Whether your next development is residential, commercial or industrial in nature, how that building performs once it is inhabited will affect its operating costs, sustainability, and environmental impact. But should those impacts be far from the ones you anticipated, you can’t go back in time and change the design. But by employing building information modelling (BIM) and 3D modelling in the initial design phase, you can see into the future.
What is Building Information Modelling?
Building information modelling is a process that utilises a 3D model(s) to manage all of the architecture, engineering, and construction information of a building. This information is not just geometric, but also comprises of the relevant design and meta data of elements within the building.
The BIM process is designed to be open and collaborative amongst stakeholders, which makes the design process transparent, and will provide you with a real-time overview of the project as it progresses through design and construction stages, giving the project more likelihood of reaching its targets. As can be seen, BIM is more than just 3D geometry.
What does BIM bring to mechanical and electrical engineering?
Employing BIM and 3D modelling in the engineering process will give you an in-depth understanding of how your building will live and breathe, while still at design level.
Our BIM models are created using specialised software, that is utilised by our engineers as a design tool to create a detailed model of the various different building systems.
These models include detailed internal spatial design, that is derived from the modelling by our sustainability team. This is the foundation, to ensure that the mechanical design such as for the HVAC systems and electrical design such as Lighting systems, are in step with the key sustainability goals of the project.
What you will need on your project is the involvement of a group of engineers like Metec, experts in how best to use BIM and reap the benefits it can bring to your building design.
BIM will help you to calculate costs more accurately
Forecasting the costs of a construction project is a complex process. But BIM makes it much easier, since material quantities are pulled directly from the model, scheduling is in real time ensure accuracy. BIM software saves money by massively reducing the potential of mistakes and any necessary rework during construction. In this respect, the cloud-based collaboration it affords between architects, structural engineers, fabricators and M&E engineers is invaluable.
BIM can mitigate risk on your next project
There is a certain amount of risk in any engineering or construction project, no matter its size, given all of the moving parts involved. From worker safety to scheduling issues, BIM will support you in assessing and mitigating risk for each step, with the accurate 3D models produced helping to identify any potential design flaws or hazards to workers.
You will be better able to optimise construction schedules
BIM helps to improve scheduling by storing all information and data in a single platform. This gives everyone involved in the project, including you, access to it at a moment’s notice and lets project managers inform teams where and when any changes take place.
BIM will help even when your building is complete
Even the most perfectly designed, engineered and constructed building needs regular maintenance. At handover, the client can be provided with an As-Built Asset Model, containing all the relevant stored BIM data, on for example Equipment or Lighting. The facility managers can revert back to this, to help make quicker, better, simpler decisions about pre-emptive maintenance and what steps need to be taken in the event that maintenance is required. This is one of the long-term benefits of BIM that makes it such an attractive proposition to project developers and building owners.
Example Metec projects where BIM has been the difference
The No.1 objective for our client on this 500,000 sq ft. commercial project was LEED/BREAAM/WELL/Wiredscore and A rated BER certification. BIM helped the Metec team to meet all of our client’s sustainability goals in designing the building’s shell and core, as well as the Cat A fit-out which included full mechanical and electrical installation. The BIM model created enabled, the smooth transition from design to construction of the key services infrastructure in the building. The BIM model is also being used to achieve Smart Score accreditation for the project.
With the requirement on this project to transform two separate buildings into one space and introduce full catering, kitchen and restaurant facilities, BIM enabled us to map out the existing installation and identify the optimum service routes through the existing core. The model was particularly key in minimising the quantity of de-installation and wastes in converting the existing CAT-A layout into With the new design fully coordinated in BIM, the contractor was able to minimise their onsite construction coordination time and meet the client’s key delivery dates. It also meant Metec was able to engineer an electrical infrastructure with a LEED Gold compliant energy metering solution.
We’re engineering built environments for a better future
Metec is an engineering consultancy that delivers an end-to-end building performance optimisation service, through from concept to detailed design and delivery onsite.
If you would like to know more about how we employ building information modelling and 3D design in our engineering work or more about the benefits it could bring to your next project, get in touch with Richard Denver, BIM Engineering Manager at Metec, today.