In the article “3D building models help bring sustainability into construction”, Jenkins (2015) discusses the effectiveness of building information modelling (BIM) as well as the challenges of implementing it. The introduction of BIM has revolutionized the building and construction industry. According to Monswhite (as quoted in Jenkins, 2015), the change of use from two to three-dimensional design with BIM enables the industry to reduce construction cost and optimise space management. While BIM boast advantages, Jenkins asserts that BIM is yet to be widely accepted in the building and construction industry. This is supported by Charlton, chief of consultancy Space Group, who argues that majority of the key players in the project lack collaboration and refuse to accept changes due to their preference towards traditional methods (Jenkins, 2015). In addition, Jenkins also cited from Coventry University’s sustainability director, Smithson, who states that these key players are unwilling to explore the functions of BIM. As a result, Smithson and her team operate the immersive simulation centre to educate industry professionals about the uses of BIM and its benefits. Although the article suggests “stubborn preference to traditional methods” has hindered the progress of integrating BIM in the buildings and construction industry, there are other factors contributing to BIM not being universally accepted.
One factor affecting the universal implementation of BIM is its inability to be fully accommodated and integrated crucial systems used by industry professionals onto a single software. Due to its relatively new nature in the market, software manufactures are constantly working to improve the BIM software (InfoComm International, no date). To complicate matters, the lack of standard modern building protocols when constructing the software has resulted in poor compatibility of functions and uses of BIM. This is supported by Rezgui (2014), who states “available protocols do not concurrently consider the enabling technology and the variables affecting its deployment on projects such as interoperability required for different BIM work-streams and the alignment of the BIM work streams with the country specific policy context”.
At the same time, key stakeholders traditionally rely heavily on their own industry specific software to generate crucial information (Kivits & Furneaux, 2013). As a result of BIM’s current limitations, the lack of interoperability to integrate these functions into a single sophisticated model discourages companies from using the software in their projects
Another factor affecting the universal implementation BIM is the high cost of investment. It is imperative that organizations have strong IT facilities to compliment this sophisticated software so as to fully optimize its benefits (Liu, Xie, Tivendal, & Liu, 2015). According to a report by InfoComm International, existing software such as computer aided design (CAD) can be operated on laptop whereas BIM require expensive high specification workstations to function (InfoComm International, no date). In addition, further investments are required to train employees to be proficient with the software. This is supported by Carlin (2010), who states that due to the ever-changing advancement of technology, users of BIM have to undergo constant upgrading to keep tabs with the latest features and functions to improve productivity. Therefore, the high cost of equipment and training require companies to evaluate their financial position and make careful considerations before purchasing the BIM software.
In conclusion, although the issue of interoperability within the BIM software and its high cost have deterred companies from implementing them, cost arguably remains the biggest challenge for organizations. Poor current economic projections have forced organizations to take precautionary measures to reduce spending. In addition, small medium enterprise (SME)s of the industry may not have the financial capability to purchase such expensive product. Therefore, companies should carefully review their financial statuses and decide if their current position allows them to invest in such software.
Carlin, E. M. (2010, October 12). The Legal Risks of Building Information Modeling (BIM). Retrieved on October 6, 2017 from http://www.constructionlawnowblog.com/design-and-technology/the-legal-risks-of-building-information-modeling-bim/
InfoComm International. (no date). Building Information Modeling, 11-12. Retrieved on October 3, 2017 from https://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xbcr/infocomm/Brochure_BIM.pdf
Jenkin, M. (13 April, 2015). 3D building models help bring sustainability into construction . Retrieved on September 25, 2017 from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/apr/13/bim-technology-design-business-sustainability-construction
Kivits, R. A., & Furneaux, C. (2013). BIM: Enabling Sustainability and Asset Management through Knowledge Management. The Scientific World Journal Vol 2013, 14. Retrieved on October 5, 2017 from http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/983721
Liu, S., Xie, B., Tivendal, L., & Liu, C. (2015). Critical Barriers to BIM Implementation in the AEC Industry. International Journal of Marketing Studies; Vol 7, No.6, 163-164. Retrieved on October 4, 2017 from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijms/article/view/55355/
Rezgui, Y. (2014). BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING: PROTOCOLS FOR COLLABORATIVE DESIGN PROCESSES. Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 24. Retrieved on October 5, 2017 from http://www.itcon.org/papers/2014_7.content.00672.pdf
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