BIM 'Building Information Modelling'
- An Effective Tool for Residential Renovations
2 February 2022
Our AEC industry has gradually bounced back post the COVID pandemic. What’s interesting is the rising trend of renovation projects! The nation is expecting up to R 510 Million in the home improvement sector alone.
Renovation projects face challenges different from those seen in new construction projects; challenges that have a huge impact on the renovation completion. These may include the uncertain existing building conditions and the limited work area or space constraints due to these existing conditions. For a successful renovation, these aspects need to be identified in the initial design phase. Renovation projects also require the assessment of time and schedule constraints.
Building information is valuable for renovation activities. However, many renovation projects are hindered by the lack of adequate project management, project delays, and heavy financial losses due to insufficient or outdated building information. Building Information Modelling (BIM) can come to the rescue in such scenarios.
Using BIM in new construction projects is now widely accepted. However, application of BIM in renovation projects is yet at a nascent stage of adoption. The accurate information management of the entire asset can be used to refurbish existing buildings. Let us look at the advantages of BIM in renovation projects:
ENHANCED VISUALIZATION AND DATA MANAGEMENT
BIM is a 3D representation of the asset and all its components that are difficult and time consuming to capture in the CAD format. This repository includes information on structural elements like the location of foundations, beams, roofs, and columns that are needed for visualization of the existing structure and space constraints. With this data, potential design challenges can be identified in the initial design phase of the renovation project. Besides, the model that is updated throughout the renovation life cycle can also help plan project execution and performance accurately. However, acquiring existing building information can be difficult in the case of older buildings as documentation is not always available. In such cases, As-Built Cloud Point model can be generated using laser scanning technologies.
INCREASED ENERGY EFFICIENCY
BIM implementation in renovation projects can aid in increasing the energy efficiency of the asset. For example, natural lighting and shading aspects can be simulated with the help of a BIM model. What-if analysis will help design and simulate the energy consumption for the renovated structure more accurately. This can also be done for the existing structure to make it more energy efficient. BIM models can also be useful in calculating the carbon footprint getting a carbon credit report on the asset.
RESOURCE, COST, AND TIME OPTIMIZATION
Accurate building material quantification and other asset data through the BIM model can help project managers optimize construction materials and resources. Besides, project stakeholders can perform budget estimation and cost planning based on the potential risks very early in the design phase. Integrating the project schedule with BIM model also ensures there are no project delays and timeline extensions. BIM models have real-time information, and this information exchange reduces chances of conflict and miscommunication between project stakeholders. Thus, BIM adoption can help achieve resource, cost, and time optimization in renovation projects with relative ease.
To conclude, renovation projects come with risks and uncertainties of the aging building. BIM can bridge the gap between the challenges of renovation and the possibilities of high-quality construction. A clear visualization of the outcome, optimum data and resource management, time and cost efficiency, and enhanced energy management are a few things that BIM can support on renovation projects.
As industry professionals, we actively encourage BIM adoption in the AEC industry for both new construction and renovation projects.