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4 Tips to Use BIM to Lower Construction Risks

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The construction industry is not necessarily safe.

Between ominous construction injury statistics and frequent news about business closure, the construction industry seems particularly unsafe both physically and financially.

Danger Keep Out, Danger Hard Hat Area signs.

Thankfully, building information modeling (BIM) can substantially assuage the risks associated with construction.  BIM is a process of digitally developing a building and its features—a process that starts at the beginning of the design process and ends when the building is complete. BIM is frequently implemented with construction software, like VectorWorks and Revit.

BIM can make your worksite safer in four ways:

  • It can ensure that your building lasts a long time
  • It can help your project satisfy environmental requirements
  • It can deter negative project events
  • It can identify hazards on site before they even happen.

Ensure building durability

Reconstruction Of A Building

To put it simply, traditional 2D and 3D drawings are insufficient when it comes to building design because CAD drawings forego timelines, specifications, guides, and even basic labels—in other words, the capacity for error is greatly increased without BIM. Time has shown that the system allows contractors to have a quick reference for building improvements. BIM sets up new buildings for long-term success.

But BIM can also help improve pre-existing buildings. Consider the renovation of an emergency room at an old hospital—BIM was successfully used to maintain the original medical center’s structure while also adding a new wing to the old building. Not only that, but contractors used BIM to attain LEED Silver—an almost-impossible feat without the organization that BIM software provides.

Save the planet

20080708_Chicago_City_Hall_Green_Roof

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the construction industry’s standard in green construction. This accreditation system requires that contractors examine how the building they are constructing will impact the environment—in everything from air quality to water usage.

BIM can easily sync with LEED requirements. For example, Tally by Autodesk can calculate your building’s impact on the environment. Industry experts can use this information to optimize their construction materials for accreditation, earning their construction firm the potential for substantial tax credits and recognition.

Optimize project management

Lower Construction Risks

via Petras Gaglias, Flickr

BIM is most effective when it integrates with construction management software. Construction project managers can use BIM as a system to identify potential project pain points, namely in cost and time estimating. Using BIM’s organization and implementation system, project managers are deeply investigate their construction project long before construction begins. BIM ultimately cuts down on project liability and risk, effectively lessening the probability that the project will have a poor outcome.

More importantly, construction companies tend to pursue projects that are similar in scope. Consistently using BIM can help reduce cost variability, aid in the bidding process, and ultimately reduce time between projects.

Create a safer working environment

Lower Construction Risks

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created a long list of safety standards that apply to the construction industry. Luckily, BIM is especially suited to keeping your crew safe and compliant on the job.

BIM models and plans task in a sequential order. This process eliminates common pain points in the construction industry that were largely unpredictable without the help of software. BIM also provides a visual mock-up of the final building. Construction experts can use these 4D mock ups to locate potential hazards before they do damage on the job site.

BIM also provides visual risk analysis and safety evaluations. The process can produce reports about site conditions for workers—a particularly helpful tool for novice construction workers who are unfamiliar with the site.

More?

Building information modeling makes the entire construction process safer. It puts clients at ease because it next-to-guarantees that the final product will be quality. It can be used to help save the planet. It provides safety to the construction firm because it reduces the chance of project mis-management, and the process creates a safer work environment for construction workers.

I’m sure that there are other ways that BIM makes the construction industry safer for everyone. What did I miss? Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!

Looking for Construction Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Construction Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Rachel Burger

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Rachel is a content manager for Capterra, a free online resource that quickly matches businesses to their software needs. She specializes in project management tips, tools, and tricks . She also runs her own blog on content marketing. On the rare occasion Rachel isn't writing, she's reading, hiking, jogging, or spending time with her friends and family.

Comments

Here are several other processes that integrate BIM or Revit for construction safety.
Revit-BIM Manages Construction Site Assets and Safety
http://bradleybim.com/2014/12/10/revit-bim-manages-construction-site-assets-and-safety-au2014/
~ Cheers

Very interesting, I never considered BIM is also good for construction workers. I saw companies like assai-software (www.assai-software.com) provide BIM services. Anyone any thoughts on this company?

Oh sorry the link was not complete: http://www.assai-software.com

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