Abracadabra, Lo & Behold! That’s Not Real; Problems Start once you Implement BIM

Across the industry, BIM has become vernacular of the architects, contractors, builders, real estate agents and engineers. Everyone is talking about BIM and the benefits of 4D sequencing and scheduling. People want to implement it, and are sure that the returns will be exemplary.

Feb 3, 2015 -- If you are one of those highflyers – ensure to speak to those who have already implemented Building Information Modeling for their projects. They will vouch that it does not work like magic, and there are various challenges and roadblocks that you face if you implement BIM without proper planning and an implementation strategy.

If you are looking for benefits to 4D Sequencing and Scheduling or 4D Modeling To Advance Construction Visualization or in case 4D Simulation and Construction Planning, I am of a strong opinion that Implement BIM to witness several myths and misconceptions about this technology induced process - busted.

Wrong software and inexperienced professionals

The first set back is to find the best software and get experienced BIM professionals on board for the project. Increasing number of architects and firms are directing their efforts towards partnering with a BIM – i.e. Building. Upon addressing the challenge of hiring and retaining a BIM expert selecting an inexperienced professionals without adequate knowledge and skills of BIM or software tools not compatible with other software or plagued by software bugs may be the next and most fatal  mistake that might cost you a fortune, when it comes to BIM implementation.

Use Building Information Modeling for years and you might realize that your projects don’t actually require it. Once you know your projects inside out’ you get to know that it is a mere waste of time and money. However; for projects you really need Building Information Modeling, implementing it for the first time& you will have to go through the initial pains to reap rewards. I would leave you with second thoughts about BIM –by the time you finish off reading this article….

The Liability Issue

Now, the issue with BIM is that it completely depends on the quality of information. If you put in garbage it is going to give you noting more than garbage. So now if BIM and hence the project, fails to comply with the latest construction codes and required safety measures, who holds the liability? Is it the architect or the General Contactor? The truth is that since the project goes through a lot of inputs, revisions, design iterations and changes that are triggered, initiated or suggested by several involved parties including the architects, engineers, GC’s etc, it is difficult to pinpoint one individual who holds the responsibility. In such cases liability issues give rise to  lot of procedures resulting in  triggered claims –delayed  results - additional  expenditure and reduction in ROI.


Collaboration is also one of the foremost issues as BIM needs a more collaborative approach. If the design, material and costs aspects are generated by the architect but not communicated to  General Contractors, chances of unpredicted  claims and liability issues would warrant immediate attention.

Get real – cost estimates can never be accurate – that is why they are called estimates

BIM has been hyped as a robust technology that helps construction teams to make accurate cost estimations, Really…???? BIM can never provide accurate cost estimations. Costs are variable and subject to  changes occurring in the costs of raw materials, metals, labor costs and many such factors. So let’s treat it as estimates and not real estimates……!!!

BIM Accessibility and Authorization

BIM users are always looking for advanced security and authorization options that allow only selected users to make changes to BIM model. When a BIM model is developed, finalized and distributed to various teams and stakeholders, but is provided to individuals with careful abstractions and authorization, who use it to avoid any unwanted changes and alterations by unauthorized people. Often contractors, engineers or consultants might try to alter the BIM information that has several cascading effects on the entire construction scheduling, cost estimates etc.

Now these changes are not communicated to the remaining team members, professionals and stake holders and do not come to light until an onsite problem occurs. This certainly tarnishes the basic purpose of BIM implementation  

Do you really feel that putting all your hard earned money and efforts at stake for some small mishaps to cost you this big a fortune. As I mentioned above in the article, there has been a surge in the number or architects and architectural firms trying to look for LEAN BIM solutions from qualified and experienced BIM professionals. Also these professionals help you focus on your core activities for business enhancements while they appropriately take care of:

As the industry addresses BIM challenges and moves towards successful BIM adoptions, there are key issues that are to be resolved including

  • Providing BIM training at all levels to professionals who have considerable experience in the industry and have worked on critical projects using the conventional methods
  • Improve collaboration, extend 4D modeling to advance construction visualization and use BIM capabilities across the lifecycle of the building
  • Building Information Modeling tools and protocols need to be more standardized
  • The levels of sophistication at which BIM is being used needs to be increased – i.e. a comprehensive approach needs to be adopted
  • A national and neutral classification system of BIM objects needs to be agreed upon
  • The collaboration of design and construction needs to be more evolved

It is important to know that first timers may use BIM beyond 4D Simulation and Construction Planning but before implementing it, ensure that they have the right kind of expertise and tools to use BIM to its full capacity. In order to reap the benefits and derive the best returns on investments it is a profitable proposition to outsource BIM to professionals who are experienced in providing BIM solutions across industries and for projects of high complexities.

About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi is a senior manager, consultant, BIM expert and a green building advisor with more than 15 years of industry experience. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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