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Advancement in Construction Technology Essay

1.1General Background

Back in the day before there were computers the whole construction process was done by pen and paper from the bidding process to the actual drawings themselves. Since the innovation of the computer and interactive software these processes have gotten much more efficient. There have been many programs that ease the construction process. Such programs include, drawing software (AutoCad), spreadsheet software (Microsoft Excel), programs to assist with estimating (Plan Swift), planning and scheduling software (Microsoft Project), the internet as well as e-mail. There have always been minor updates on these programs but have mostly remained with the same basic purpose. Within the last 5 years a new state of the art program developed by AutoDesk using 3D Modeling has been integrated into many large jobs in Canada while in the USA it has been used regularly for about 10 years. This program is called Building Information Modeling and for short, BIM. There are many companies that do not know about BIM or have heard of it but have never used it or seen it being used.

1.2Specific Background

The purpose of this report is to inform people within the construction industry about the available software and the importance of 3D modeling throughout the entire construction process. Hopefully this report will convince many people to incorporate BIM into their projects more often. Also, students should be learning about BIM in college programs and should also be an elective within high schools along with AutoCad.

1.3Thesis Statement

Can 3D Modeling technology improve production control in the construction process?

1.4Explanation of Methodology

Throughout this technical report, research on the rise of 3D Modeling will be analyzed and broken down to the reader through secondary research obtained from various online newspaper and magazine articles and academic articles recarding the subject. This research will be used to identify the need for 3D Modeling within the construction industry. It will then prove that the process behind 3D modeling will improve production from initial budgeting to maintaining the finished product.

The primary research that will be used within this report will be presented through an online survey and face-to-face interviews with a number of industry professionals. The opinions and experiences of these professionals will be used within this report to support the presented question or establish background information regarding the subject. Each of the interviewees will be presented with the same set of questions in order to properly compare and compile the data received by them.

2.0Secondary Research Review

2.1Building Information Modeling: Safety Benefits & Opportunities, Professional Safety In this article Rajendran and Clarke argue the benefits of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Health and Safety. They also mention several ways it helps with the overall construction process. The article starts of by defining BIM and its processes and Stating that it is becoming more popular within the architect, construction and engineering industries. They write that BIM allows builders to foresee any complications that may occur even before the construction process begins. They list major benefits BIM has regarding the construction process. There are many figures portraying how BIM can be used to assist with site layout and identify potential risks. Concluding this article they state that BIM had many benefits that can improve construction safety (Rajendran & Clarke, 2011). I will use parts of this article to argue the importance of BIM in the construction process.

The major issue I am focussing on is how it will improve the construction process and prevent further complications. This article has some good points on benefits of using BIM regarding my topic. 2.2Implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Construction In this article Rowlinson, Collins, Tuuli and Jia, analyse the impirical impacts of Building Information Modeling (BIM) into construction. They review two cases where BIM was used successfully. In the first case the process started traditionally and after many issues causing delays, BIM was implemented and with the help of a BIM team they created the model and resolved the issues quickly. In the second case the BIM was implemented from the beginning and the process was much smoother and saved time. They find that BIM allows companies to deal with RFI’s (Requests for Information) much easier.

Also, states that BIM allows builders to see conflicts between each parties system and resolve them before they clash on site and delays the project. On concluding this article, the authors find that success alone is not a sufficient driver for managers to justify implementing BIM (Rowlinson, Collins, Tuuli & Yunyan, 2010). I will use this article to strengthen my argument that the use of BIM will help with production control within the construction process. This article clearly outlines the issue I am trying to prove; BIM can make the construction process run smoother. This is a very important article to my research and has a lot of useable content. 2.3Building Information Modeling (BIM): Trends, Benefits, Risks, and Challenges for the AEC Industry.

Leadership & Management In Engineering Azhar starts off this article by suggesting that building information modeling (BIM) has potential to reduce project costs and delivery as well as increase productivity. He states the building information model after construction is completed can be used for operation and maintenance. He then lists a number of applications of BIM such as, fabrication/shop drawings, estimating, sequencing and conflict detection. The results of two secondary source surveys says, 82% of BIM users believed that it had a positive impact on the company’s productivity, 79% of users indicate improved project outcomes and less RFIs.

He then proceeds to report on 4 case studies illustrating cost and time savings. There are many data tables with different information, in one of them there is an analysis of different projects return on investment using BIM. He also states several potential risks and future complications related to BIM. On concluding this article Azhar suggests that the increasing use of BIM will likely enhance collaboration and reduce fragmentation in the industry (Azhar, 2010). I will use this article to help prove that BIM will help with the overall construction process including the start up. I will also use this back up the use of BIM to save money and make a considerable return.

2.4Construction industry goes high-tech

In this magazine article the author Michael Douchette begins by introducing Autodesk which is the company that created AutoCAD and BIM. Both are industry revolutionary programs. He states that AutoCAD was a big step in the drafting works and BIM is quickly finding its way into being the industry standard. A primary source says that all stakeholders are able to interact on a 3D model (referring to BIM). Autodesk is working with institutions to make sure students are trained in the new (BIM) technology. He explains BIM allows designers, architects and engineers to identify deficiencies early in the process. Douchette then explains what Building Information Modelling (BIM) is. He says it’s not for only buildings or infrastructure.

It is usable through the whole process of the project from Design through construction. Referring to a Smart Market Report he states that more than 70% of non-users think that competitors are using BIM. Everyone within the process will be using BIM. Trades workers will use a specific layer of the software and be able to make changes in real time. He concludes by stating, the future of construction is BIM (Doucette, 2012). I will use this to help improve my argument that it BIM is an aid to the construction process. This article has a lot of point referring to training new students to use BIM and in turn that proves that it is going to be a major part in the construction process in the near future.


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