Thought Piece: BIM vs Digital Construction

June 10, 2019 10:28 am

‘BIM’ and ‘Digital Construction’ are buzz-words of choice for the construction industry, but what is the real difference between the two, and how do they work together to deliver a successful project?

Associate Director, Veronica Ruby-Lewis explains:

What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM), in simplest terms “is the process for creating and managing information on a construction project across the entire project lifecycle.”

BIM is a way of working; it is data capture, information modelling and information management in a collaborative environment, where all teams involved work to the same standards. The main output being a Building Information Model, the digital description of every aspect of the built asset.

What is Digital Construction?

The industry has a number of definitions for ‘Digital Construction’ made apparent by the different forms in which it takes, and the role played by an organisation within construction projects. The definition which rings true with Waldeck being “digital construction is the use and application of digital tools to improve delivery and operating the built environment.”

Digital Construction sees the industry stepping away from traditional drawings to a more digital and data-driven approach in order to enhance their activities.

For example, project stakeholders could be utilising digital design and coordination tools, digital data capture tools for context capture, accessing data in the field via tablets or phones to aid progress reviews, snagging review and post occupancy evaluations, or to allow autonomous site machinery activities.

So.. what’s the difference?

The two carry different definitions however are entwined.

BIM is the fundamental process implemented at the start of a project, giving the design team a framework to follow (requirements, standards, procedures etc.) to produce deliverables against ensuring that projects are delivered on time and to budget. With the ultimate output being a data set that the facilities management team can utilise during the lifecycle of the asset aiding operation and maintenance of the facility.

Like BIM, Digital Construction aims to improve delivery, however it is dependent upon the implementation of a digital strategy to begin with so to maximise the potential of all project data through its lifecycle.

What should you be thinking about when looking to use BIM / Digital Construction on a project?

Start with the end in mind.

As with any construction project embarked upon during recent times, it’s important for consideration to be given to what data the Facilities Management team require in order to operate and maintain the asset over the course of its lifecycle but also the plethora of benefits it can pose to the project and its various stakeholders.

Take-aways…

Digital advances have transformed the construction industry over recent years and continue to revolutionise the way we work. Both BIM and Digital Construction aim to improve and enhance within both organisations and projects alike; BIM provides project teams with a solid foundation to deliver against, whilst Digital Construction continues to build upon the data harnessed leveraging tools and processes making automation become a reality.

Waldeck have a wealth of knowledge applying BIM together with Digital Construction across a broad spectrum of industries and sectors, for more information, please contact Veronica via email or by calling 08450 990285.

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