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How 5D BIM benefits everyone in construction

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now well-established in the construction industry, but it is often considered as just a tool for the design phase. With MTWO Construction Cloud software, when we talk about BIM, we talk about enterprise 5D BIM, which means we are taking BIM beyond the design phase into the construction phase and into very detailed processes.

What is 5D BIM?

5D BIM refers to integrating the 3D BIM model with project schedule (4D) and cost data (5D) for complete “design to delivery” project management. Design models, cost information, procurement and building plans are visualised and evaluated in the pre-construction phase, so that a clear and optimised project plan is created before the physical implementation. The optimised 5D BIM model then supports the project execution process, resulting in the most cost-effective construction delivery possible.

With the MTWO Construction Cloud Platform, the 5D BIM approach incorporates three aspects: integrated, smart, and next generation.

Integrated: Connects people anytime and anywhere through different devices via 5D BIM, providing access to the latest enterprise data for enhanced project collaboration. It collates information from onsite and represents a meaningful and actionable dashboard for top management.

Smart: The collaborative 5D BIM approach transforms traditional methods for project delivery into smart enterprise processes, by adding, using and visualising 5D BIM data throughout organisations and project phases.

Next Generation: 5D BIM becomes the next generation with cloud and AI technology which helps construction companies further automate workflows and analyse data.

How does 5D BIM work for different roles?

In the end, construction projects are all about people. 5D BIM adds value to different roles in different processes of an organisation. Let’s take a look at how 5D BIM can streamline workflows for professionals across the construction industry:

5D BIM for BIM Managers

  • Dynamic multi-model approach to optimally support diverse processes

Construction processes always start somewhere in the authoring design system. With the MTWO 5D BIM cloud platform, domain or trade-specific models from different stakeholders can be combined to optimally support the construction processes. Individual models can be summarised and displayed for specific processes, while multi-versions of models can be created to support diverse processes in different project phases.

BIM managers can manage complete version handling of the BIM models, making it possible to see the impact of design changes on both the program and the budget.

  • Multi-stage model comparison to increase transparency and reduce risks

With MTWO, the BIM teams can compare and identify changes in different versions of the BIM models. Various changes can be highlighted visually, such as elements that have been added, removed, or changed in any way.

The comparison and the change analysis enables BIM managers to obtain an initial overview of the changes, and thus an early indication of changes in the subsequent processes. It offers the possibility to recognise the changes that might happen in the following steps and present them transparently and comprehensibly for all project participants at a very early stage of the process to reduce risk.

  • Better model quality and integrity control to ensure reliability

The BIM team can perform a model quality and integrity check of the 3D model with their MTWO 5D BIM platform. In addition to verifying existing information and its integrity, the 3D model can be enriched with additional information. By checking models, as well as enriching the models with information, the BIM models are then optimally prepared for subsequent processes, such as estimating and scheduling.

5D BIM for Quantity Surveyors and Estimators

  • Model-based QTO & estimation: More visual, more accurate and less error-prone

For quantity takeoff and estimating, the MTWO 5D BIM platform adopts the Construction System approach, allowing for the automation of quantity takeoff and estimating.

Regarding quantity takeoff, by using predefined takeoff rules in the Construction System, quantity surveyors will easily generate automated quantities from 3D models. The calculation can go to object level, be presented in BIM models, and exported in different level of details to facilitate decision making.

For estimation, MTWO 5D BIM platform allows the automation of all the predictable, repetitive calculations and assignment tasks required for cost estimating. This improves the overall accuracy of estimation, saving time and effort while standardising the whole cost estimation process.

For example, if an estimator needs to do an estimate for the ultra-wall, they can simply select the ultra-wall object and will get the line item in the Construction System, and then they can go into details of the estimate. With the cost data connected to BIM models, visualisation can be realised to see which elements are within budget and which ones are out of budget, significantly increasing estimate accuracy.

  • Integration with scheduling and procurement to improve collaboration

The Construction System does more than cost estimating. It supports teams to create activities and packages for procurement based on the models to know not only the cost of the object, but also the creation data and the required procurement schedule. Consequently, the BIM models, the cost, scheduling and procurement data are all connected, and the processes are automated into various details, enhancing the collaboration between the quantity surveyors, estimators and planners with the whole project team.

