Infrastructure development projects should utilise BIM


For infrastructure development projects to succeed, we need to focus on BIM says Bhushan Avsatthi, Associate Director at Hi-Tech iSolutions LLP

Mega construction projects are always daunting by their very nature, even for long established engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) firms and well experienced general contractors. It is a unanimous opinion of most construction firms that major hurdles arise from interdisciplinary design clashes. Resolving these design clashes, cost overruns and delayed schedules are some of the frequently occurring phenomena during the tenure of infrastructure development.

Worse are the times when these design clashes are encountered long after a significant part of construction has been completed. Such situations invite not only delays but also reworks, lower the efficiency and leave a mark of defamation in the industry.

BIM supersedes human intelligence

BIM has to be brought onboard with interdisciplinary clash detection and resolution, and when the case is of meeting a standard threshold limit for MEP fit-outs. Particularly for infrastructure development projects like airport terminal construction, or a large township development, MEP clashes are the most crucial, owing to our archaic practice of including MEP layout designs after structural and architectural designs.

Resolving these clashes individually on a separate CAD platform will only lead to rippling effects and unnecessary changes in the entire design plan. To solve this, contractors need to ensure and educate their subordinates and AEC professionals in their teams to efficiently utilise BIM.

One may argue that BIM has been active for at least a decade in the AEC industry, and yet there is no significant rise seen in the construction and infrastructure industry. In fact, the industry has become less efficient and not as productive over the past five decades.

The reason for any flawed BIM project is that there are faulty systems in our practices of BIM implementation.  The AEC industry has started using BIM, but only for design modelling and a bit of design coordination. We are confident that our human intelligence will get us through, even if the project is as complex as a railway development, airport terminal development or a bridge construction.

Evidence of what BIM can do

The AEC industry needs to accept the fact that BIM, when used beyond 3D modelling, has far more capabilities than what the human brain can ever reach. BIM and 3D as-built electronic data, when transferred to the construction site, is the solution to eradicate clashes for the entire construction team through real-time assistance.

For example, MEP clash detection was made easy by BIM during the construction of a new terminal of an international airport. The client had contacted the design support service firm well after the major part of the construction was done. The major challenge was to avoid reworks in installing MEP equipment at the terminal. A construction area spread over 350,000 m2 premises was examined by developing LOD 300 models on a BIM platform for clash detection and resolution purposes. It enabled the project team to deliver a new set of clash-free MEP drawings that aided the construction company with the accurate installation.

Likewise, BIM solutions for all mega projects can lead to the removal of reworks with an aim to reduce costs and delays in the deadlines. Moreover, it empowers contractors and EPC firms to salvage construction schedules and keep a check on actual progress.

Another remarkable instance is the announcement of JFK Airport’s renovation with an investment of $10 billion. It clearly shows that BIM gives the courage of renovating good infrastructure for a better one and takes away the risk of investing huge capital.

Only with BIM can we commission infrastructure development with confidence, take important decisions, and develop new innovative infrastructure for setting new benchmarks.

Bhushan Avsatthi

Associate Director

Hi-Tech iSolutions LLP




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