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The Benefits Of Bim Challenges Information Technology Essay

On January 21, 2008 the stock market segments about the world tumbled. Nobody has felt the effects of the downturn more than within the United States. Many have compared these incidents to as the worst economical events since the great drepression. A large number of companies experienced to close entry doors due to lapse throughout the market. Engineering type companies are some of these companies that contain struggled emensly during the recession. Construction companies experienced to do a lot of things they would normally not do just to keep the entry doors open. Many cconstruction companies have had to check out inovaitive stratagies just to stay ahead of the competition. Companies such as J. F. Ahern Co. , have commenced to use one technique that that has cost them both money and time. Innovative stratigies are high-risk, they don't always work. However in this case the J. F. Ahern Co. has use this stategy never to only increase the product area of there product, but has also used this strategy to help inprove the knowledge for the client. J. F. Ahern Co. has introduce the utilization of creating information modeling as a technique to keep them prior to the rest.


The use of BIM (building information modeling) has began to become extremely popular in the construction industry. It really is being utilized by all parties involved with current building tasks including architects, technical engineers, contractors, and even owners. BIM began as a design tool as initial ideas but is now put in place into all the project phases from original design to final completion. The questions about BIM in the current industry is, are contractors utilizing BIM to its full probable and could it be worth the price tag on putting into action BIM? Its seems that bigger contractors can make the move to BIM easier than smaller subcontractors or niche companies. J. F. Ahern Co. is a mechanical and fire safeguard contractor that has been using BIM since 2003.

What brought on J. F. Ahern Co. to start out using and continue using BIM of these challenging and troublesome economic times? They were using BIM before companies were taking fewer profit margins on assignments and prior to the building industry slowing. J. F. Ahern Co. referred to the implementation of BIM in their company by saying "we will continue to use it because it is the way the industry is certainly going. Embrace it or be handed down up by the competition. " (Eichers) This implies that the industry is changing into the one that will be reliant on BIM soon. To be a company if your competition are utilizing BIM it'll make you adapt just as. Which means that small and large contractors will be caused to alter to using BIM techniques sooner or later. The research study is to regulate how contractors are affected by BIM and the cost to advantage. J. F. Ahern Co. has made a decision to be a innovator in the industry regarding BIM so they can put it to use as a marketing tool to obtain more work. This would be worth the expense of implementing BIM because they are obtaining more work consequently of its use. They have got continued to invest money and time to become experienced and trained in order to raised utilize BIM.

J. F. Ahern Co. discussed that lots of architectural and engineering firms are using 3-D modeling software like Autodesk Revit to model properties and systems or equipment. The task is using the Revit models and converting them into usable models for design fabrication without having to completely redraw everything. Some companies are hiring design technicians to work with 3-D model s and make sure they are functional. This involves extra labor which is an expense of BIM that some contractors are willing to pay while others are not. J. F. Ahern Co. has not needed to seek the services of staff for this position nevertheless they are keeping up with training scheduled to changing technology and software. Another cost of using BIM technology for a contractor is the gear had a need to run the program. In their case they had to invest in computers capable working multiple 3-D programs at one time, RAM space, video recording cards plus more. Within their company not everyone needs to be BIM technology savvy. Only the CAD mangers of every discipline are the people directly focusing on BIM and the 3-D models.

