28.05.2018 | By Arlinda Sipilä

While adopting BIM for the first time may involve a new capital expenditure, the promise of BIM is that, over time, it reduces the overall lifecycle cost of a building. Furthermore after BIM is used for a first project, the necessary tools, procedures and know-how will be already in place for the next project.

Good practices and co-operation with other stakeholders come as a standard in all projects. This is true even if they are not needed in all projects yet. The basic demand is to have a building completed in a fast and cost-efficient way, on time.

Today, we are looking further into the future. Construction projects must now take into account sustainability and environmental impact. It is widely understood that a building’s “cost” in terms of financial and environmental resources bound far into the future, beyond just the construction phase. With this forward-looking approach, the end user’s needs are taken into account sooner. Knowing what end result will satisfy all parties’ needs is better understood nowadays. It also decreases the environmental impact of a project, when the number of changes is decreased. With this complex web of demands weighing on the project stakeholders, adopting BIM is the simplest and most effective means to achieving a positive outcome for the lifecycle for the project.

To adopt BIM means reaching the following milestones:

1. Reducing costs throughout the business processes

Via a rapid exchange of design information – different scenarios can be explored faster, allowing for more iterations. The outcome? A more robust design and a more efficient decision-making processes overall.

2. Saving time in documenting the decisions

All drawings can be captured in one comprehensive model in 3D format, keeping them all together in a single environment, rather than relying upon individual 2D drawings

3. Easy and quick production of necessary engineering calculations

All geometric and spatial data required to perform energy calculations are produced directly from the model

4. Being able to demonstrate environmental compliance with ease

Reducing the building’s lifecycle costs

5. Online cost estimation and visualisation of the construction over time

Enabled by integration of cost (5D) and scheduling (4D) data

6. Accurate Bills of Quantities produced directly from the model

The data required to control procurement can be linked directly from the model, optimising the whole procurement process

7. Integrating interoperability further into the BIM environment

The detailed model contains all data and geometry required for installation of the MEP systems. Once the building is completed, the next version of the model will inform all facilities management (FM) decision-making and systems, including linked data specifically for FM.


In summary, BIM enables the 3D model to develop during the lifecycle of the building. As the project progresses, the linked data in the model grows and the stakeholders can access to data that is relevant for each specific phase – design, procurement, construction, Facility Management. The end-goal is a building that meets the needs of the people using it. Using BIM to transform MEP design white paper explores these milestones further and covers in detail the four pillars of BIM process: Design, Procurement, Construction and Facility Management.

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