The growth of Indian economy has brought with it a significant increase in construction activities. The construction industry is facing a paradigm shift to increase efﬁciency and productivity. The role of architecture has grown significantly and there’s now no question that Building Information Management1 (BIM) will transform the construction industry. Although BIM has existed for over 2 decades, it is only in the last few years that more architecture practices are becoming aware of BIM. It is said that BIM will make the design, construction and operation of buildings much more organized and efﬁcient. The subtle promises are the key reasons why a lot of architects and other design professionals, and construction companies are adopting BIM. The practice has grown significantly in the past few years and BIM has helped a lot in streamlining the design and coordination processes. The control of information relating to a building from its inception, through its life, to its demolition will have as great an effect upon the construction industry as the control of information relating to products had on the retail industry.
BIM is a foundational tool which is based on a team based lean design approach which can provide a quicker and cheaper design production, help in better coordination of documentation and improve communication between various chains. It has been implemented by large design and construction practices, but not as widely by small firms besides it offering data accuracy and transparency.
Training In BIM
An external BIM consultancy company helps to set up and implement BIM in the architectural practices. The consultants provide extensive help to implement BIM in medium-size design-led practices which are making this transition. It takes an average 3-4 months of daily usage to become proficient in using a BIM software platform. The difference between the 3D environment of BIM in comparison to the 2D world in CAD will be challenging for some but the result will be efficiencies that could not have been achieved previously. A change in window or door width will automatically update door-window schedule, elevations, plans, sections, legends.
BIM is now considered as a part of the future of the profession and the wider industry and therefore is considered as a worthy investment, which will open doors to future job opportunities as the practice continues to grow. Thus Learning BIM will provide an edge in seeking jobs as firms will not only look for brilliant designers but also experienced BIM operators who can bring their practical experience and knowledge of using BIM into the practice. Though the initial set-up cost for BIM may be high for medium or small size practices the cost will be outweighed by savings from the efficiency generated in the long run.
Could It Kill Creativity?
Since its inception, there is no doubt that the way we design and construct a building has changed. BIM programs such as ArchiCAD, Revit have made alterations easy. It has saved people from doing repetitive work and saved a lot of time which can be implemented towards the design process. So the technology can help smaller practices compete with big firms. The program also enables more transparency in the design process. It has also opened new approaches such as augmented reality. Some architecture firms have been using BIM with virtual reality, to walk through their buildings for a better understanding of their clients. Developers have also started using this to sell their flats to potential clients. Designers can also enter their buildings before they’re even built and get a sense of their space, something that was impossible with CAD.
The Clients from the private sector are also beginning to show interest in using BIM because of the benefits it could bring, for example in programming, information exchange, and drawing accuracy. The possible downfall of it is that it is more about the process than product. BIM will only enable designers to build what the construction industry is capable of as it’s inherently linked into products that are available. It might curtail creativity at some point and might open up gaps between commercial practices and so-called design-led practices.
There is some evidence to suggest that the architectural profession is beginning to come under pressure to adopt BIM. But it is still in an early stage and will shape to perfection with time and care.