In 2019, the AMCA partnered with the leading international construction research firm, Dodge Data, to help facilitate a comprehensive research study into BIM adoption by mechanical construction.
With the final report, The Business Value of BIM for Mechanical and HVAC Construction, being released on 12 February 2020, the AMCA hosted a webinar on 5 March 2020 to provide members and other industry stakeholders with a detailed overview of the research results.
Watch the webinar here – Powered by
Benefits for offsite fabrication
With many mechanical contractors engaged in offsite fabrication, one of the most significant insights identified in the report is the ability of BIM to improve the fabrication process.
Nearly half of the contractors who participated in the study use BIM to prefabricate half or more of their assembles, with 80% of those seeing improvements in the material waste generated, labour costs, quality of installed work, reductions in rework and better schedule performance.
As expected, the benefits reported by contractors include increased labour productivity, better utilisation of resources, improved cost performance and overall profitability.
“BIM is an increasingly important and incredibly complex part of the building process,” says Sean McGuire, Director, Innovative Technologies, at MCAA.
“It requires additional coordination, planning, and design expertise, and MCAA members are embracing the tools and technology to rise to the challenge. This new process is still in its infancy, and mechanical contractors—especially those that are already using BIM—have a lot to learn from this report.”
Another benefit is that BIM allows mechanical contractors to conduct a more detailed analysis of their projects. Over 70% of contractors surveyed use BIM for shop drawings and spatial coordination on half or more of their projects, while 61% report using BIM for constructability evaluation on more than half of their projects.
“Use of BIM for spatial coordination and constructability evaluation provides these contractors with a clear advantage,” says Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights at Dodge Data & Analytics.
“They can address issues before construction begins, which saves both time and money, and can even help improve safety by avoiding rework.”
People still the greatest barrier
Despite all the benefits, many contractors said they are still failing to realise the full business value of BIM, due primarily to people-related factors. These include issues with training and upskilling, a shortage of BIM modellers and a lack of buy-in from the entire project team.