Precision in the designing and planning of large infrastructure projects has become critical today, considering the cost overruns, quality issues and other inefficiencies that hold up various infrastructure projects in the country.
A recent study says more than 70% of the built environment assets (buildings and related infrastructure) required in India is yet to be constructed. So, given the volume of construction India has to undertake, it cannot be business as usual. Technology will have to be deployed at the planning stage to improve construction efficiency.
A technological tool that is gaining popularity in the global built environment sector is Building Information Modelling (BIM), for its ability to reduce cost and time, and increase broader efficiencies.
BIM, also known as Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), is a process that uses smart and computable multi-dimensional model of a project to enhance its design, construction, operation and maintenance. It provides an integrated process that helps architects, engineers, builders and owners explore a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally before it is built.
In India, Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3, New Delhi, Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, Khed Special Economic Zone Phase 1 & 2 (Maharashtra), Lavasa Hill Station master plan, Pune, and Seawoods station, Navi Mumbai, are some of the projects which used BIM as part of project planning.
“BIM enables customers to visualise their buildings”, says Lee Miller, vice-president and director (building SMART implementation), HOK, a US-based global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. “We are interested in solving any design changes in the computer itself, because it can be really expensive otherwise to make those changes on site. So, if we can do most of the work on computer and figure out all of the design problems, before putting out on site, we not only save a lot of money as design firms, but it also makes the construction process far more efficient", says Miller.
Traditional construction planning, on the basis of two dimensional drawings and a set of documents, can be prone to errors and contradictions, says Miller.
“BIM is expected to emerge as one of the most fundamental changes that are likely to rapidly transform the Indian real estate and construction sector”, says the study by RICS School of Built Environment (Amity University), KPMG and AutoDesk, titled ‘State of BIM adoption and outlook in India’.
The developer of the Kempegowda International Airport say the technology aided in relatively better and time-bound implementation of the project.