BIM and Construction Management
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BIM and Construction Management

Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows

Brad Hardin, Dave McCool

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eBook - ePub

BIM and Construction Management

Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows

Brad Hardin, Dave McCool

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About This Book

A sleeker, more comprehensive approach to construction projects

BIM and Construction Management, Second Edition is a complete integration guide, featuring practical advice, project tested methods and workflows, and tutorials for implementing Building Information Modeling and technology in construction. Updated to align with the latest software editions from Autodesk, Trimble and Bentley, this book provides a common sense approach to leveraging BIM to provide significant value throughout a project's life cycle. This book outlines a results-focused approach which shows you how to incorporate BIM and other technologies into all phases of construction management, such as: Project planning: Set up the BIM project to succeed right from the start by using the right contracts, the right processes and the right technology

Marketing: How to exceed customer expectations and market your brand of BIM to win.

Pre-construction: Take a practical approach to engineer out risks in your project by using the model early to virtually build and analyze your project, prior to physical construction.

Construction: Leverage the model throughout construction to build safer and with better quality.

Field work: Learn how mobile technologies have disrupted the way we work in the field to optimize efficiencies and access information faster.

Closeout: Deliver a better product to your customer that goes beyond the physical structure and better prepares them for future operations.

Additionally, the book provides a look at technology trends in construction and a thoughtful perspective into potential use cases going forward.

BIM and Construction Management, Second Edition builds on what has changed in the construction landscape and highlights a new way of delivering BIM-enabled projects. Aligning to industry trends such as Lean, integrated delivery methods, mobile platforms and cloud-based collaboration this book illustrates how using BIM and technology efficiently can create value.

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Why Is Technology So Important to Construction Management?

The construction industry is in the midst of a technology renaissance. BIM served as the initial catalyst for this period of innovation, but has now grown beyond “just BIM” to include innovations in many other areas such as mobility, laser scanning, and Big Data analytics among others. Supporting processes are changing as well. The construction industry is realizing that these new technologies don’t fit into previous processes.
In this chapter:
  • The promise of BIM
  • The value of BIM in construction
  • Where the industry is headed

