|Will this new school benefit from
the huge potential of BIM?
We noticed last week that Kitsilano High School here in Vancouver, BC is going through a $60 million replacement project. As Building Information Modeling (BIM) integrators, we should be aware of any new project of this magnitude, but this one jumped out at me since both of my boys attended this venerable institution and I spent many hours in the classrooms and halls under all kinds of circumstances – mostly good ones.
|Only the existing facade appears to be what will be
left of Kitsilano School
What occurred to me, as with most projects of this size, was: wouldn’t this be a great opportunity to utilize a proper BIM process right from the start? Given the site, I am sure that there will be a lot of visualization requirements and construction challenges. Using BIM effectively can greatly improve this area and provide significant additional benefits.
Given the current climate in institutional construction, it is expected that the design team will volunteer to use a “BIM process” and the construction team will claim to use BIM as well. However, will the owner, the Vancouver School Board, see the true gains that should be inherent in a proper BIM process? Do they understand the benefits that BIM can provide to them? How far or close will they be from the top benefits?
- Will they see a digital prototype of the project before prices are released and shovels hit the ground?
- Will they reap the benefits of a streamlined construction process?
- Will they see fewer RFI’s and construction-based change orders, and more importantly, will they see their budget reflect this?
- Will they be able to evaluate design decisions without having to visualize 2-dimensional drawings in a 3-dimensional world?
- Will they be able to make changes as a result, without costly delays?
- Will they be able to test the building prior to construction for such things as energy performance, acoustics, program alignment, structural and seismic analysis?
- Will the contractor be able to maximize off-site fabrication as a result of the accuracy of the design, thus saving time and increasing safety on-site?
- Will the Vancouver School Board receive an intelligent model at the end of the process capable of providing data for all of the following:
- energy modeling
- asset management
- maintenance, repair and equipment replacement management
- space allocation planning
- renovation work
- The BIM could even become a teaching aid, to help students and the general public understand the process of design, construction and operation of their school
It is commonly accepted that design and construction costs account for barely 25% of total life-cycle costs for a building. It should be the obligation of the school board and their providers to find ways to minimize these costs.