from various construction actors. For example, the BIM manager determines the first conditions for the conversion from neutral to manufacturer-specific BIM objects. The software solution from BIMsystems offers the approach of configuring neutral to specific BIM objects, which are called BIM content thanks to enriched information. In this solution, attributes and parameters are assigned to neutral BIM content, which then greatly shorten the search when selecting manufacturer-specific BIM content. In this way, BIM managers can make the planning phase as effective and productive as possible for those involved.

Transparency and process overview

If the common BIM model is used consistently, small and large construction projects can be managed more efficiently and safely. Building information is collected in a data model. Via role management each user sees exactly what he should see. This helps to avoid being overloaded with information and to concentrate on the essentials. In addition, BIM managers can overview the entire process, call up the required information and check data. This ensures maximum transparency in the process.

Smooth exchange of information and real-time collaboration

But there are also conflicts: The BIM model requires information that is often not yet known at the time of planning. However, this is remedied by the continuous procurement of information. Information, specifications and technical data that are entered in the course of the project are collected and checked in the data model. Conflicts caused by changed conditions are displayed directly in the CAD system.

On the other hand, the effort for approval, execution and technical planning is reduced, as much can be derived from the model. Data volume and data management can also become a challenge. In particular, large projects must be subdivided by trade or department so that they remain editable.

Multiple entries by the respective specialist planners involved are avoided, work processes become more efficient, productivity is improved, planning and execution qualities are increased.

Project data can be edited in parallel - by several editors and from different locations. Waiting times are therefore a thing of the past.

Big Open BIM!

The described procedure and the associated advantages can only be achieved with the help of "Big Open BIM". This means the interdisciplinary cooperation of all partners involved in the planning, execution and use of a building, who collaborate via software tools from different manufacturers.

This is currently still largely a vision! Although the isolated solution "Little BIM" is already being practiced more frequently, it does not provide building actors with the necessary flexibility - another obstacle to the use of BIM. Therefore the BIM solution of BIMsystems focuses exactly on Big Open BIM.

bottom line

BIM is worth it! For small and large construction projects. For small and large companies. Big Open BIM is the vision that is currently becoming reality with BIMsystems. It is high time to integrate BIM into the current processes now, so as not to be overtaken by digital transformation and instead to shine with new services and competencies in your area!

Marcel Volm | Senior Marketing Manager bei BIMsystems
Marcel Volm | Senior Marketing Manager at BIMsystems


Marcel Volm

Senior Marketing Manager at BIMsystems

Marcel is BIMsystems' contact person for marketing and communication. He opens our doors.

Customers, partners and interested parties receive exciting content and personal impressions. Translating technical jargon is his daily bread - so that people out there understand us.