Digital construction and the rise of BIM

Geschreven door:

Dani Lameris, April 21, 2023

You certainly won’t have missed it: the construction industry is increasingly focused on digital construction. And that is not surprising, because digital technologies can significantly improve the entire construction process. From architecture to engineering and maintenance. The great interest in digital construction also includes an increasing use of BIM. We have listed for you exactly what digital construction entails, what the benefits are, what role BIM plays in this and how you can make the transition to digital construction.

What is digital construction?

Digital construction is the process of creating a digital representation of a building project. That sounds very chic, but what it comes down to is that you first build up a project digitally before you actually start building. An important part of digital construction is Building Information Modeling (BIM). A BIM model is a digital representation of the building in which all information about the design, construction and maintenance of the building is recorded in one central model. From the design to the material data, calculations and schedules. This model is used throughout the construction process by all parties involved to exchange and verify information.

Computer screen with a construction model and a green Prostream flow

The benefits of digital construction

Digital construction offers many advantages. It reduces the chance of errors and miscommunication during a construction project. After all, all parties work with the same digital model. This way there can be no ambiguities about the design or specifications. Accidental work with outdated plans or drawings is also a thing of the past. As a builder, simulations allow you to thoroughly review the project in advance, minimizing the chance of unforeseen problems during construction. Errors in the design process are detected and corrected more quickly, reducing construction time. In addition, project managers can better manage and plan the construction process, which leads to tighter time and cost control.

What role does BIM play in digital construction?

Actually, it’s already said above: BIM plays an important role in the successful implementation of digital construction. With the digital representation of the building, all relevant information about the project is in one place. All parties involved can work together in one central source of information and immediately see the impact of the choices they make throughout the project. The construction partners can simulate and evaluate different scenarios, enabling them to make well-founded decisions. A BIM model also offers advantages for the future. All relevant information remains available during the entire life cycle of the building. Handy, if renovations are required at a later stage or as input for multi-year maintenance planning. After all, you know exactly how old each part of the building is and you can Multi-Year Maintenance Plan on adjust.

A BIM model not only offers advantages during construction, but also contains all relevant information for maintenance.

How do you make the step to digital construction?

The transition to digital construction can be a complex process. But if you take each step one at a time, you can make the transition as smooth as possible.

Step 1: determine your strategy

Develop a clear digital construction strategy. Determine your goals, what resources you need to achieve them andwhat the required skills and competences of your people.

Step 2: select the right software

Invest in the right technology and construction software. With a collaboration platform specifically designed for use in construction, such as Prostream, you have all the basics for efficient digital collaboration in-house. With the BIM-viewer in Prostream you already digitally walk through the building before you start building. 

Step 3: train your employees

Provide training and education to employees so that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to work digitally.

Step 4: write clear processes

Establish clear processes and procedures for sharing and managing digital information. Set standards for file formats and set appropriate access rights for employees.

Step 5: collaborate with external partners

Collaborate with partners and suppliers to develop joint digital processes. Make good agreements about sharing information or using BIM models.

Step 6: improve

Strive for continuous improvement and optimization of your digital processes. Measure, analyze and evaluate and adjust processes and systems where necessary to achieve better results.

You don’t have to do everything in one day: step by step you will get just as far.

Making the step to digital construction is a challenge. Yet you really can’t help but take this development seriously and prepare yourself for the future. But just as Rome was not built in a day, you don’t have to do everything digitally in one day. Step by step you will come just as far.