BIM is not a 3D-picture of a project. The main task at the stage of the project cost management (which is produced at 5D level) is to obtain valid evaluation of expenses, including operational ones. If the evaluation is based on invalid state norms and regulations, it will be unreliable.
Anyway, these technologies are the thing of the future, and we shall make the basis for their use. However, formats, algorithms, protocols and the standards of the main modeling processes and interaction of all the participants of the investment-construction process via BIM, and the development of the general culture of informational modelling, should be implemented right now!
To say nothing about the necessity of a competent, well-designed and systematically put in practice state policy concerning this sphere.
Is it possible to evaluate the estimated cost of a specific object with the help of BIM-technologies in Russia? Yes, there are such systems on the Russian market. Formerly, the 3D-design systems and estimated cost calculation software were developed separately, but presently they may be united in a BIM-system.
To put it simpler, the digital informational description of each constructive element should be translated into the volume of work, and the latter should be related to estimate standard prices in an automatic mode.
Presently, it is possible to produce so-called bills of volumes with the help of any 3D design program, but the problem is in carrying out the cost evaluation. Prices for construction resources (materials, products and structures, equipment operation cost, labour expenses, etc.) change depending on many parameters and conditions, although the work volume parameter generally stays unchanged.
Will BIM put a strong barrier in the way of overestimation in the process of price and construction estimated cost formation? Experts think that BIM excludes the human factor and does not make it possible to introduce overweighted data in the estimated cost. Because BIM is based on the openness and transparency of all data, and it is therefore impossible to falsify the work volume or add unnecessary work.
This is so, but it refers to the physical component, meaning the list and the volume of work. As far as its cost is concerned, we can see the imperfection and uncertainty of prices in construction resources. However, in the course of the price formation system’s restructuring BIM’s advantages will become evident.
The use of BIM technologies will result in redistribution and the appearance of new labour functions which will demand that a price formation expert should acquire new knowledge and skills. Having said this, the profession of an estimator-engineer will not disappear but will, rather, become highly demanded on the market.
BIM is only a new tool for a competent specialist, and is a competitive advantage. Estimator-engineers, in this sense, do not differ from project engineers, and the introduction of computer-aided designing has not led to any decline of the profession. It is a natural process of the production means development.
Pavel GORIACHKIN, Union of estmators-engineers.