BIM and IPD for Retail: A Key to Improving Time to Market
Posted: Jan 24, 2015
In the light of extremely fierce competition and a bleak economic downturn, the owners of large and mid-tier retail properties worldwide have two key priorities. Firstly, they are expected to effectively plan and speed up their projects’ time to market. Secondly, they ought to search for ways and means to efficiently utilise their space so as to maximise the leasable areas and drive profitability. This is exactly where the combination of building information modeling (BIM) tools and integrated project delivery (IDP) methods can help retailers fulfil these key priorities.
Large and medium-sized global retailers have internal project development teams, consisting of designers/architects, structural engineers, MEP (M&E) engineers, and construction managers. However, more often than not, the general contractors and MEP (M&E) contractors are commissioned from outside. On the other hand, relatively small region-centric retail owners prefer the design–bid–build method of project delivery wherein distinct entities are contracted for design/planning and construction of facilities. In either case, a shift from employing 2D design/coordination practices to deploying a BIM-enabled 3D platform, driven by Ipd methodologies, has the potential to improve the quality of design and construction documents, reduce errors, and drive efficiencies throughout the design-build supply chain.
Through open and risk-sharing contractual arrangements between key parties involved, IPD necessitates strategic meetings between in-house property development team and external team members, including structural designers, general contractors, and building services contractors/consultants early on in the design/planning phase. Furthermore, the use of parametric 3D BIM platform, such as Autodesk Revit, facilitates greater interoperability between different disciplines.
For instance, in the case of large retailers, the 3D BIM models prepared by the in-house property development team using Revit can be seamlessly integrated with the BIM models created by external stakeholders, such as structural engineers, MEP consultants, contractors, prefabricators, and installers, using Autodesk Navisworks project review software. Since Navisworks also allows communication between disciplines, all the design interferences can be effectively resolved and the end result is high-quality design/construction documentation. As a result, critical problem areas and major deviations from project requirements are identified and addressed earlier in the process thereby facilitating a more judicious use of the available space.
In addition to accurate clash detection, lesser design/construction errors, and a more efficient project workflow, fully coordinated 3D BIM models can be exploited by general contractors. They can coordinate more effectively with the subcontractors and add a fourth dimension of time scheduling to 3D BIM models. 4D scheduling, also called as simulation-based modeling, plays an important role in construction planning thereby accelerating the project’s time to market.
As BIM models are database driven, they not only allow a 3D parametric output for interference check but also lay a strong groundwork for extracting crucial data, such as production drawings, (plans, elevations, sections), quantity take-offs, material requirements, and schedule data. Besides, the benefits of employing BIM are further boosted when used in conjunction with an IPD methodology. All in all, the entire supply chain involved in retail property development can derive positive value by collectively employing BIM and IPD.