BIM and Construction Management Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows

by Julia Adams
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Introduction

This book shares a rounded perspective of how BIM and enabling technologies are changing the way we collaborate and distribute information. As an industry, we are constantly facing new challenges in the field of construction. This book will show how many of these challenges are being addressed with cutting-edge tools, leveraged with experience, and a practical application of the “right tools for the right job.” There is a shift happening in the construction management market in the context of technology, and this book serves as a catalyst for more fundamental changes that create positive outcomes.

The first version of BIM and Construction Management: Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows (Sybex, 2009) by Brad Hardin was written just as the construction industry had largely begun to pay attention to this exciting new tool and process: building information modeling. Since then, the pace and transformational changes that have cascaded through the industry have been remarkable. Now clash detection, 4D sequencing, model estimates, and walk-throughs have become table stakes. Customers are now asking about Big Data, model to prefabrication, life-cycle energy modeling, project partnering approaches, and how BIM can mitigate other risk factors during construction. And still the pace of technology continues to move at an incredible rate.

The focus has now broadened from beyond BIM and the question is being asked, “If BIM can change the construction management business so significantly, what else can BIM do and what possibilities do other technologies hold?” This broader questioning of the tools, teamed with economic challenges, has given rise to a technological renaissance in the construction community. Because of the recession, many firms were forced to refocus and question the best way to deliver construction product to customers under new margin and overhead constraints. The early successes of BIM gave many organizations a starting point to focus on. Some firms didn’t stop at BIM and began taking a deeper look at not only the technology, but the underlying processes that were built around these tools. In this broader examination, there has been a significant push for innovation in construction technology and processes as well as enabling behaviors.

So What’s Changed?

To begin, innovations in technology such as wearable tech, cloud-based collaboration, and the continued removal of hardware constraints have opened many doors for continued impact. Additionally, process innovations such as lean planning and an overall challenging of many of the traditional constructs of the construction industry, such as CPM scheduling, documentation strategies, contract arrangements, and the roles of design and construction teams at large have brought about a refreshing analytical perspective to the way we deliver work. The result has been an exciting view “into the looking glass” of what the future of our industry holds. We may very well be at the point of another paradigm shift in which the analysis of industry norms combined with more informed construction consumers could bring about the next revolution in the construction industry. These customers continue to be less willing to pay for our inefficiencies as an industry. Because of these factors, this movement will focus on results-based deliverables, with technology acting as a baseline expectation instead of an innovation to deliver on the “best value” promise.

Arguably, all industries are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to uncover previously unexplored value potential. The construction industry is no different. Almost daily, it seems that companies and individuals are coming up with an array of potential opportunities for improvement that will surely shape the way we do work for years to come. On average, there are 20,000 applications a month being uploaded to Apple’s iOS store. Technologies like Google Glass, tablets, photogrammetry, mobile applications and a host of other potential hardware and software improvements are beginning to migrate into the way we do business; see the article at http://readw