Building Controls, Design and Construction, Energy Management and Lighting, Plumbing, Safety, Sustainability/Business Continuity

5 Benefits of Using Building Information Modeling in Facility Construction

Building information modeling (BIM), a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility, creates a shared knowledge resource for information, making it easier for facilities managers to make decisions, according to the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG).

The WBDG notes that while some might think of BIM as just 3D modeling and visualization, it includes all graphic and non-graphic facility information and eliminates the need to re-gather and re-format building information later.

Those in the construction industry can benefit from BIM in the following five ways:

1. Reduce Waste and Cost

Did you know that, according to a chart prepared by the Construction Industry Institute and Lean Construction Institute, waste in the construction industry can be as high as 57%? Additionally, costs can be reduced by identifying and resolving potential issues before they occur. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, BIM can do just that by eliminating costly data-collection efforts and providing more accurate cost estimating to avoid overruns. As an example, the NJ Green Building Manual notes the MetLife Stadium project team saved $1 million by using BIM in the construction process. The 2.1-million-square-foot stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which broke ground in 2007, opened to the public in 2010.

2. Increase Collaboration and Efficiency

BIM also allows all stakeholders to view the same virtual model, which would reduce the need for paper drawings, eliminating department and business siloes and making the data more accessible for better decision-making. The model can include floor plans, elevations, and 3D images. Additionally, it’s easier to store, archive, secure, and retrieve data using BIM over traditional methods, and everyone involved with the project can receive real-time notification of any changes to the design so they can quickly provide feedback. As a result, potential clashes between parties can be identified early on so changes that can provide for better efficiency can be made.

3. Reduce Risks and Other Problems

To ensure the safety of all workers, BIM can be used to aid in risk management by identifying and assessing hazards on a digital platform, which could help find unstable geological conditions in new construction projects or significant building expansions. BIM could also help identify how building materials would be able to handle specific weather conditions or loads, as well as issues with plumbing and electrical systems. Modeling also allows all stakeholders to quickly find systems that may not meet safety regulations and brainstorm ways to bring them into compliance.

4. Increase Sustainability and Improve Energy Efficiency

BIM technology can help facilities managers develop sustainable buildings and improve energy efficiency by accurately determining the exact number of materials to order and constructing fixtures off-site to cut back on deliveries to the construction site, leading to lower levels of fumes, dust, and chemicals. Additionally, buildings can be designed to factor in the rising and setting of the sun, which would lower heating and cooling needs and provide natural lighting, reducing energy waste from artificial lighting. BIM can also help reduce facilities’ emissions to net zero through higher levels of insulation and sealing smart heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

5. Reduce Time

The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Public Buildings Service (PBS) found that BIM can reduce a project’s overall schedule by 10% because it can improve the coordination between various parties, eliminate construction schedule setbacks, and reduce inefficiencies. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that because PBS’s tasks include constructing and renovating facilities like courthouses, office buildings, and land ports of entry for the federal government, it was one of the first original adopters of BIM. Such savings extend from governmental use of BIM to work for the commercial and industrial sectors.


BIM uses the latest technology to enable organizations and companies to reduce waste and costs, increase collaboration and efficiencies, reduce risks and other problems, increase sustainability and energy efficiency, and complete construction projects in less time.

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