It seems the continuing future of BIM is already within the architecture, executive, and engineering industry. In the summertime or 2009 Wisconsin became the first status to require architect and designers to use BIM on large general public buildings explained by Jeff Dark brown in the article "Wisconsin Wagers on BIM". The Wisconsin Section of Express Facilities (DSF) is the specialists who issued certain requirements and suggestions on public tasks. BIM will be required in all phases of design and up thus far models will be provided throughout the development process. The owner will receive a completed model at job completion. This shows that contractors of most disciplines and size will need to adapt to the changing industry. Companies like J. F. Ahern Co. already are prior to the curve and seeing the advantages of using BIM. When asked about their company being ahead or behind the curve in the utilization of BIM they said "Just in advance but many people are capturing up. At least everyone that would like to be a player in the industry. " (Eichers) They observe that BIM is a essential part on the market and will soon be a must. Large Contractors like Barton Malow Co. has been one of the leaders in the industry coordinating subs to utilize BIM. They have observed some disciplines in the industry adjust to using BIM but others are back of. Alex Ivanikiw of Barton Malow Co. says "The steel fabricators are clearly out in front of all other trades. The mechanical and electrical specialty contractors are getting on board, specially the HVAC and their shop drawing guys. The people behind the curve will be the architectural trades. The concrete, curtain-wall and interiors people are well behind in adopting and utilizing BIM" mentioned in this article "Subcontractors Take Their Time Adoption Follows Uneven Paths" by Tom Sawyer. BIM has been employed in the costliest part of structure projects.

3-D modeling software can be costly and using the software can be difficult and well-timed. J. F. Ahern Co. uses several softwares including Autocad, Bentley Autoplant (commercial piping), Cad Mech (HVAC piping and plumbing related), Cad Duct (HVAC Ductwork), Revit, and Navisworks. They use these 3-D modeling tools every day in many aspects. Each project is unique and requires different routines in utilizing BIM. They signify HCAV systems for design, coordination, and fabrication. BIM is a popular term on the market and may make reference to various things as contractors will put it to use for various benefits. J. F. Ahern Co. uses Building Information Modeling as an activity of embedding information in the model which will be useful at a later time such as shop drawings, company data, service manuals and more. Companies have only started to use BIM as a project tool. When used effectively companies can visualize and observe other project data such as submittals. With better cooperation and communication among get together customers in the project change orders and demands for information may be reduced.

Another reason why contractors will need to transition into using BIM is the use in all building phases. J. F. Ahern Co. uses BIM in design, pre-construction, coordination, fabrication, and assembly. As a mechanised and fire coverage contractor J. F Ahern Co. uses BIM for fabrication purposes. Prefabrication is the procedure of assembling systems and equipment in the shop and transporting them to the website for set up. BIM can be considered a great tool for prefabricated components in construction. There are plenty of advantages of prefabrication including quality control, less construction misuse, reduced labor in the field, and development time is reduced. All these advantages can drive project costs down and lower the deal price. J. F Ahern Co. does indeed a great deal of prefabrication on the plumbing side that released straight from the fabrication shop from the 3-D coordinated drawings. They do some prefabricated work on the duct side when it's possible to logistically get prefabricated items in to the building. Their goal is to greatly boost the amount of prefabrication in the foreseeable future. Using BIM and 3-D modeling permits J. F. Ahern Co. to make the installation of their systems and equipment go more properly. This is one of the aspects where BIM offers a great advantages over companies who don't possess the same technology.

BIM offers various advantages within a construction job form preliminary design to last completion. The use of BIM allows J. F Ahern Co. to identify problems much before in the job and preferably get the issues worked out before anything would go to fabrication and causes costs impacts due to changes which have to be produced. The usage of BIM also allows them to recognize areas where architectural changes may need to be made to support the mechanised systems. The sooner these changes can be produced the less of your cost impact they may have for the owner. J. F Ahern utilizes BIM as a quality control issue to be sure there are no flaws that drive up costs in the long run. This will improve the cost to profit ratio because it can help keep clients and acquire work in the future. This involves coordination between multiple customers on a project to ensure the entire project all together is problem free. Dave Morris is director of online building for EMCOR Engineering Services and on the Associated CONTRACTORS BIM forum subcommittee. In an article by Tom Sawyer "Subcontractors Take Their Time Adoption Follows Uneven Paths", Morris clarifies that risk and responsibility to all get-togethers can be eliminated by brining all trades early on in the project phases to ensure constructability. Problems can be found when underperforming subcontractors don't put into practice BIM when all the celebrations on the job do. This is when special coordination and collision problems occur creating delays and inefficiencies in projects. Morris clarifies that these kinds of problems "have led to a advice by the AGC's BIM subcommittee to add protocol to agreements within an appendix or instructions to bidders that anything a subcontractor chooses never to model cannot be installed until all modeled components have been". This is a sign that BIM will be essential on future projects. Companies like J. F. Ahern Co. are already ahead of the curve using BIM technology and can only gain more as the industry changes. They curently have the infrastructure in their company and can keep seeing the benefits in the future.

