Gantt chart of a construction schedule 5D BIM is an alternative.

Mistakes to Avoid in 5D BIM

Paul TiceVirtual Design and Construction Leave a Comment

Industry insiders often miss the connection between 5D BIM and risk management. It turns out that there’s a crucial link between the two.

KPMG recently released its 2023 Global Construction Survey, which noted that projects are under greater economic scrutiny. On top of that, costs jumped by 17.3% in the last year alone.

That’s why 83% of firms are making estimating accuracy a top priority in the months to come.

5D BIM could mean the difference between a profitable business and more cost overruns.

BIM cost modeling holds a lot of potential, but there are many common mistakes and pitfalls that you need to avoid. The mistakes could mean that your project becomes even more costly.

Do you want to know what the top 5D BIM mistakes are and how to avoid them? Read on the find out what they are and how you can control costs.

A Brief Overview of 5D BIM

What exactly is 5D BIM? It adds a dimension of cost and scheduling modeling to 3D models. It’s the process of adding materials costs into your digital data set.

The costs can include the capital cost of buying and storing a particular component, the cost of the component once it’s installed or in use, and the price of replacing the component in the future.

This is all linked to the data of that component.

This gives project managers easy access to cost analysis and projection data. They can look at a BIM model, take a component and figure out the quantity required, the going price, and the total rate for that component.

You can also make changes to the quantities of components and the model updates cost estimates accordingly.

Cost managers can also compare designs from a cost perspective. You’re well aware that the materials used in a design will impact the final cost. You can address cost concerns with project owners and other stakeholders to find the best design solution that reigns in costs and doesn’t compromise the quality of work.

Since the data is centralized, everyone, from architects to contractors, has the same information to work with. Procurement is easier and everyone can make better decisions in less time.

Mistakes to Avoid in 5D BIM Implementation

There’s no doubt that 5D BIM has many benefits, especially at this time when there’s more pressure on companies and owners to keep costs under control.

It’s critical to ensure that you and other stakeholders are working off of an accurate BIM model. If you’ve worked with BIM before, you know this is easier said than done. Most of the 5D BIM mistakes come from this single issue.

One other thing to note. As much as 5D BIM and cost estimation can mitigate risk, using them in your work can bring a host of challenges that prevent implementation.

One of the mistakes that happens on projects is that there isn’t a clearly defined sense of ownership over the data. This brings a host of legal issues. If there’s an error on a project, who’s ultimately responsible?

This should be outlined at the beginning of a project. Everyone should agree on who owns the data, who is responsible if errors occur, and who controls access to the data.

Inaccurate Project Planning

One of the major mistakes in 5D BIM implementation is inaccurate project planning. Failing to establish clear objectives, define deliverables, and identify key milestones are part of good project planning.

Failure to plan leads to inconsistencies and inaccuracies throughout the project lifecycle.

You’ll end up with cost overruns, schedule delays, and compromised project quality. It can lead to reworks, higher material waste, and ineffective resource allocation.

How do you avoid this mistake? It’s too simple to say make a plan. You do need to spend enough time in the planning phase.

You’ll want to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to uncover potential challenges and uncertainties.

Be sure to incorporate accurate data into the 5D BIM model, including precise quantity takeoffs, material costs, labor rates, and market fluctuations.

Inadequate Data Management and Poor Documentation

This piggybacks off of the planning process. When you don’t have a standardized method to capture, analyze, manage, and share data, the result is that you’ll have information gaps. This forces everyone to make decisions based on limited or inaccurate data. It’s pretty easy to see how that snowballs into larger issues during the project.

What’s the best way to overcome that? Develop a BIM execution plan. This is like a standard operating procedure that standardizes data collection, data management, and file standards.

Lack of Training and Development

The more your team knows and understands BIM tools, methodologies, and processes, the easier it is for them to deliver accurate information.

It also allows you to realize the full potential of 5D BIM. Without proper training, you have lower adoption rates, and it’s difficult to collaborate in a BIM environment.

You lose all of the advantages the 5D BIM has to offer, not to mention your project becomes compromised.

You might want to skip this because of the added cost to an already expensive implementation. Be warned, skipping this step could cost you even more.

Make training and development a priority. Give people access to training resources, and create a learning culture that rewards development.

Missing Quality Control Checks

How do you validate data in your cost estimation model? If you shrug your shoulders or say you don’t know, it’s time to get a different answer.

You’re just asking for errors, confusion, and discrepancies to reign over your project. You’ll end up with deeply flawed cost estimates and project projections.

The indirect cost is the loss of trust. No one can trust the data, which means that people won’t trust each other on the project team.

Be sure to put detailed quality control checks in place. Have peer reviews, model audits, and clash detection. The more redundancies you have in quality control, the better.

You’ll be able to catch problems before they turn into insurmountable issues.

Not Using the Right Hardware and Software Package

One of the barriers to BIM is that it requires a lot of computing power. If you want to run BIM software on an older computer, hoping you’ll get by, good luck to you.

You’ll end up slowing down the project because data isn’t accessible. You also have to wait for models to render and information to get updated.

The project becomes less productive, you have less time to innovate, and you can’t use advanced features.

If you want to avoid this scenario, know what your project requirements are, use software that aligns with the project goals, and then invest in the hardware that can handle complex tasks like BIM cost estimation modeling.

Bear in mind that software upgrades demand more computing power. Getting a low-end or middle-of-the-road option can lead to frustration in just a few months. You’re better off getting hardware that goes well and above a software suite’s minimal computing standards.

Inadequate Consideration of Cost and Scheduling

Up until now, we haven’t talked much about scheduling. Cost and scheduling go hand in hand in the 5D BIM framework.

Companies often fail to take into account the implications that scheduling has on costs and vice versa. If you don’t have these considerations and integrated data, teams will struggle to meet project milestones.

You’re faced with budget overruns, late deadlines, and poor resource allocation. The profitability of the project becomes compromised.

You can get around that by establishing cost and schedule baselines and ensuring you have accurate cost data in the BIM model.

You’ll also want to regularly update and monitor progress against established benchmarks.

Best Practices in 5D BIM Implementation

We’ve talked about the mistakes in 5D BIM implementation and how to avoid them. Let’s change the conversation to talk about some of the best practices you can apply.

You’re already aware of the importance of planning and investing in the right tools and training. Those things are non-negotiables in BIM cost modeling.

The key to a successful BIM implementation is to set the tone and create an open, collaborative environment right from the start. This interdisciplinary approach ensures that everyone has a stake in the quality of data.

As the project progresses from the planning to the build phase, you’ll want to update and refine your BIM execution plan. It ensures the processes and workflows remain effective.

Don’t Overlook BIM Cost Modeling

The construction industry is under more pressure and scrutiny to keep costs under control. That’s hard to do when the cost of materials seems to increase daily.

Using 5D BIM can help you keep project costs under control, but its effectiveness depends on the quality of inputs. The mistakes outlined in this article help you become aware of those mistakes and make a plan to avoid them.

Embrace the potential of 5D BIM and embark on a path of innovation and success.

Our team is experienced in developing 5D BIM models and can help you avoid these mistakes. Give us a call today to find out more about our VDC consulting services.

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