The use of BIM in Real Estate development is becoming quite common in the construction industry. BIM in real estate is efficacious for developers in meeting their clients’ expectations and for overcoming challenges faced during the pre-construction and construction phase.

Many professionals use BIM for Real Estate and facility managers for effective cost planning and operations of a built asset.

This article examines the need for adopting BIM in Real Estate by developers and its importance in the design development and the construction stages.

BIM for Residential Real Estate Developers and BIM for Corporate Real Estate demands comprehensive strategy in a collaborative 3D virtual environment that leads to effective planning and implementation of a construction project.

BIM In Real Estate – Making A BIM-Fit Development

Real estate is remunerative yet a time-consuming and responsibility-driven job. From land acquisition till property handover, real estate developers have many responsibilities in a multitude of sectors.

Before we examine the use and the benefits of BIM in Real Estate and property management, let’s take a look at the key responsibilities of real estate development companies and professionals:

  1. Securing Finances from the investors for the construction and lifecycle/maintenance of the built asset is the initial step. In which a real estate company is required to deliver the master plan of the project to secure the trust of an investor
  2. Operations and Maintenance costs must be incorporated in the cost analysis. And a real estate developer must accordingly secure the finances before the construction
  3. Developing Conceptual Designs through an architect for delivering conceptual plans such as built-up area, super built-up area, and project specifications to investors and customers
  4. Customers must be Well Informed about the project’s progress and new developments. Any changes in the agreed design must be approved by the customer before implementing them on site
  5. Developing Marketing and Advertising materials such as 3D renders, realistic images, and walkthroughs for providing an insight into real construction to customers and prospects
  6. Offering Affordable Prices to the customer for generating revenue to pay back the investors & project stakeholders, maintain operational costs, and make profits
  7. Considering Sustainability Measures for keeping a greener and safer environment

A BIM-fit real estate development allows pragmatic planning of a construction project and extracting better value in terms of cost, time, quality, and sustainability.

Every investor would like a great strategy and certainty that the project will generate good profits. The flow chart below demonstrates how real estate developers can generate value using BIM in real estate:


Chart 1 : Using BIM in Real Estate

BIM In Real Estate For Overcoming Challenges In Pre-Construction And Construction Stages

Real estate companies face challenges in making investment decisions, design errors, cost overruns, and lifecycle and maintenance for a built asset.

It promotes advanced strategies and tools that help real estate companies’ employees in making smart cost analyses for construction and lifecycle as well as developing an error-free design, hence controlling major cost & time overruns of construction projects.

Common Challenges Faced By Real Estate Companies

1. Design Defect Losses

Design defect losses generally occur due to a lack of coordination between the architect, engineers, and project managers or simply due to miscalculation of structural load and reinforcement that leads to re-design and re-construction on site.

Many times, architects maintain professional liability insurance to protest such errors. However, such errors can surpass the limit especially when projects worth over $50 million are concerned.

Using BIM in real estate development and construction is a very effective way for avoiding design defect losses.

2. Investment Decisions

A real estate developer has to consider several investments for which a pragmatic cost analysis is essential. Once invested inland, a real estate developer has to consider the construction, administrative and operational costs of a built asset.

Managing so much information of high-budgeted projects becomes quite challenging; which leads to inaccurate management and investment strategies that in turn leads to disputes, re-planning, and delays.

3. Cost Overruns

Construction cost planners usually follow a thumb rule by adding 15-20% of the overall project’s cost as cost overrun.

Often due to lack of strategies, bad investment decisions, redesigning and rebuilding, the estimated cost surpass the project budget, leading to cost overruns. Using BIM in real estate development and construction is a very effective way for avoiding cost overruns.

4. Lifecycle And Maintenance

The lifecycle and the maintenance costs are often not incorporated in the post-construction strategy. This incurs unplanned responsibilities and additional costs to the building owners and the managers.

Poor maintenance of a built asset leads to carbon emissions, which brings sustainability concerns for a real estate developer.

We will discuss the benefits of using BIM in real estate and BIM for real estate and facility managers in the next section of this article.

Benefits Of Using BIM In Real Estate

1. Evaluating Project Costs

BIM in real estate plays a significant role in developing precise construction, operational, and lifecycle cost estimates. Using 3D Architectural, Structural, and MEP building Revit models, Building Information Modeling (BIM) can be used to achieve 4D, 5D, and 6D stages.

  • 5D BIM for property development: It allows the generation of precise bill of quantities (BOQ), helping real estate developers to evaluate their expenditure
  • 6D BIM for corporate real estate: It allows integration of asset information such as warranty and expiry details for assessing future maintenance costs
  • BIM for real estate and facility managers, in general, helps incorporate administrative and lifecycle costs for asset performance analysis.

2. Forecasting Risks

Project planning and on-site construction are prone to risks. Real estate developers need to forecast risks to take appropriate steps for mitigation.

Here Is How BIM In Real Estate Eliminates Risks Associated With Projects:

  • Using 4D scheduling services, allows real estate developers to plan construction timeline, risk management, and site operations
  • BIM virtual technologies help developers to collaborate with the design team more effectively, leading to a more coordinated design
  • Identify and eliminate possible defects in architecture, structure, and MEP designs using BIM Clash Detection Services.

3. Marketing & Advertising Using BIM In Real Estate

Real estate developers usually provide a fair price to their customers. But due to the competition in the market, marketing and advertising become critical to attracting potential customers.

This Is How BIM In Real Estate Allows Developers With Marketing And Advertising:

  • Implementing BIM in real estate projects allows real estate developers to position themselves better than their competitors; as they are using the most advanced techniques for design development and project management
  • Realistic 3D Renderings Services of BIM models can be used as great marketing material on social media, posters, and other online platforms
  • Walkthrough of a built-asset with comprehensive architectural, interior, structural, and MEP details provide trust to the customers as they know what they are investing in
  • Using BIM Clash Detection Services for eliminating design errors brings trust for timely and well-planned completion of a construction project.

4. Stakeholder Management

Beyond effective design development, marketing & advertising, and forecasting risks, using BIM in real estate promotes collaboration and coordination between project stakeholders.

There is several cloud-based software such as A360/BIM360. That provides a common data environment (CDA) to BIM for real estate developers, architects, engineers, project managers, and other stakeholders for design development from conceptual to detailed design stage.

Using BIM 360, project stakeholders can review and comment on design development. The changes are easily recorded by the required project stakeholders using BIM 360. This provides better control over the project stakeholders and promotes effective management.

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