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BIM for building developers: Is it worth introducing?

Autor: TWINGINE editorial staff

8 Min.

The construction industry in Germany has been booming for years. However, the challenges are growing as well: Pandemics, a shortage of skilled workers, cost pressure and strict climate protection targets are keeping more and more building developers busy. Is BIM the key for building developers to remain successful?

Status quo in the real estate industry

Even in the corona-affected years of 2020 and 2021, the German construction industry remained both strong and stable. More revenue, more employees – industry experts expect this trend to continue unabated in 2022 and building developers are likely to be confronted with even more trends during the next few years.

These are just some of the most important changes that building developers will have to respond to:

  • Projects will become increasingly complex. Statutory regulations, tight cost calculations, stringent sustainability requirements, and a larger number of project participants as well as higher volumes of project data are making construction projects more complex than ever before.
  • Digitalization is becoming increasingly important. For a long time, the construction sector was considered an analog industry, but this is now changing. Since many people have switched from their normal office life to 100 percent working from home, companies have realized how important digital processes are for every aspect of the economy.
  • The requirements for sustainable buildings are becoming ever stricter. The real estate sector is among the largest consumers of energy and therefore emits high volumes of carbon dioxide. Real estate thus constitutes a major lever for achieving climate targets – although this also means that the specifications for new construction projects and the renovation of existing buildings are becoming increasingly stringent.

BIM for building developers: Which problems does the construction software solve?

Complexity, digital processes, and sustainability are three aspects that building developers can easily manage with the help of digital tools. Media organizations use Content Management Systems to digitalize their processes. In the retail sector, ERP systems help to create optimized processes. For building developers, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the key to digitalization.

The basis for BIM and the related construction software is a virtual building model that delivers valuable information about your building project right from the outset. It goes far beyond technical sketches and visualizations to provide comprehensive, multi-dimensional insights into construction projects long before they are implemented. Simulations help to minimize risks and optimize real estate projects right from the beginning.

Why BIM for building developers makes sense

Digital building models serve as a basis for digital planning and are a vital interface to other project team members such as architects. Moreover, BIM mitigates the risks that typically confront building developers.

These include:

  • Budget cost overruns
  • Failure to meet the schedule for a construction project
  • Database deficiencies due to non-functional interfaces

Which conditions make BIM for building developers worthwhile?

In particular, large, cost-intensive construction projects with multiple stakeholders and very strict sustainability and quality requirements benefit from the advantages of BIM. It enables a wide variety of real estate projects to be implemented – from residential apartment buildings to modern offices and infrastructure projects.

5 advantages: BIM for building developers improves processes and collaboration

The biggest advantage of using BIM for building developers is that it enables errors to be recognized and therefore avoided at an early stage. It also has a large number of other advantages. These are the top 5 advantages of using software for building developers:

  1. Save costs, time, and resources: BIM generates a virtual model from building information. Using this model, building developers can plan the design, construction, and management of their buildings with far greater accuracy and optimize these factors with the help of project-relevant information. BIM makes it possible to reduce construction times, save material, and cut costs.
  2. Increased planning security: Digital building models enable building developers to identify planning errors at an early stage and counteract them in good time, thus cutting time-consuming and expensive remedial work to a minimum. Moreover, using the BIM method, building developers can plan their projects more precisely and assess risks more accurately.
  3. Make better use of data and information: The BIM method relies on a valid database. Before construction processes were digitalized, vital information was stored by the various project stakeholders and was difficult to integrate, due to the number of different programs and file formats involved. BIM creates a platform that allows building information to be integrated, thereby creating added value for building developers.
  4. Optimized life cycle management:In addition to planning data, the BIM method can also be used to integrate building data from existing building stock. Projects can thus be easily analyzed and optimized even after the construction phase has been completed, for example with regard to facility management or refurbishments of existing buildings to optimize energy efficiency.
  5. More effective teamwork: The complexity of construction projects mentioned above stems partially from the fact that an increasing number of specialists are involved in their implementation. BIM consolidates all the data relevant to a given real estate project, creating a single source of truth, which means building developers can avoid having to work with incomplete or outdated information. Building developers thus avoid having to work with missing or outdated information.

Disadvantages: Costs and workload can be initially high

As with any major change in a company, introducing the BIM method can pose certain challenges for building developers. Besides having to invest in a suitable BIM software product, the method takes time to establish.

Apart from uptake in general, technical expertise and security are the three biggest challenges that building developers see when it comes to digital solutions for the construction industry. It is therefore important to involve the entire team in the transformation, to set up new processes in a clear manner, and seamlessly transfer existing processes to the digital world.

In view of the increasing complexity of projects in general and in order to remain competitive, however, it is worthwhile for building developers to give the BIM project a chance and to carefully examine the benefits of the BIM method for their own company.

BIM for building developers: Germany needs to catch up

A recent study conducted by PwC has shown that when it comes to simulation and visualization, for which BIM is essentially used, 88 percent of project managers in the real estate sector already see a great deal of potential for making their work more effective. However, only 44 percent of those managers rate the German construction industry’s digital capabilities as strong.

Many project managers are already working to close the gap and are increasingly focusing on topics such as BIM and cloud technologies. If the implementation of such methods and tools is to be a success, the advantages need to be clear from the outset. Simply introducing BIM for the sake of putting a tick behind digitalization is not an effective method.

Implementing BIM with TWINGINE efficiently

Particularly in view of the fact that many construction projects are currently carried out inefficiently, BIM is a key factor for ensuring greater profitability. TWINGINE helps building developers leverage BIM to full effect in their projects and apply it to their specific challenges. The Building Model Analyzer makes construction projects comparable and provides complete transparency in terms of space efficiency and the carbon footprint of a given building, including possible optimizations. all possible optimizations.

Your professional insights into the real estate industry

What benefits does BIM offer in real estate projects? How do digital twins support building developers? How do real estate professionals make more efficient use of BIM data? The e-book BIM in Practical Use provides answers.

Written by:

TWINGINE editorial staff

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