Building Information Modelling (BIM) for building design and construction is a strong pillar that promotes informed decision making, which has several cascading effects on the construction process and lifecycle of a building. It can definitely help to improve the profitability of smaller and simpler projects, although this impact will be deep rooted and highly critical in complex projects.
As with the construction of residential and commercial buildings, infrastructural facilities and civil construction projects, building design for healthcare facilities is critical and complex in nature. Healthcare has advanced dramatically and today, hospital buildings have facilities for complete patient care as well as holistic healing. However, the requirements for healthcare facilities continue to grow in size and complexity, meaning an acceptance and adoption of BIM is also growing and becoming more important.
Why do we see this transition towards using BIM for healthcare facility developments?
And what are the benefits that BIM imparts for a healthcare building construction project?
Here we look at 10 reasons why BIM is useful for healthcare projects:
1. Converting Visualisation into Reality – Augmented Reality
The real world environment elements augmented by the computer generated visuals can be used to communicate design details and intent exactly as conceptualised. Architects often visualise a building but fail to communicate their designs to the contractor. It might also be that the visualised design is not practical when it comes to construction. With BIM at their disposal, architects, contractors and civil engineers can come together and communicate the appeal, aesthetics, constructability and every other detail of the project to ensure that the design translates into reality exactly as visualised.
2. BIM – A Lean Approach
Lean construction deals with reducing the wastage of talent, resources and onsite activities, such as the need for rework, and hence a reduction in wastage of time and money. By making processes more efficient, BIM allows for a streamlined construction process where the emphasis lies in performance measurement and its optimisation. Streamlining the supply chain of materials, reducing waste and delivering high value to clients via efficient design and construction is particularly important for healthcare facility projects, and BIM can help drive these efficiencies.
3. Resolving Complexities with VDC Efficacies
The more complex a project, the more deep rooted and far reaching are the benefits of using BIM. Greater collaboration between design and construction teams is enabled and even the most complex processes can be easily devised and easily communicated using the VDC (virtual design and construction) efficacies of BIM.
4. Reducing Risks
Detecting clashes and identifying risks is one of the most prominent features of BIM, made more efficient because each and every detail of a construction project is seen as coexisting in a single ecosystem in a building information model. VDC efficacies therefore help with clash detection and risk mitigation, which has cascading effects on several aspects of the construction process, including making it highly efficient and streamlined.
5. BIM Coordination and Planning
Complex hospital and healthcare facility structures require expert planning and coordination in order to execute the construction well. With BIM project managers can ensure that all the teams across structural, architectural and MEP disciplines remain on the same page. Everything right from gauging the required material quantity, to fabrication, erection and construction of the building can be well planned and coordinated using BIM.
6. Faster Time to Market
Rework, clashes and risks are greatly reduced and contractors can also manage spatial requirements on construction site capably with BIM. The construction schedules can be well coordinated, allowing projects to complete on time.
7. Hospital Equipment Layout
For a hospital building, it is important to consider spatial requirements and equipment layouts as there are several types of diagnostic, testing and treatment requirements to consider. The building information models are loaded with visualisations for placement of all these equipment, which in turn benefits the facility management phase. At the same time, rooms are also prototyped virtually, and the inputs of all the responsible people, i.e. doctors, surgeons etc are taken into consideration regarding room layouts, operations and work flow.
8. Cater to Changing Spatial Needs
BIM also plays a critical role in catering to the future and changing spatial requirements within a hospital building and to facilitate facility management. It serves as a documentation of a building with every detail precisely recorded. This documentation can be further used to alter, renovate or refurbish a hospital building or part of the hospital building.
9. Cutting Edge Design for a Healthcare Facility
A healthcare facility can carve a niche and mark its place as the most remarkable building only when it has high sustainability values and designs of architectural significance. BIM enables the blending of design and aesthetics, allowing the hospitals of today to be stylishly designed to suit the needs of patients while providing them with a holistic environment for healing and rejuvenation.
10. Assist Regulatory Approvals
Hospital buildings are given certain regulatory approvals only if they are deemed fit to provide healthcare services. Now, how does BIM help? It simulates the entire project delivery model and hence presents its point of view to the regulatory board with clarity. This maintains transparency and does away with the issues present in obtaining the necessary certifications.
BIM is a game changer for hospital and healthcare facility development projects. As a technology and a process, building information modeling allows effective design communication, development planning and process setting. This in turn has a positive impact on the construction process, enables prudent investment of time and money and translates into higher business benefits and the best project outcomes.
Bhushan Avsatthi is a senior manager, consultant, BIM expert and green building advisor with more than 15 years of industry experience. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.