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The BIM methodology: the benefits of digitalisation by and for the customer

Feb 22, 2024
Nerea Conde, Technical Applications Software Manager and Corporate BIM Manager: "BIM gives us a great overview and increases our capacity for organisation".

What are the benefits of the BIM methodology?

The main benefit is to have a centralised virtual model with associated information, both on the characteristics and properties of the elements that make up the model, as well as on specific properties of the project, such as the location or the phases of execution, among others.

As well as helping to organise projects more efficiently, this information can be used for the different BIM uses required by each project. It makes it possible to analyse each of the aspects that come into play in a building, civil engineering or restoration project, searching for maximum efficiency with the lowest consumption of resources. Thanks to the BIM methodology, we can simulate the behaviour of our formwork and scaffolding systems in real construction situations, anticipating possible risk situations and designing the safest and most efficient solution before project execution. 

ULMA has taken the strategic decision to go one‑step ahead of current market demand, applying this methodology in most of our projects. Depending on the characteristics of each project, even if the customer does not request it, we organise BIM projects by defining the aspects to be included in the model to subsequently make the best use of this information. In large‑scale projects, it provides us with a great global vision and increases the project's organisational capacity. The fact of having the time data, for example, allows us to carry out the scheduling and planning of materials during the course of the work. We are also able to carry out 4D BIM planning and thus provide the customer with the best possible service.

Where are we in the process of implementing the BIM methodology?

At ULMA, we have a process to standardise and define the necessary procedures to be able to develop BIM projects in a homogeneous and unified manner. In turn, we have the necessary resources to be able to manage projects with this methodology, identifying and analysing our customers' needs. In this implementation process, the theoretical and practical training of both the technical and commercial teams at all our offices and subsidiaries is fundamental

To this end, we have defined an internal BIM Execution Plan which, like that of any construction project, includes the general description of the project, the strategies, objectives and the actions aimed at guaranteeing compliance with the commitments acquired by each participant. At ULMA, we raise awareness of the use and benefits that the BIM work methodology brings to our customers' different construction projects.

Are there any other important aspect covered in the training that you would like to highlight?

One of the aspects we focus on in training, as it is essential, is the exchange of information with our customer. The way in which the customer receives the study developed by ULMA is a great qualitative leap.

It is also essential to have knowledge of BIM interoperability, which is possible thanks to the application of a standard and open data model such as IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) developed by the buildingSMART International association and accepted by the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO), the main references on which we base the development of our internal standards.

As such, we can give the customer the study including the views of the scaffolding and formwork solution for 3D viewing through BIM360 by adding a QR code in the documentation. We can also share the model to be integrated in a collaborative environment through the .ifc file with a universal format to create BIM models through compatible workflows, joining the openBIM® approach and philosophy promoted by the buildingSmart association.