The rate at which buildings are completed is speeding up. We can now plan and construct offices, apartment buildings and other establishments faster than ever before. The reason? Much of it has to do with the utilization of what is known as Building Information Modeling, or BIM. By allowing developers to use 3-D technology to edit their plans and visualize everything from the exterior to the most minute details such as the wiring and piping, the process of construction has accelerated by about 10%.
Robert Murray, the President of Bond, a construction company out of Everett, came up with this 10% figure and has his most recent projects estimated completion date cut down by a massive 2.5 months! This development, a Boston University 122,000 square foot student center is now on pace to open in June in Kenmore Square. The estimated cost of $48 million is steep, and with most construction workers making anywhere from $75-$100 per hour, the need for BIM technology only becomes even more of an apparent need.
By building the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems before the building has been erected; subcontractors, engineers, architects and others with a vested interest in the plans can all coordinate the walls, steel structure, floors and ceilings in a much more efficient manner. Some of the programs that Bond superintendent George Antonucci uses are AutoCad, NavisWorks and Revit. These, as well as other forms of technology such as the iPad and iPad2 have really taken storm in the construction industry. With the iPad2, for example, one is able to take high-quality photos and make marks and edits to it without having to go to the office or use a printer.
The virtual construction engineer at Bond, Christopher Fogg, felt that while these new ways for getting an idea to come to fruition are certainly beneficial, they must remember that BIM is only an aid in any project, not a way to completely alter the process. The only drawback from this increase in accuracy and productivity is that today, Fogg hints, owners who are aware of BIM technology such as Boston University, now want and expect these projects to be completed at an even faster rate than what was initially anticipated!
More Information: The Boston Herald