A major issue plaguing the construction industry is fragmented communication between stakeholders. According to a survey by Autodesk & FMI, miscommunication between teams and poor project data cost the USA’s construction industry $31.3 billion in 2018.
Productivity in the construction industry has dipped, 60% of general contractors have flagged coordination and communication problems between project team members.
BIM 360 to the rescue
BIM 360 is a unified cloud-based platform from the Autodesk stable that connects teams, project data, and workflows in real-time. It facilitates informed decision making throughout the lifecycle of the project by streamlining the design process through documentation, design reviews, and quality & safety checks.
This integration of data and people help all project stakeholders keep the ‘bigger picture’ in mind during the job to produce a high-quality design.
BIM 360 provides centralized access to project data. It enables the entire project team to collaborate anytime, anywhere.
BIM 360 Benefits
v Centralized location — Information can be easily created and shared with teams in multiple locations.
v 24*7 availability — Reduces turnaround time by facilitating working in real-time and information coordination
v Up to date information — Cloud-based collaboration ensures access to the latest project data
v Easy access — Easy access to information without reliance on IT and traditional platforms of information sharing
v Data security — Password protected to ensure complete security of data
v Streamlined BIM workflows
v Enhanced quality and safety
v Reduces instances of errors and saves time
BIM 360 Applications in construction
BIM 360 Design is a collaboration service that enables real-time data management and collaboration. It operates as a single source of truth and offers centralized access to project data to team members.
AEC project processes are complex and iterative. BIM 360 Design has powerful markup, access control, and mobile review facilities for BIM workflows. Teams can now easily share design updates and status.
Single source of information
Traditional methods involved moving files around servers, FTP & individual users. Information in BIM 360 is stored in one location, which acts as a single source of truth.
Central models can be directly saved on the cloud in the respective project and trade folder. User access to files can be regulated through the permissions feature of BIM 360. Permissions range from –
· View only — User can view documents, create private markups and issues.
· View + Download
· Upload only — User can upload documents, but the contents of the folder will not be visible.
· View + download + upload — User can share documents with the team and view any document in that folder.
· View + download + upload + edit — User can share, view, and edit documents and publish markups.
· Folder control — User can share documents with team members, view and edit other documents in the folder. Moreover, they can also create title blocks, manage permissions, add members, and edit set assignments.
The Manage Cloud Models option allows the project files to be published in just one click. These files do not have to be transmitted to an FTP location to be shared with other team members.
Subsequently, all team members can view the drawing sets without having to download them.
BIM 360 also has an archival tool that keeps a record of different file versions. It provides the capability to compare any two versions of a file. The changes will be displayed as shown in the image below. The changes are categorized into –
2. Site layout
BIM 360 Layout allows contractors to link the coordinated model directly to the field layout process with robotic total stations and GPS devices. This enhances site productivity and reduces rework and waste. Easy accessibility to documents and drawings via the cloud ensures that everyone has the latest document versions and is working from a single source of truth.
3. Construction Safety
Safety checklists can be imported into BIM 360 and then accessed on mobile devices on-site. Checklists can be modified with easy to use drag and drop tools. After a checklist is prepared, it is assigned to the respective contractor with the location and date. It is then shared with the project team.
The contractor can access the checklist on any mobile device, go through it and check the items that have been completed or indicate if there is an issue.
4. Quality Check
Keeping track of a project’s progress on a daily basis is made easy with BIM 360’s Daily Logs capability. From weather reports, labor tracking to site-related information, site data can be accessed from any mobile device. Daily logs are also archived so that they can be viewed at a later date.
BIM 360’s Issue Management feature facilitates the creation of issue creation, tagging, and assigning them to respective team members. Issue management in a unified platform like BIM 360 ensures efficiency in workflows.
5. Digital Equipment Management
Tracking of construction assets is a time consuming and painstaking process. BIM 360 provides a coordinated asset management system with a centralized database which simplifies the management of construction assets. The benefits of this system are –
· No delays
· No cost overruns
· Reduced risk due to correct asset installation
6. Analytical Reports
Analytical reports in BIM 360 provide reports on project performance and prioritizes daily activities. It has an in-built AI-driven ‘’construction IQ’’ that identifies high-risk issues that can jeopardize cost, safety, and schedule.
BIM 360’s utilization in construction projects can streamline construction workflows and simplify construction management.
Do you think BIM 360 will take construction management to the next level? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Do let us know if you liked reading the article.