How real estate can take advantage of 4D & 5D BIM in India to save costs and efficient construction without delays.
Indian Real Estate has seen a huge boom in construction activities in the last twenty years due to the growing need for urban development which includes roads and highways, hospitals and schools along with more and more industrial units. This has forced the AEC industry to look to the application of modern technology to meet demand while time and cost is squeezed to smaller margins. This article looks at the increasing use of Building Information Modelling or BIM in India also known as Virtual Design Construction (VDC) to achieve this.
What is 4D and 5D BIM?
The construction of buildings requires careful synchronization of numerous disciplines in an orderly manner in order to not only complete a project on time and to customer specifications, but also within project budget. Companies can face significant challenges as they carefully manage electrical systems, gas piping, plumbing, firefighting and heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) plus the infrastructure of large, complicated buildings.
During this process, any contradictions between systems must be resolved which can lead to reworking, delays, and increased cost. These problems can be avoided with the use of 4D and 5D BIM technology or Building Information Modelling. BIM incorporates not only a 3D representation of the building’s infrastructure but also timely factors (known as 4D BIM) and cost-related information (known as 5D BIM). By linking relevant data with the design aspects, ongoing construction clashes can be identified and resolved at the design stage thereby vastly reducing unforeseen time or cost expenditure.
What are the benefits of 4D and 5D BIM in India?
Time is money, and this is certainly true in the real estate industry. The need to build structures safely and quickly, without increasing additional costs is increasingly necessary to meet growing demand.
In general, BIM usage avoids repeating the same processes by identifying patterns allowing processes to be carried out simultaneously thus reducing the time of construction. In Project Management terms, it is also known as Overlapping of Activities. Any potential issues can be identified and resolved before work begins in the real world.
Firstly, 3D BIM produces a detailed digital 3D model of the construction (whether building or infrastructure) is produced. This includes all systems such as electrical, piping and HVAC, telephone and computer networks plus any other desired components. The whole life cycle of the project is included from breaking ground through the building process, the daily use and maintenance of the building right through to its demolition. Analysis at this stage identifies design problems allowing for their resolution before work starts, thereby reducing potential delays due to reworking as the construction progresses.
4D BIM takes this a stage further by incorporating time-related factors, so that the sequence of construction can be visualized much more clearly and potential conflicts will become apparent, solutions can be sought and applied before risks becomes issues. Scheduling conflicts and timing issues such as out of sequence work can be foreseen. There are many advantages to incorporating 4D BIM modeling. Due to the increased awareness gained by being able to visualize the project better, lead time is improved, the overall construction time may or can be reduced, and progress can be monitored against construction targets. These are achievable because of the increased amount of information that allows for project optimization and better communication between everyone involved using a small piece of open-source relevant software.
Even with all this additional information, there is room for improvement.
What can 5D BIM add to the Indian Real Estate?
In a nutshell, cost analysis. Remember, you already have a detailed digital 3D model for the life cycle of the project, 4D BIM can be built on this and can streamline the project, resolving problems and reducing delays that obviously impacts the cost.
With the incorporation of costs, both capital and ongoing running costs are once in use and you have a wealth of extremely useful information. Consider being able to estimate capital purchase cost, installation cost and running costs of each component as well as the cost of future replacement, all of this linked and updated automatically. A result is a powerful tool for managing actual cost versus predicted spend for the complete project and ongoing budgeting.
Why has there been slow usage of BIM in India?
The benefits are absolutely clear, yet in India, the uptake of 3D BIM is slow. Why is it so?
The short answer is technological limits that have previously restricted the use of 3D BIM to a few select firms which often made it too expensive to be generally accessible but this is changing, and a growing number of companies now have the skills to offer BIM services which are driving the cost considerably down thereby increasing the heat of construction competition.
This has allowed more AEC companies access to the BIM technology in order to deliver high-quality products at lower costs, which in turn proves the value of BIM services and makes them increasingly desirable. As demand increases the remaining issues of lack of process standardization and software compatibility are also being resolved which can only increase BIM’s accessibility and therefore use.
Where has been BIM used successfully?
Despite its slow start, BIM technology is now being used on a vast number of Indian construction projects, some notable ones include a Power Plant covering a huge site in Vidarbha, an IBIS 4-Star Hotel in Chennai and a corporate office in Noida. Impressive because of their reduced construction schedules. Three very different projects challenged by their size, quality or schedule all are completed successfully using the BIM Technology.
India has embraced the increasing use of BIM technology over the past 20 years, particularly seeing the advantages of 4D and 5D BIM technology which has allowed the AEC industry to keep pace with growing demand for construction in India. Its use is growing in all areas of development from residential and high rises to industrial and infrastructure, by firms large or small. The advantages of this technology are clear to its users, reduced costs and efficient building, once experienced why would they use anything else?