The Power of IPD and BIM for Speed & Productivity

The Railway Business Group (RBG) of L&T Construction Limited is a decade-old strategic business segment under the Transportation Infrastructure IC
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Transforming Construction: The Power of IPD and BIM for Speed and Productivity

Envision an ideal utopian organisation: bidding with advanced 3D tech, stakeholders accessing a Common Data Environment, designers seamlessly creating and fabricators producing shutters. Picture interactive 3D drawings on tablets, eliminating the need for bulky 2D sets. Visualise a team virtually constructing structures offsite, resolving issues in real-time. The highway team assesses road elevation profiles remotely, while clients approve plans through virtual tours. Imagine IoT mapping for work execution, real-time BMR (Batch Manufacturing Report) and JCR (Job Cost Report) generation and logistics planning trials sans on-site machinery. Picture increased efficiency, optimal equipment use, reduced downtime and higher profit margins. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) make this dream a reality.
What is Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)?
IPD is a collaborative approach where all stakeholders join a single process from project inception to completion, enhancing decision-making, which helps reduce construction time, eliminate resubmission of drawings, minimise miscommunication, maximise productivity and deliver the project as per client requirements.
Traditional Project Delivery
Figure 1. Traditional Project Delivery vs Integrated Project Delivery (Image source: www.scafom-rux.com)
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment, and to either of these ends, there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. – Thomas A Edison
When considering a construction project, a wide range of risks are associated with it during each phase of the project delivery. It may range from design complexity to sophisticated construction equipment, or it may be unpredictable weather. But often, miscommunication, lack of transparency and divergent efforts often disrupt the project timeline. This results in reduced productivity, loss of material and reduced profit margins. IPD eliminates all these and helps deliver a project on time to the client’s satisfaction.
What is Building Information Modelling (BIM)?
A Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a digital representation of a facility’s physical and functional characteristics. As such, it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle from inception onward. A basic premise of BIM is that it is a collaboration by different stakeholders at different phases of the life cycle to insert, extract, update or modify information in the BIM process to support and reflect the roles of that stakeholder. The BIM is a shared digital representation founded on open standards for interoperability. (Ref: Claims, Disputes and Litigation Involving BIM by Jason M. Dougherty).
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Figure 2. 3D Model Workflow
Figure 3. BIM Dimensions
Some of the major advantages of adopting BIM for construction are as follows:
  • Clash detection
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Quick decision making
  • Creates value
  • Fast project delivery
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased efficiency
  • Rework elimination
  • Better progress monitoring
  • Safety management
  • Logistical efficiency
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Figure 4. Patrick MacLeamy Curve, Effort/Effect over time, BIM vs. traditional approach (Image Source: www.researchgate.net)
operation-maintaince
Figure 5. Economic Benefits of Implementing BIM (Image Source: www.eurailpress.de)
The Power of IPD and BIM for Speed and Productivity
The best way to go forward with IPD and BIM will be to identify the client requirements and appraise the existing technological capabilities of the organisation. The speed and efficiency of the project will improve when all the stakeholders, i.e., the client, architect, engineer, general contractor and sub-contractor are all on the same page. The transfer of data and information should be seamless among them. All the stakeholders should sit together before the project inception, identify the bottlenecks and agree on how to resolve any issues.

Bringing about this change in an organisation as huge as Larsen & Toubro (L&T) cannot be done overnight; there should be careful planning and forethought. There must be a strategic plan for the implementation of IPD and BIM. This includes defining an IPD-BIM vision, formalising a mission statement, creating goals, assigning objectives to each goal and linking each objective to a BIM Use. Once the BIM Use is finalised, the required hardware and software shall be determined to further enhance the capability of the organisation. Then comes creating awareness amongst all the stakeholders, identifying the employee roles and responsibilities, and training the employees in the IPD and BIM processes.
Figure 6. IPD-BIM Organisational Strategy
It is imperative to identify what kind of BIM Uses are required for a project. According to Pennsylvania State University, a BIM Use can be defined as “a method of applying Building Information Modelling during a facility’s lifecycle to achieve one or more specific objectives.” A few examples of BIM Uses are as follows:
  • BIM Project Site Modelling
  • Laser Scanning
  • Area and Space Program Validation
  • Budgetary Costing Model
  • Quantity Take Off
  • 4D BIM for Project Schedule
  • As-Built Models
  • Record Model
  • Assessment Model
(Ref: BIM Guidelines for Vertical and Horizontal Construction, Appendix A, Massachusetts Port Authority)
Each BIM Use shall have its own description and people responsible in the project for that BIM Use, the model elements required in order to create the BIM Use, the Level
of Development required, the deliverables of the BIM Use and the software required to produce the deliverables. Every BIM Manager/Coordinator will be equipped with the knowledge of which BIM Use. The benefits of IPD-BIM processes are significant, yet some challenges will prove detrimental to its implementation, if not addressed, in an organisation.
Challenges Faced in Implementing IPD-BIM Processes
  • Top management buy-in
  • Lack of infrastructure for IPD-BIM Process Adoption
  • Lack of a mandate to make BIM compulsory for large-scale projects
  • Lack of Indian standards in BIM
  • Lack of awareness amongst all stakeholders, from the general contractor to the client
  • Organisation’s perception of high initial cost, without considering the long-term savings with respect to time, cost and material.
  • Lack of industry-ready IPD-BIM professionals
  • Resistance to change
Adopting IPD-BIM Processes will take time to be implemented across the organisation, but it is critical that the seeds of thoughts be planted and the thoughts turn into action.

At a time when cost overrun and schedule overrun are rampant in the Indian construction industry, adopting BIM processes will go a long way in saving the organisation a considerable amount of time, money and resources. Hence, let us continue to envision that ideal utopian organisation and make it a reality!
References
  1. Agoras, D., 2018. Building Information Modeling (BIM) Adoption Barriers: An Architectural Perspective
  2. PWC, 2018. BIM Level 2 Benefits Measurement Application of PwC’s BIM Level 2 Benefits Measurement Methodology to Public Sector Capital Assets.
  3. Dougherty, J.M., 2015. Claims, disputes and litigation involving BIM. Routledge.
Jim J R

Author

Author Bio

Jim J R is currently a Construction Manager in the Construction Methods and Planning Cell, RREC, TI IC, L&T Construction. He has completed his Master’s in Construction Engineering and Management from Anna University, Chennai. he brings nearly a decade of versatile experience to the construction industry, excelling in Project Planning and Construction Methods.
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