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The main challenges faced by the construction industry is related to its fragmented nature due to traditional project delivery approach to the management of projects and the traditional use of CAD technology as the means of communication and information system (Teicholz, P 2004). The fragmentation of the industry has led to an ineffective, dispute driven, wasteful and unproductive industry that is in dire need of a positive change (Gallaher, P 2004) especially as one of the largest sectors in majority of economies globally.
From the traditional construction project procurement method which employs the main contractor well after the design stage, to the use of traditional two dimensional CAD drawings that discourage collaboration; architects and engineers and other professionals produce their own fragmented CAD and respective documents to relay their designs and information to owners and contractors. These drawings are not integrated and usually pose conflicts of information which result in inefficiency in productivity. In addition, the CAD system does not promote the integration of the drawings with schedule and cost (Hergunsel, M. 2011). Therefore, Estimators commit time that could be used for more productive work redoing calculations at every variation and change in design leading to wastage and conflicts when such variation abounds as seen in majority of construction projects.
(Hergunsel, M. 2011) also revealed that the construction industry had recognized the basis of object-oriented building product modeling in 1990s. This is a synchronization of the successes of other industries especially the manufacturing industry example that has reaped the benefits of collaborative working over the years. Recently, various Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools became readily available throughout the construction industry. A typical instance of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) adoption as stated by (Onyenobi, T. 2010) is its application in the Sydney Opera House aimed at eliciting best practice in the Facilities Management industry.
BIM as defined by NIBS, 2008 is
"The digital representation of physical and functional attributes of a facility. A BIM describes a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle that is conception to demolition."
It is considered as one of the most potential developments in the construction industry and will become the drivers of integration, interoperability and collaboration in the future. This is a reward of construction industry's dedication to Building Information Modeling for the last 20 years (Eastman, C. 2008).
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The Construction industry is such that information needs to be exchanged and transferred, this information may be in the form of letters, emails, reports, certificates, photographs, spreadsheets and 2D or hardcopy drawings and highlights a construction project process that incorporates thinking, collecting, creating, correcting and connecting (Coates, P. 2010). Much evidence has pointed out that, the fragmentation in construction is the root cause of many problems occurring in a construction project. According to (Anumba, C. 1997), the fragmentation in construction has created inter alia: an adversarial culture, information with data generated at one stage that could not be automatically available for re-use downstream and lack of real life cycle analysis. (Marshall-Ponting A.J. 2006) also identified that fragmentation allows information wastage, lots of repetition and long lead time, together with redundant and replicated work at different interfaces between department and slow product development and process improvement. Since the inception of Computer Aided Design (CAD), computers have come to be useful and applicable to the construction industry. However, The Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry professionals have had to work together without integration making the majority of construction project cases to translate into blame games in terms of reasons for delays, cost overrun, project management failures and disputes as the case may be.
BIM could be able to replace CAD not only to provide information needed but also to overcome the incompatible issues with data formats. Sustainable design and life cycle management of buildings need new type of information compared to traditional building process ( Häkkinen, T. M. 2007). The availability of a single BIM makes it possible to capture information throughout design, procurement and construction of a building, serving as a living record of the building for operations and maintenance throughout its lifecycle (Howell, I. 2005).
This project is intended to examine and evaluate the effects of BIM use on construction projects' management through case study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The utilization of BIM is slowly being accepted as to its effects on the overall outcome of a construction project. Owners are faced with the dilemma of making a decision of whether or not to utilize BIM based on speculated benefits. Furthermore, the proof in existence does not appeal to an executive or someone at the business level that is prepared to make a decision such as whether or not to employ BIM as a tool. Why would a construction industry professional embrace a concept unknown to have distinct benefits to the business as a whole especially in terms of savings in terms of time, cost and better quality which are the major success factors for construction projects and the goals of a project manager on any project. What effects does the use of BIM have on project management when used on Construction Projects?
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this paper is to evaluate the effects that the use of BIM has on project management when used on Construction Projects through case study.
The objectives are:
To define Building Information Modeling through literature review.
To investigate the use of BIM by industry professionals also through literature review.
To identify and analyze a case study project that engaged the use of BIM.
To evaluate the effects derived from the use of BIM through case study.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research is significant to the construction industry as it establishes the concept of BIM and helps to enable industry professionals to be aware of the effects they stand to benefit or forfeit by adopting BIM on their projects. This is especially as the UK government intends to compel the use of BIM by 2016 and the gradual escalation of the concept in the global environment, its grand presence in the academia and application in many big projects now springing up. Even projects that never used BIM at the inception are introducing it towards the maintenance and facility management stages which are all included in the life cycle. So it is foreseen to be difficult to avoid the BIM development and advancement and that makes it an important concept for evaluation and assessment.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research work will involve the definition, analysis and evaluation of BIM use in construction projects through literature and case study review.
1.6 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
CAD (Computer Aided Design): is the use of computer hardware and the CAD software program to create design drawings. CAD software is used by architects, engineers, drafters, artists, and others to create precision drawings or technical illustrations. CAD software can be used to create two-dimensional (2-D) drawings or three-dimensional (3-D) models.
BIM (Building Information Modeling): It provides an integrated database of coordinated information among the contributors to the design and engineering of a building. It enhances the collaborative process of design and engineering. In addition to graphically depicting the project, BIM offers key information about the building that can be used to analyze its performance.
AEC (Architectural, Engineering and construction): This represents an industry comprising the Architects, Engineers and other professionals that are in the construction industry and work together on construction projects thereby having the need to collaborate and integrate most of the time.