5D BIM for Schedulers

  • Virtual simulation for schedule evaluation and avoid conflict during construction

With MTWO 5D BIM, schedulers can assign schedule information to related model objects and combine cost data to perform a 5D simulation. The virtual simulation analyses the construction process. This way, the targets are monitored and readjusted in an early stage of the project, which helps to forecast and avoid conflicts during the construction phase.

5D BIM for Procurement Teams

  • Early embedding procurement with all project phases to ensure project quality, time and cost

Procurement planning is one of the main tasks in the procurement process and is critical for success factors such as quality, time and cost. Therefore, it is important to not only choose the right strategy, but also determine the procurement demands early or to analyse requirements as realistically as possible. MTWO 5D BIM is the first solution that adds BIM models to the procurement process. Due to the integration of procurement with 5D BIM geometry models, procurement planning can be executed during an early phase, and the procurement requirements are directly generated from the models.

  • Integration with sub-contractors to enhance progress reporting

The MTWO 5D BIM platform can visualise every contracted object and provide subcontractors access to models via the portal. The subcontractors can see their contracted elements from the models and report their progress based on the model, with or without any BIM knowledge.

5D BIM for Project Managers

For the project managers, everything comes together in a 5D simulation. As the project schedule and cost data are connected to the BIM models, the system can simulate the construction processes with different timelines and cost for optimised project planning and control.

  • Build virtually before physically to optimise planning, predict cash flow and reduce rework

In the planning stage, the planned construction process can be simulated to identify potential risks which may affect the project duration and cost in order to put effective countermeasures in place as early as possible. Different project scenarios can be compared side-by-side to decide on an optimal project delivery approach. With the adjustable cost and budget simulation chart, cost and budget of the different resources, such as labour, plant, equipment and materials can be added to see how they are planned over time and forecast the cash flow.

  • Compare actual execution with planning to improve project performance

During the construction phase, actual and planned construction progress can be visualised and compared with a 5D simulation to see what was planned and what the actual stage of the project is currently. Based on the results, project managers can make necessary adjustments on schedule and resources accordingly in a timely manner to mitigate risks and ensure project outcomes.

5D BIM for C-level Management

  • Manage all project teams in one place

With 5D BIM supporting project end-to-end processes, from planning to execution in one place, C-level management will have one interface to manage all project teams more effectively. It supports project processing with consistent data models and comprehensive functions, making project management more connected, visual, and productive.

  • Make more informed decisions

Traditionally, when project teams produce reports for C-level management, they have to compile information from different tools to show project design, cost planning or scheduling separately, which takes time for C-level executives to understand the overall planning of the project and current status. With a 5D BIM platform, however, project teams can show complete project planning or progress information in one interface visually. C-level executives can easily understand not only the project design, but also the time and cost needed to complete the project, which helps to make faster and more informed decisions.

What’s more, diversified project information is available on one platform, hence decisions on prioritizing resources, procurement, cash out flow etc., become easier as management is able to get a consolidated holistic picture about all projects through a powerful BI dashboard. Based on this, enterprises are able to improve & monitor the overall profitability of projects on a real-time basis.

How 5D BIM works for your team

5D BIM technology provides considerable benefits for different roles in an AEC company. It enables a digital twin working method that unlocks value across the entire project lifecycle from planning to delivery, enabling project teams and decision makers to better understand and predict project performance, and provide continuous monitoring and predictive maintenance insights to improve project efficiency, reduce unplanned downtime, and enhance collaboration. According to this McKinsey report, in the current trying times, designers and engineers are relying more heavily on BIM, and using 4D and 5D simulation to replan projects and optimize schedules. The adoption of this technology has been proved to increase productivity and will become even stronger post COVID-19.

RIB Software has been the innovator in 5D BIM technology and has dominated the market for around 15 years. In the era of cloud computing, it has integrated 5D BIM technology with Cloud and AI technology to create more value for the AEC industry with the next generation construction software - MTWO Construction Cloud Platform. Contact a MTWO product expert to learn more about how 5D BIM can help your team and organisation.


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