Report reveals how BIM benefits water projects

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A new report has outlined how Building Information Modelling (BIM) is improving water projects by generating higher levels of client satisfaction, and improving critical aspects of the project design and delivery process

The new report titled ‘The Business Value of BIM for Water Projects SmartMarket Report’, demonstrates how the industry is accelerating its implementation of BIM, a reversal of the findings of previous studies on this topic by Dodge Data & Analytics, which indicated that the water sector has been slower to embrace BIM than other sectors such as transportation.

The new study was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with Autodesk and Black & Veatch, and with additional support from e-Builder and Pinnacle Infotech, Inc. The study reveals that BIM is improving water projects, and improving critical aspects of the project design and delivery process.

One critical finding regarding the value of BIM in the water sector was its ability to enhance multi-party collaboration on project teams. Among BIM users in the water sector, improved collaboration is the top-rated business benefit, resulting in reduced errors and omissions, reduced conflicts and coordination problems, better ability to maintain quality and better communication from 3D visualisation.

Theo Agelopoulos, Autodesk Director of Infrastructure Industry and Business Strategy, said: “Extraordinary pressure is being placed on our cities and our planet’s limited resources as the global population grows and urban areas become more crowded.

“Understanding the value of BIM on water and wastewater facilities will allow us to build more and better facilities while using less resources, including natural and financial resources.”

One area where the water sector shows leadership in BIM deployment is the degree to which 3D modelling is used for the operation of the completed facility and to support asset management in the US. In fact, 86% of respondents stated that they were integrating the models with asset management, and the same percentage reported using the models to support operations and maintenance (O&M) activities.

Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights Research at Dodge Data & Analytics, added: “We view facility owners’ interest in BIM use for operations and asset management as an emerging value proposition that could drive significantly increased BIM utilisation across the water sector.

“As owners recognise BIM’s contribution across the facility lifecycle, it will provide them with a greater reason to mandate its use, and also be a competitive advantage for BIM-capable engineers and contractors who can not only enhance project delivery, but help owners conduct better operations and asset management for the long term.”

The study demonstrates that use of BIM for water projects is increasing in both frequency and generation of value. Current users already report deploying it for a relatively high percentage of their water or wastewater treatment facilities and mining and industrial projects. And while their implementation is currently lower for tunnelling and hydroelectric projects, they expect it to increase dramatically in the next two years.

You can access the free report here.

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