Home builders

IBSx 2021 Sneak Peek: Benefits of BIM for Home Builders

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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a necessary shift towards the adoption of technology in residential construction, as well as opportunities for builders to broaden their horizons and understanding of technology applications. In his upcoming IBSx session, “BIM Demystified: A Look at the Future of Residential Construction,” available on request starting February 9, John Brock, custom builder and founder of BrockWorks, based in Roanoke, Va., Aims to provide Builders an end-to-end view of the building information modeling process.

According to Brock, BIM goes beyond a simple 3D model. He says the process covers a large number of dimensions and phases:

  • 2D, drawings and specifications;
  • 3D models;
  • 4D, time and schedule;
  • 5D, costs or budget;
  • 6D, durability; and
  • 7D, warranties and as built.

BUILDER recently spoke with Brock about the adoption of BIM in residential construction and the extent of its benefits to builders.

MANUFACTURER: Have you noticed a change in the adoption of BIM over the past year?

Brock: No. BIM in its entirety includes several dimensions and phases, and there is no one system that deals with everything, hence my presentation. Yes, people are used to seeing 3D renderings and models, but modeling is only part of BIM. If the model does not contain any information, there is no BIM. BIM is a process in which graphical and non-graphical data is stored in a common environment of shared data accessible by all stakeholders in real time. There is currently no system or software that adequately or not at all integrates these phases. In my opinion, there is no BIM in residential construction.

MANUFACTURER: How do you think BIM will evolve and evolve in the future? What will this allow home builders to do?

Brock: Today we have digital immigrants (born before 1980) and digital natives (born after 1980). The majority of today’s builders and buyers are most likely digital immigrants and not the most tech-savvy consumers. But tomorrow will be a different story. Digital natives will demand and expect technology to integrate all facets of the process, with one click to make decisions and purchases.

I am considering systems / software that will integrate all of the phases I mentioned above, where 2D drawings are dynamically linked to 3D models, which are linked to 4D planning, 5D quotation, 6D energy studies and l ‘as- 7D. constructions, photographs, etc. Builders, homeowners, traders and submarines will have online access to all information and visuals, all dynamically linked through these systems.

Today, builders use multiple platforms to handle some of the different phases including Co-Construct, BuilderTrend, Excel, etc. 3D can be SketchUp, Chief Architect, Revit or Softplan.

BUILDER: How did you use BIM in your own work as a builder?

Brock: As a custom home designer-builder, I have been obsessed with this topic for decades. We build very detailed 3D models of all our projects. I am the author of “SketchUp for Builders”, and I am also the developer of Estimator for SketchUp, which allows us to assign cost data and generate real-time quantity readings with our 3D models. These models are BIM because they contain data.

We are working on a scheduling extension to assign model objects to tasks. This way, you can view the project at any stage of construction, as well as see cash flow requirements along the way. We are also working on the articulation between 2D drawings and 3D models.

There is so much work to be done to bring the industry to BIM. I have no doubts that all the things I dreamed of in the past two decades will come true in the next 10 years.


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