What is the value of BIM in the architecture and construction projects?

by Kevin Martin BIM Manager

BIM is increasingly necessary in architecture but it is still difficult to quantify the benefits in the industry. Currently, there is no industry standard method for calculating BIM's return on investment (ROI), and due to the complexity of the calculation, many companies have not adopted the technology. The difficulty centers on the fact that traditional ROI analysis cannot account for intangible factors that are important to a construction project, such as avoided costs or improved safety. Therefore, as the leading providers of BIM technology, Autodesk was interested in researching the topic and conducted the study "Achieving Strategic ROI: Measuring the Value of BIM" which reveals that the role of ROI in this technology and in improving its investment and innovation strategy.

The Autodesk study reveals that there is significant variation between companies and the tracking of BIM investment as a separate cost, distinct from operations as a whole. BIM costs often extend far beyond hardware upgrades, so when calculating the cost of your business you should consider the following three areas:

Direct labor costs in connection with the BIM startup are necessary to ensure that the application of the technology is successful. These costs include the obvious need for initial and continuing training of staff, but it is also important to consider the financial consequences of a less efficient team during the transition period to BIM as well as Revit Family Creation.

Many companies have also had to hire an additional BIM manager or more IT support to enable their new BIM capabilities. The level of experience - and therefore the cost of that experience - should be proportional to the advances being made in technology.

There are also long-term costs involved with Architectural BIM related to how the BIM workflow changes your company's internal processes. These come from BIM best practices such as integrating data and information into the previous model in the design development process, or incorporating modeling during pre-construction. These costs are difficult to quantify, but they are otherwise necessary in constructing a complete investment calculation.

The long-term benefits of BIM to businesses come from changes in internal processes that result from BIM's unique workflow. These changes occur in a variety of ways across the business and generally create intangible factors that are difficult to quantify in ROI calculations, including:

·         A reduction in errors.

·         Improved project delivery through efficient use of resources, improved safety and accurate schedules that translates into a higher overall net revenue share.

·         Increased personal competition, as talented designers are more likely to want to work with a company that is working with the latest technology, and increased staff retention.

·         While these changes do not necessarily translate into instant, larger gains, quantifying these benefits in their ROI assessment allows companies to better understand how innovation and measurement technology can be strategically combined to inform business performance and progress towards future levels of BIM maturity. The Autodesk study found that the maturity of a company's BIM adoption level correlated with its reports of high ROI: the majority of highly mature BIM users reported a high return on investment, while only 20% of low-maturity BIM users could claim the same, showing that BIM is an investment that requires patience and commitment.

Autodesk reports that companies with a mature level of BIM adoption actually found their return on investment more difficult to measure. In some of the more experienced firms, rigorous approaches to ROI had transformed the workflow of companies so completely that they no longer find BIM measurement a critical factor in decision making. A BIM construction manager writes:

"We realized that we were achieving three to five times ROI of the number of dollars we put into a project. Over time we got to the point where we have an inherent knowledge that there is value to BIM".

At this point, ROI is used to inform decisions about the specific strategies in which BIM is an assumed component, rather than being used to validate your initial investment in BIM Services.

To apply the concept of return on investment towards making smart decisions regarding your company's technology adoption, it is important to address the expected BIM benefits such as "increased document design productivity parametrically coordinates" or "fewer design change orders." In order to assess these benefits, companies can apply tangible measures that are associated with these profit targets, with the most obvious of these metrics being cost savings through a decrease in the number of hours spent on a project, or an overall shortening of the project timeline. Here are some examples of how it might be determined:

·         For a quantitative benefit such as "efficient use of resources", due to improved team size and focus during the construction phase, the company could increase the specialization of the BIM team. The firm can then track time spent on specific tasks by phase and compare the metrics to the company's pre-existing benchmarks for comparable projects. This can provide information on the effectiveness of the strategy.

·         For more qualitative factors such as “project design scope of understanding” or “owner comfort level,” metrics can be applied by tracking a score that is determined through a questionnaire administered to staff at key points on the project timeline.


While not an easy process, measuring the return on your BIM investment is an important practice that goes beyond determining whether the initial costs of transitioning to Revit Modeling were worth it. Calculating your company's ROI by targeting benefits, tracking investments, and measuring returns helps you strategize on how to apply best technologies and practices for BIM and locate a specific location in the market.

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About Kevin Martin Innovator   BIM Manager

16 connections, 1 recommendations, 86 honor points.
Joined APSense since, March 23rd, 2022, From California, United States.

Created on Apr 13th 2022 07:19. Viewed 280 times.


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