Perspectives on Modelling BIM-enabled Estimating Practices

Oluwole Alfred Olatunji
Willy Sher


BIM-enabled estimating processes do not replace or provide a substitute for the traditional approaches used in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. This paper explores the impact of BIM on these traditional processes.  It identifies differences between the approaches used with BIM and other conventional methods, and between the various construction professionals that prepare estimates. We interviewed 17 construction professionals from client organizations, contracting organizations, consulting practices and specialist-project firms. Our analyses highlight several logical relationships between estimating processes and BIM attributes. Estimators need to respond to the challenges BIM poses to traditional estimating practices. BIM-enabled estimating circumvents long-established conventions and traditional approaches, and focuses on data management.  Consideration needs to be given to the model data required for estimating, to the means by which these data may be harnessed when exported, to the means by which the integrity of model data are protected, to the creation and management of tools that work effectively and efficiently in multi-disciplinary settings, and to approaches that narrow the gap between virtual reality and actual reality.  Areas for future research are also identified in the paper.

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