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The next big things in BIM

Over the past 20 years, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become a critical tool in the industry, enabling different disciplines to collaborate easily and instantly across an entire project from design to construction phases. And as the technology and ecosystem around it continue to evolve, BIM’s influence is only going to increase.

The big question is, with the BIM market forecast to grow by 15% CAGR between 2020 and 2027, what are the key trends we can expect?


The benefits of BIM

Just as consumer technology has transformed so many areas of our lives, BIM’s digital construction has totally changed the way architects, engineers and construction teams work together.

It’s made it easier to share information and communicate between different teams and project managers, locations and time zones, creating a common data environment that’s a central reference point for everything from 3D models to schedules, suppliers to green building issues.


Did You Know?

88% of architecture, engineering and construction industry professionals say
that BIM enables better design insight* Source: Dodge Data and Analytics

Being able to visualise a construction project in a digital environment at the pre-build phase pays all kinds of dividends. They include the ability to generate accurate model-based cost estimates and to carry out virtual project run-throughs. This results in better coordinated construction processes when projects do get to the construction stage, with improved time management, construction sequences planned more accurately, timetable clashes avoided, improved on-site safety and seamless, on-time handovers. From architectural design and supply chain control to operational management and facilities management, it’s a better overall experience through the project and building lifecycle

Shrinking obstacles

There are some barriers to BIM being used on every build process, though. The time and expense of adopting the software and training team members is a key one that’s stopping some clients getting on board – particularly for smaller projects. Another fear can be that the software won’t work smoothly with existing systems, or that it can be hard to find BIM experts who can offer advice. All of these obstacles are shrinking, though. As new companies come into the space with cost-effective tools and training that can get users up and running faster and for less, BIM’s bright future seems assured.

Looking ahead

So where is all this momentum leading? And how does BIM dovetail with some of the other industry and tech developments that are going on around it?

Did You Know?

96% of construction professionals report that their collaboration solutions
have already paid for themselves


From Modelling to Information

The big shift in BIM has been a steady shift of emphasis from the Modelling to the Information that underpins digital construction. So while the 3D building model with 4D and 5D potential is still key, it’s the data that driving fundamental changes in workflow, planning and the decision-making process.

These are just some of the key trends adding to the momentum of BIM. With more and more project teams relying on it for the delivery of projects, the technology is increasingly demonstrating its worth and how it can evolve with growing and changing demand.

Future Trends

Big data analysis

Leveraging the big data that so many companies hold can make BIM an even more powerful tool. For example, by fine-tuning supplier agreements, creating real-time cost visualization and understanding how assets might be used.

Drones

Drone footage gives another perspective on a construction project that can be converted into digital files to enhance complex building 3D modelling and provide a richer experience from design to progress reporting.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented and virtual reality are fast-evolving technologies that are complementary to BIM and particularly useful for construction presentations and evaluations.

The internet of things – from smart objects to smart cities

Our increasingly connected lives provide an opportunity to gather data from our devices, homes, offices and buildings, and plug that insight directly into BIM software. The result is models that give us an incredibly clear picture of not just how things will look, but how they will be used.

5G

The ability to transfer more data faster and for less only makes BIM more widely accessible.

3D printing

The growth in 3D printing segues perfectly with the virtual modelling of BIM, offering a quick and cost-effective way to bring a project to life for the first time in the real world.

Cloud software

Cloud-based systems enhancing the collaborative process, driving BIM’s current growth by giving all stakeholder access to comprehensive project data anytime and on any device.

Artificial intelligence

BIM has been a forerunner in machine learning in the built environment and is making a particular impact in facilities management where it is being used to track, predict and improve performance everywhere from sustainable buildings to space utilisation.

Digital Twins

The increasing use of digital twins demonstrates even more ways that construction firms can use virtual performance to understand and improve real world results.

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