How BIM Can Benefit Surveyors
C A Design Services National Accounts Manager Mark Johnson was recently invited to present at two recent RICS CPD seminars to the Ipswich and Norwich Groups. The aim was to demystify Building Information Modeling (BIM) and remove some of the fear and confusion that so many of our clients are experiencing at the moment.
During the presentations Mark focused on the positive benefits of what early adoption of BIM could deliver, and the business opportunities that it might provide to the Surveying profession in the future.
Much has been written regarding the introduction of new design software and the potential benefits to architects and engineers of combining the 3D functionality of BIM with a more collaborative approach. This should enhance design co-ordination and greatly reduce costly on site errors. Likewise there has also been much said regarding the ability to add cost data to the digital BIM model, which has been termed “5D”. Even this is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg!
BIM can help Surveyors in particular to gain real value from data
Many of the roles that are traditionally performed by surveyors are based on various forms of measurement, and are dependent on being able to access reliable and accurate sources of data. While there is no doubt that there are major efficiency gains to be achieved by architects, engineers and contractors from using the graphic element of BIM, surely it is the surveyor who has the potential to capitalise on the real value of BIM – the data.
In its basic form this data can be useful as the primary source of information for preparing measured surveys, preliminary estimates, feasibility studies, cost plans, schedules, bills of quantities, contract documentation, construction contracts, tender analysis, financial management, reporting, valuation, life-cycle costing, asset management, facilities management, dispute resolution, research, analysis and other consultancy services.
BIM Real-time property management
This stored data has the potential to link real-time property management to a client’s business systems in a way that has never been before been possible. While data in itself is of no intrinsic value when interpreted correctly it can become a powerful source of information and knowledge that can be used to deliver not just savings but real value to customers. Surveyors are well placed to utilise the power of these data sources.
Mark’s presentation showed practical examples of how BIM is being used to deliver tangible business benefits to clients right now, how it is impacting on the profession and how it might develop in the years to come.