Cut Waste, Cut Costs

6122146Proponents of Building Information Modelling (BIM) see reduction of waste as being among the key benefits from using BIM systems. Waste reduction, they say, can occur throughout the life cycle of a building-from initial design conception to de-commissioning and demolition.

BIM can cut waste significantly in the design and construction phases and thus lower the biggest single hurdle for many construction projects: capital cost. Design typically accounts for around 10 per cent and construction for around 90 per cent of the capital cost of a project.

“So even a two to three per cent improvement in productivity on the construction side is very significant in real dollars,” points out Klaas Rodenberg, chief executive officer of the new Alberta Centre of Excellence for Building Information Modelling (ACE-BIM).

“Some buildings are costing $200 [million] to $300 million.”

The shared knowledge base that BIM systems support is one of the ways that BIM can help in eliminating many errors. Traditionally, Rodenberg says, “Most construction is done by small outfits who mostly do a thing once and don’t often have an opportunity to learn from the experience. There’s no transparency through shared knowledge as builders don’t share what costs are or how well things work.”


Underlining that BIM is focused on information, he says the use of BIM addresses such issues, potentially providing useful data for how best to do comparable projects in the future. “One of the values of BIM is that it enables the sharing of information to boost productivity,” he says. “BIM allows you to do things on the basis of a factory routine, not one pipe, one part at a time. Instead, it brings information out of the silos, with all players working off a single model of a building and being able to make the decisions before a single sod of soil is turned.”  Read More