BIM Lean Principles

by Andrew Johnson | December 2, 2022 | 4 min read

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There’s no doubt that there is a massive shift in the construction industry regarding digital transformation. Digital construction is one of the most talked about topics, especially with the trends such as artificial intelligence, cloud software, automation, digital twins, and Building Information Modelling (BIM). While BIM has been around for a while, it’s only recently that its potential has begun to be fully realised, especially incorporating these other trends. And as with any new technology, there’s always a learning curve.

This is where lean principles come in. Lean principles are all about efficiency and waste reduction. In the context of BIM, they can help organisations streamline their processes and get the most out of their investment in this new technology.

Here are some lean principles that can help you make the most of BIM:

1) Eliminate unnecessary steps:

When I deliver our BIM Fundamentals course, I always get to hear the misconception that BIM is only for large projects, or that you must spend the project’s budget on the latest software, hardware, licences or technology. All nonsense! BIM is not all about technology. It is about the people and the processes. Technology is there to facilitate communication and collaboration between people. Yes, technology is essential, but it is not the focus of BIM. The focus is on using technology to help people work together more effectively. We all fall foul of the lovely new shiny tech or new software: you are tempted to add bells and whistles or upgrade to the top package just because you can. But more is not always better. When it comes to BIM, ask yourself if each extra step is necessary? If not, eliminate it from your process.

2) Automate repetitive tasks:

One of the most extraordinary things about BIM is that it can automate many repetitive tasks that are traditionally done by hand. For example, instead of manually creating 2D drawings from scratch, you can use BIM software to generate them automatically from your 3D model. BIM can be used to develop materials lists and quantity takeoffs. This can be a huge time saver for quantity surveyors and estimators who do this work manually. By automating these tasks, BIM allows construction professionals to spend more time on other aspects of their projects.

3) Use templates:

Another way to save time and improve efficiency is to use templates. A template could be a predefined model that can be used as a starting point for creating new models. Templates can contain geometry, text, images and other data. There are many benefits to using templates in BIM. They can save time by eliminating to need to create common elements from scratch. Templates can also improve accuracy and consistency by providing a standard set of data for all parties and teams. This way, you can recreate these elements only after you start a new project.

4) Set up standards:

Companies must set up BIM standards as the construction industry looks to move towards a more digital way of working. This will help improve communication and collaboration between different teams and ensure that everyone is working to the same standards. When setting up BIM standards, there are many things to consider, such as which software to use and what file formats to adopt. It is also essential to think about how you will manage data and ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date. Having clear BIM standards in place ensures that your projects run smoothly and that everyone involved knows precisely what they need to do. This will help save time and money and reduce stress levels all around!

To learn more about Lean Principles and how to introduce BIM to your projects, contact Andrew directly at [email protected].