BIM can be utilized as a job management tool among other purposes. The question is how effective could it be in a task being completed more efficiently with better coordination and communication among task participants. BIM is supposed for everyone's use from the overall contractor to small subcontractors. With better cooperation on a task there would be a lower amount of demands for information and change orders. J. F. Ahern Co. hasn't seen a decrease in change purchases or request for information but issues are recognized much before in the job and lowering cost impacts. They feel in the foreseeable future when BIM becomes more common in the industry they will see a decrease in change purchases and requests for information when executed as its planned use initial notion and design levels. BIM also offers much improved communication between the owner and project members. Communication between subcontractors and general contractors is better on BIM applied tasks. J. F Ahern Co. thinks it helps connect a lot of the information in a much clearer place. The information was always available but there is never a good way to convey it unless you were coping with someone that knows the industry and building. BIM is a superb visual representation and easy to comprehend. It really is a great tool to present to owners because they can know how the structure process will work very easily. This is a great good thing about BIM and helps it be worth the expenses and time used to put into action it. J. F Ahern Co. is maximizing its use for profit.

The real question behind BIM is the price to benefit ratio. J. F Ahern Co. wasn't in a position to quantify this in a number but the perception is that it can save money. Their process of design and assembly gets done faster, smoother with fewer problems so one would think that cost savings have happened. They have seen personal savings in field labor on previous assignments with the upfront work done effectively. Other subcontractors and niche contractors do article savings when it comes to BIM. Form the source of Ghafari/Barton Malow subcontractors report BIM cost savings in these categories: fabrication cost (3%), overall routine (21%), shop pulling time (14%), assembly cost (12%), material cost (11%), field supervision (10%). These are all large costs on a project and the discussion would be that buying BIM is worth its costs.

Return on Investment Between Job Participants

Return on BIM Investment





Over 100%




















Less than 10%





Break Even










Source: ENR: Anatomist News Record

The above stand shows the perceived go back on overall BIM investment. The volumes in the desk represent the ratio of respondents from the many disciplines of the development industry. The information in the desk was taken from this article "Market Study Finds Engineers Get Reduced Return From BIM" by Nadine Post. This information shows that contractors and owners profit the most by using BIM. That is visible with J. F. Ahern Co. that they certainly cut costs and generate profits because of BIM. Much larger contractors are able to commit more in BIM while medium size and smaller contractors have to make a financial decision based mostly from the return on investment. According to the market report, "The Business Value of BIM" released by ENR confirmed that nearly 50% of the contractors who responded say BIM usage increased earnings. On another positive notice about BIM is that 63% of individuals say they see a positive return on BIM investment. Companies of most disciplines and sizes should spend money on BIM and there are volumes to back it up. Even in the troublesome economic times contractors are finding ways to gain an edge over competition. BIM and 3-D modeling is a great way to acquire future work and stay profitable. It's worthwhile the cost to utilize BIM because even owners see a return on investment.


Even though the economy and the times have been difficult, companies like J. F. Ahern Co. have used innovative ways of help develop their business. They have seen quantitative advantages to their initiatives of adding strategies such as BIM. The wide-spread use of programs such as BIM can be seen throughout the construction industry and the results appear to vary. However, companies that are employing BIM and using it well seem to be a cut above the rest. Its not easy for companies to start new and expensive strategies during hard time, but J. F. Ahern Co. have seemed to have made the the majority of the opportunity. In the long run, innovate strategies very well might be the piece of the puzzle that continues midsized structure companies alive. The current economic climate and structure industry might not start to see the immediate end with their problems, however companies that are prepared to adjust to new innovate strategies continuously place themselves in positions to achieve success.

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