The Promise of BIM

Before the advent of BIM, the construction industry generally worked in silos, where each member of a project team looked out solely for his or her own best interests and the project took a backseat (or was in the trunk) to other priorities. Further compounding the isolation issue was the prevalence of the hard bid delivery method, which contractually and financially isolated team members from one another. Both the culture and this standoffish delivery method made for a litigious environment that was plagued with waste and cost overruns. According to the book The Commercial Real Estate Revolution: Nine Transforming Keys to Lowering Costs, Cutting Waste, and Driving Change in a Broken Industry (Wiley, 2009), by Rex Miller, Dean Strombom, Mark Iammarino, and Bill Black, the waste created by “simple efficiency and not-so-simple bad behavior” in the United States alone in 2007 was an estimated $500 billion. If we are to continue to function as a profession, we must ask ourselves, “Why should we ask construction consumers to pay for our mistakes?”
The promise of BIM is to build a structure virtually prior to physically constructing it. This allows project participants to design, analyze, sequence, and explore a project through a digital environment where it is far less expensive to make changes than in the field during construction, where changes are exponentially more costly. Today, this promise is becoming reality. An array of BIM software and mobile applications are delivering results that mitigate construction risk. Although some tools are more advanced than others, we are rarely at an impasse where some function is simply “impossible” and not able to be achieved through technology.
Where we find the majority of challenges nowadays in virtual building is that many teams fail to realize that the integration of team members creates significantly better outcomes. For example, subcontractors who are allowed to participate early in the scheduling process are able to leverage their expertise and share valuable information such as material lead times, crew sizes and installation methods that can create a more meaningful model simulation. Additionally, when a construction management team is allowed to participate in an architect’s design review meeting, they are able to see what factors are important to the client and design team and use that knowledge going forward as they prepare to build. In this book, I acknowledge these best practices and propose a new way of evaluating technology and teams holistically by using integrated teams that are capable of keeping pace with the rapid introduction of available technologies to deliver better construction outcomes. As George Elvin states in Integrated Practice in Architecture: Mastering Design-Build, Fast-Track, and Building Information Modeling (Wiley, 2007): “Integration enables a team of designers and constructors to work together toward a common goal, allowing design and construction activities to unfold in the best way for the project, rather than locking them into separate phases required in over-the-wall delivery.” It is this collaborative, project-focused approach that allows teams to function more efficiently and use BIM to get to better answers faster. Team integration moves the focus beyond individual needs and shifts it to how information-rich models can be used to explore options and scenarios that create better projects and remove risk.
BIM has evolved. The construction community is seeing a shift from the 3D or visualization aspect of BIM to workflow-specific tools that are being directly applied to solve real-world problems, such as installation verification, sequencing, and estimating. The industry dialogue is now moving to a general questioning of how we optimize the effective capture, analysis, and dissemination of information in real time to make projects more successful.
As a result of this shift in focus, existing tools are adapting and new ones are being created to address these challenges. The adoption of BIM into mainstream construction management practice has taken the typical constructs of what it meant to be a construction manager and transformed them into a new way of looking at how we work. We are now asking new questions such as:
  • What else can we do with all this information?
  • Who else can benefit from this data?
  • How can we use models to enable better decision making?
  • What is the right level of virtual augmentation on a project site to make our teams more productive?
It’s an exciting time in the AEC industry because just as applications are improving, so are many of the technologies that support its use. Technologies such as cloud computing, which gives you the ability to use remote servers to process data from any web-connected device, and the accelerated growth of mobile and wearable hardware continue to shift the paradigm of practice in construction management for designers and builders alike.
Other changes are more incremental in nature. These improvements come in the form of better software features based on user feedback as well as enhanced stability of these tools, which increases productivity and reliability.
Finally, the constant stream of new ideas and improvements in the form of innovative tools and processes entering the marketplace continues to challenge the way in which teams work and build structures at a variety of levels. In the midst of all of this change is the promise of a better way of working collaboratively with more useful information to create value in the built environment.
Since BIM’s introduction, BIM software has progressed with new features and applications. Likewise, BIM has forced many in the construction industry to evolve as well and challenge the way they previously thought about designing and building projects. As a result, the construction industry began investing in new and better technology. The rapid growth of new technology for the construction market is no coincidence. Construction hasn’t kept pace with other industries in regard to automation and technological improvements over the last forty years, which has created fertile ground for new tools and products that offer better ways of working. Although innovation is encouraged, new tools require fast analysis and project testing before widespread adoption.
In the first version of BIM and Construction Management, I stated that BIM is not just software—rather, it is a process and software. Taking that one step further, we now see that successful BIM use requires three key factors:
  • Processes
  • Technologies
  • Behaviors
These three components can make or break a project using BIM and technology. Think of these as the three-legged stool to the successful integration and use of BIM (Figure 1.1). Take one leg away and you are left with a pretty useless object that isn’t good for much. So why are these three pieces so important?
Figure 1.1 Three-legged stool of BIM


Construction management and many other engineering-focused firms tend to take new technologies and try to make them work in old processes. This approach creates waste by not taking into account the implications of the new tool and what existing processes and workflows should change that would make an outcome more efficient. A good example was the evolution of clash detection and resolution. As clash detection started to gain traction, many teams would host a number of meetings each week that involved the entire project team to coordinate among themselves using this new 3D environment. Although the technology was better, the process used was similar to what had been done before in a 2D coordination review. As a result, many users found the new process was not only inefficient but actually detrimental to a project’s efficiency. Because team members were tied up in clash detection review meetings, response times for project-related issues increased. They were also burning through valuable time and found that their production declined steeply because of the lack of available hours. Nowadays, these meetings typically focus on two or three particular trades or scopes at a defined 2-to-3-hour timeframe to best use each team member’s resources. Additionally, teams are now looking at ways of eliminating the clash detection process altogether by modeling in cloud-based tools that notify users in real-time when they create clashes.
These process shifts are critical to improvement, because they allow users to continually think of ways to improve and deliver work. In hi...

Table of contents

Citation styles for BIM and Construction Management
APA 6 Citation
Hardin, B., & McCool, D. (2015). BIM and Construction Management (2nd ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from (Original work published 2015)
Chicago Citation
Hardin, Brad, and Dave McCool. (2015) 2015. BIM and Construction Management. 2nd ed. Wiley.
Harvard Citation
Hardin, B. and McCool, D. (2015) BIM and Construction Management. 2nd edn. Wiley. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Hardin, Brad, and Dave McCool. BIM and Construction Management. 2nd ed. Wiley, 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.