Building Information Modeling Saved One University $10 Million
In most architectural project, the cost often crosses the pre expected budget. While reasons for cost overruns may be different for each case, technology can help reduce it. Recently Collaborative Life Sciences Building in Portland, Oregon was completed. BIM software and digital collaboration tools saved an incredible $10 million on the overall $295 million budget.
The CLSB is a joint project of the Oregon Health and Science University. The three institutions came together to house their life sciences programs under one roof, for better opportunities for everyone. The building consists of classrooms, lecture halls, labs, retail and parking. CO Architects were the design architects and SERA served as executive architects.
A project can go over budget for several reasons. If a design has complex geometries can be budget risky unless there is a simple way to communicate the required geometries to subcontractors building them. BIM helps a lot in this respect.
Other than helping in designing building in 3D, BIM provides a 3D model with layers of information about the individual elements that compose the structure and how they work together in a system. If the architects, engineers, or builders need to change an element of the design, they can see the ripple effects instantly—how it would impact overall cost, if something else in the design needs to change as a result, and how this would affect overall building performance and construction time. Moreover, this information is saved, Thus, anytime anyone can know what components were used.
The CLSB involved 28 different design teams. For efficient communication SERA Architects and JE Dunn Construction used an all-digital documentation process.
3-D modeling with programs like Revit, AutoCAD, and Navisworks helped the different entities communicate better through the process. For example, if the architecture firm designed a certain feature in 3-D, that file could then be transferred to the structural engineer and then to the fabricator. This allows higher-quality documents and reduces conflicts during construction
For instance, BIM helped resolve potential construction conflicts involving positioning of plumbing, electrical, and ventilation systems. A separate team is responsible for designing each network. In the 3-D model, the teams discovered that a pipe intersected with a vent. That’s something the clash-detection feature of the model identified before construction began–when changes were relatively easy.