BIM, is the industry buzz word, replacing sustainability in the ‘most talked about’ league table. This may seem like a design issue, but it also has its place in marketing as a feature which delivers a number of benefits.

A year ago I wrote an article for Building Products about how not all features are benefits and when targeting key decision makers in the project team you need to consider what is relevant. In this blog I wanted to revisit this idea of benefits and look at what benefits BIM can bring and how the product manufacturer can utilise these in their marketing.

If your business has invested in BIM it is one of the features you can promote, demonstrating that yours is a forward thinking organisation which potential customers can work with. But saying that you have a BIM capability is not enough, you need to spell out the benefits this brings to your customer. Most of these will either reduce the cost of construction (of interest to developer and contractor) or reduce the cost of operating a building (of interest to developer and tenant). When promoting your company’s BIM capability you might focus on the following benefits:

  • Provides a clearer idea of what the building will look like and how spaces can be used allowing easy planning of space utilisation and avoiding expensive variations.
  • Greater certainty and predictability of time, cost and quality
  • Lower design fees as a result of better understanding and spatial coordination.
  • Lower construction costs as a result of better construction and project management.
  • Building operating costs reduced through improved data availability allowing better managed assets leading to reduced costs. When promoting that same feature of BIM capability to a contractor while some benefits would be similar others would be different:
  • Better visualisation of designs at an early stage, helpingto get the design right first time andavoid clashes on site.
  • Better construction and project management (build it once virtually, then build it for real).
  • Quicker, more consistent and easier coordination of design documentation.
  • Remove the need to check or re-key data.
  • Improved data availability enabling better informed early design.
  • Improved coordination of contractor design information, reducing costs.
  • Delivery of coordinated information to the construction team enabling better work face coordination, productivity and Health & Safety.
  • Earlier, accurate, complete procurement data (‘smart’ BoQs); elimination of waste and rework. There are two key rules to follow when promoting benefits; Don’t assume people know about the subject – spell it out, and ‘Make the statement more than once’. When scanning through an article or an advert people will miss points so make your benefits obvious.

At the launch of the Construction Strategy on 2nd July this year Peter Hansford made it clear that BIM is, and will remain, a central element of the government’s procurement policy. This has been supported by leading representatives of the design and contracting fraternity, and our recently completed report Adoption of BIM 2013 suggests that the value of UK construction projects using BIM will increase by a factor of 14 between now and 2016.

Manufacturers who make BIM objects available will be helping with the design process, confirming product benefits and the value they represent. By providing off-the-shelf designs they will help ensure compatibility with other systems, saving time for the project team.

Further Reading

Construction Research: Adoption of BIM: 2013 Building Information Modelling is a hot topic, with government and the construction industry shouting its benefits. The problem for the manufacturer, with hard pressed budgets, is will I get a return on my investment? Adoption of BIM has been researched and written to help answer that question and then make the right implementation choices

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