Building information model costs and savings depends on many factors. Costs are based upon the level of detail of the model, the complexity of the project and the expertise of modeling team in the technology. The level of detail (LOD) can be categorized through system published by American Institute of Architect. LOD 100 is a conceptual stage. LOD 200 is approximate geometry stage. LOD 300 is precise geometry stage. LOD 400 is fabrication stage. LOD 500 is an as-built stage.
The main uses of BIM for construction managers include visualization, 3D coordination, prefabrication, construction planning and monitoring, quantity take offs, and recording model. Project savings are considered high if the Building Information Modeling is used during the early design phase. The architect and engineer can eliminate some of the coordination issues in LOD300 via BIM. Later, the subcontractor can provide more detailed shop and fabrication drawing as LOD 400. At this stage, a construction manager can coordinate the approval process of the shop drawings.
Furthermore, a construction manager can provide more detailed and accurate schedule and cost estimation as the LOD increases from 100 to 400. Lastly, record Building Information Model can be achieved in LOD 500.Overall, the different uses of BIM can be realized at different stages of LOD that would give cost savings.
The complexity of the project is related to the type of construction such as residential, institutional, healthcare and commercial. Building information models for residential construction can be simpler models. For healthcare and pharmaceutical projects, BIM would require better coordination for space due to the increased MEP and equipment required for the work. Hence how much BIM will be used depends on the type of construction.
The first time users of the BIM may feel a negative impact on their profitability due to a new investment in technology and learning that comes with it. The consistent participants of the Building Information Modeling are likely to obtain the benefits of BIM and a noticeable increase in their profits. Overall, the cost of the BIM and its supporting technologies can be expensive, to begin with. However, the powerful uses of BIM increase profits lower costs and the scheduling time.