When BIM, or business information modeling, was pitched as an initial idea many would have scoffed if it were even possible. To work at a level that would make it useful the original concept would have to include several technologies into a seamless package. Not only would it need to include 3D modeling technologies, but also planning, collaboration, and construction technology. What was thought to be impossible was achieved, now the BIM industry is estimated to grow to 16 billion USD by 2025. The industry now is seeing how the adoption of new technologies is further driving the industry to new heights.
Drones have found several uses within the construction industry. In furthering the usefulness of BIM technology, drones can add a new perspective to the construction process. By adding a birds-eye-view over sites, the information gained can prevent costly mistakes. Further, images captured by a drone can be used to provide real-time footage to contractors and stakeholders. This in turn can be used to improve health and safety concerns as well as adding useful data points to existing BIM software.
The 3D modeling aspect of BIM was groundbreaking. Now with subsequent developments in virtual reality technology, BIM solutions will be able to provide an immersive walkthrough for stakeholders during the design and planning phases. This will prevent last-minute changes from derailing budgets. Another potential benefit of this is being able to make sure all parties involved have their visions realized.
Emerging technology currently available like Microsoft’s HoloLens will likely further increase BIM’s usefulness. By being able to sync information from the BIM solution to wearable technology it is hoped that visual overlays can be added to existing 3D models that can be seen by planners on site. It is hoped that by doing this cost-saving decisions can be made before construction even begins.
Wearables as a technology ready for adoption will go further than just benefiting BIM solutions. With regards to health and safety smart clothes and protective gear could monitor those on-site to ensure the building site remains as safe as possible. Such technology is expected to be able to monitor fatigue levels and specially designed jackets can monitor body heat as well as keep builders cool in hot climates.
Much has been said about BIM enabling seamless collaboration between all the parties involved. This drive for seamless collaboration will have some interesting side effects, positive ones for sure, for the industry. It is expected that the drive for improved collaboration will drive the increased adoption of new technology. The building industry has been criticized for years for the slow rate of adoption of readily available technology. Useful technology like BIM solutions has done much to change this perception. It will be interesting to see how advances in materials will be adopted by the industry and how that in turn will be supplemented by BIM software solutions.