ROI on BIM: Where is the Evidence for Architects and Consultants?

In Part 1Part 2 of our series on Return on Investment (ROI) and BIM, we reviewed the success of large scale institutional owners and stakeholders, contractors and sub-contractors and how BIM is creating metrics that demonstrate savings achieved on many projects. In our third and final instalment we look specifically at the Architects and Consultants and how immersed we need to be in BIM in the longer term to get a return on our investment.

We know that BIM and the technologies supporting it allow all of the supply chain to benefit from the information and provide known quantities and costs at all stages from developed design to tender.

More than ever, BIM’s collaborative nature provides the greatest opportunities for design and construction teams to innovate and instigate process improvements that can resonate quickly across project teams. Industry reports including SmartMarket demonstrate strong engagement in BIM from architectural and consultancy firms and suggests a stronger, faster take up in the short term including improving their team’s understanding of BIM to a high competency level.

Design and consultancy firms adopting BIM and its associated technologies wholesale are now creating the points of difference in the market and realising the savings internally through improved workflows and market reputation knowing that collaboration and data sharing directly result in reductions in revisions, clashes and RFIs.

The call from architects however is for there to be a greater focus on the quality rather than the quantity of reduction in errors. The reliability of the information built from a collaborative project team allows designers to robustly defend the scope. It adds integrity to the design process early on and allows their clients to make real savings decisions based on accurate information and not perceived ôexpensiveö design statements. The benefits of BIM are in the knowledge gained and how it’s applied to create intelligent design. It’s not enough just to implement the software and think it will resolve modelling issues.

Here is a collection of benefits seen by architects, engineers and project consultants, arising from their investment in BIM and the ROI it brings to their companies.

Designers and Consultants

Professional services company Worley Parsons whilst addressing the Mining Club in July 2014 suggested that the potential benefits in the digital assets concept on project delivery included a capital costs reduction of up to 5% through data integrity, increased speed to market through reduced project cycle time by up to 20% and a reduced design costs by up to 70% through reuse of data and design.

The purpose built Leeds Arena, designed by Populous Architects and completed in 2013 by principal contractors BAM Construction, is an excellent example of reduced design costs. The project team attributes BIM to streamlining early design stages which reduced wastage by an estimated 9,000 drawings. BIM’s collaborative process is also reported to have saved 15,000 collective man-hours throughout the design development stage of the project. Expected design clashes of 100 materialised to just 2, saving the project an estimated $350,000.

The award winning Collaborative Life Sciences Building (CLSB) a joint university project in Portland, Oregon opened in 2014 and is …


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