We are an industry where machine and computer power enhance the work of the person, in many cases, making the very jobs we undertake possible. Modeling wouldn’t be feasible if not for the computing power of today’s equipment, from Robotic Total Stations (RTS) units to laptops and cranes.
Fred Flintstone and his brontosaurus crane belonged together. They were iconic. Fred didn’t have the luxury of quarry information modeling. Maybe he didn’t even have the luxury of dynamite. But he did have his bronto-crane, a smiling critter which was evidently perfectly happy lifting huge boulders with its mouth or on top of its head. Fred and his bronto-crane dealt with the quarry the same way every day – no upgrades, no technological breakthroughs. And make no mistake, Fred worked hard (although not as hard as the brontosaurus).
You work hard too. And even if you don’t need dynamite or a bronto-crane to do your best work, you do have available to you the luxury of building information modeling. So why not maximize the return on investment for all the hours you invest into a job? You can change the way you deal with your projects every day. You can accumulate the information you gather, organize it and make your work easier and more profitable going forward.
- Know your customer – The “buy and hold” customer will want to know about maintenance and operation details. The “speculative” customer who’s going to sell the building will want the maximum value for the least amount of money. This is important to know when you’re ready to sell your BIM services.
- Know the proper entry point for selling BIM – There are other entry points besides working for a general contractor, for instance, providing service to a building. It’s the perfect opportunity to map the inner workings of a building, giving you a lot of influence/control and a foot in the door for retrofit construction from that point forward.
- Have a vertical integration strategy – BIM is not just 3D drawing. Understand the entire project lifecycle. Assemble teams of people who do things the way you do and who understand the BIM process. Controlling more than one stage of the job will save a lot of money and time.
- Innovate your business processes – BIM is the win-win way to distinguish your business from others. What can you offer that’s different?
- Cultivate talent – The industry will continue to grow, and you probably won’t be finding the people you need coming out of college, possibly not even coming out of the trades. Find people with the work ethic you value, and train them in the way you do business.
- Take control of your database, and grow your business by using BIM. What you do with information in BIM puts you in a prime position to meet with owners. Who knows where that can lead.
Since the inception of BIM in 2000, it has offered a natural fit with the intricacies of the MEP industry. BIM is the iconic way to model the mechanical information of a construction project. BIM’s not just about the inside of buildings. It’s about the full-meal-deal – a whole rack of BBQ ribs on the roof of the car – 3D modeling of buildings plus facilities management plus the geography of the construction site . . . all the information that can be captured and put to use to make the most of the profit on a job today and in the future. Yabba-dabba-doo!
To learn more about how information is the key to success in your MEP business, see “The Down and Dirty 18 Years of BIM in MEP.”
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Making the investment in Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems can transform construction operations from the start of any project, leading to more efficient use of time and materials in all phases of the build, including long after the active construction project is completed. Through BIM, savings can be realized for the stakeholders in the project–from the building owner to subcontractors–and the operator of the structure benefits far into the future.
While economic situation brings focus on improving ways to increase efficiency in the workplace, these money-saving ideas should be in place during all times. They are best practices that not only save money, but they also save time and cut down on waste, which critical in these eco-aware times.