Embracing Digital Transformation in Construction: The Impact of BIM and Cloud Computing


By Daniel Drohan, Account Executive, Microsol Resources

Advancements in technology are transforming every sector of the modern workforce, including the construction industry.

Cloud computing and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are two transformative technologies that are reshaping the construction industry by improving collaboration, efficiency, and decision-making throughout the project lifecycle. Cloud computing allows architects, clients, and engineers to collaborate on building information models from virtually anywhere. Key stakeholders can share information, monitor costs, and work together more efficiently to get the job done.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing in Construction

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a broad term used to describe the delivery of computing resources (data, computing power, software) via the internet.

Unlike traditional computing that relies on local servers and individual devices, cloud computing utilizes remote servers, allowing users to access data and services from anywhere with an internet connection.

Benefits of cloud computing in construction

Collaboration – Because cloud computing allows users to access information about a project from anywhere on any supported device, project stakeholders can communicate much more easily. Architects, engineers, contractors, and clients can access project data, documents, and models in real time, ensuring everyone is working with the latest information. Cloud-based communication tools, such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and document sharing, streamline communication and foster collaboration throughout the project lifecycle.This kind of collaboration reduces unnecessary delays and helps keep projects running on time and on budget.

Risk Assessment – Cloud computing can also be useful for assessing and mitigating risks associated with a construction project. Cloud-based project management platforms provide robust documentation and audit trail capabilities, providing transparency and accountability for stakeholders and facilitating post-project reviews. Through cloud computing, teams can analyze the building information model and identify hazards and risks on the job-site before workers ever set foot there.

Data Management – Cloud-based solutions make it easy to keep data organized and secure. This might include information on vendors, schedules, costs, budgets, regulations, and more. Cloud-based data storage safeguards this sensitive information while keeping it easily accessible for those who need it. 

Building Information Modeling – Cloud computing facilitates the integration of BIM into construction project workflows. Cloud-based BIM platforms allow multiple stakeholders to collaborate on a single BIM model, facilitating coordination, clash detection, and information sharing among architects, engineers, contractors, and other project participants.

The Impact of BIM on Construction Processes

What is BIM?

Building information modeling or BIM is a process that involves creating a 3D model of a building or structure and is used in planning, designing, and managing construction projects. BIM has come to replace older methods like blueprints and computer aided design (CAD) in visualizing construction plans.

But BIM is more than just a 3D modeling software. BIM platforms now include solutions for many aspects of construction project management, from concept rendering to completion. The elements in a BIM model aren’t just images; they contain data and actionable information about spatial relationships, costs, and more.

Through cloud computing, all stakeholders in a project can access the model and the data held therein in real time.

Impact of BIM

BIM tools can improve virtually every aspect of construction project management. Advancements in BIM have brought numerous benefits to the lifecycle of a build and transformed construction project management.

One of the most significant ways BIM has changed the construction industry is by allowing for more effective collaboration and communication among various teams. The collaboration fostered by BIM reduces errors, conflicts, and misunderstandings, leading to smoother project execution. Insights provided by the model can help teams identify clashes and conflicts, potential hazards, and any mistakes that might lead to costly delays or rework.

BIM also allows external stakeholders to view a 3D model in virtual reality, helping investors envision the final outcome. Visualizations generated from BIM models aid in communicating design intent, making it easier for clients, regulators, and other stakeholders to grasp the project’s scope, complexity, and aesthetic qualities.

Cost Savings and Resource Optimization through Digital Transformation

Cloud computing and BIM utilization can cut costs and enable construction companies to use resources and materials more efficiently.

Cloud computing reduces the need for companies to invest in on-premises servers and storage, allowing construction firms to save on overhead costs.

While estimating construction project costs has, historically, been an enormously difficult task. With the help of BIM, project managers can get much more accurate cost estimates and better coordinate different aspects of the build for an optimized schedule and timeline, which can help cut down on labor costs. The ability to visualize building systems and different components of a construction project and access data on each of them in real time also helps control costs by preventing mistakes that lead to duplicated work. The data provided by cloud-powered BIM models allows project managers to manage budgets more effectively throughout every phase of the project.

Optimizing the use of resources on a construction project also supports sustainability goals and requirements, as construction teams can use resources more efficiently and create less waste.

Enhancing Project Lifecycle with BIM and Cloud Solutions

The adoption of cloud-based computing and BIM technology can dramatically enhance the entire construction project process. One of the biggest benefits of these technologies is their capability to enhance collaboration at every stage of the project, from ideation and concept to completion and maintenance.

At the project outset, BIM and cloud computing facilitate comprehensive visualization and coordination, enabling stakeholders to conceptualize and refine designs collaboratively. During the design and development phase, BIM’s clash detection capabilities streamline the identification and resolution of conflicts, reducing the likelihood of expensive delays. As construction commences, BIM enables precise construction sequencing and scheduling, optimizing resource allocation and minimizing project duration

BIM and cloud computing can even reduce the overall timeline of a project because processes are more efficient and the flow of information means fewer mistakes and delays.

BIM models can continue to provide insights on renovations and building maintenance, extending their usefulness long after construction is complete. Cloud solutions enable seamless integration of BIM data with facility management systems, empowering building owners to efficiently manage assets, plan maintenance activities, and optimize operational performance throughout the building’s lifecycle.

Daniel Drohan is the Account Executive for the New England market for Microsol Resources. He supports architecture, engineering, and construction firms that focus on the latest solutions to help improve collaboration, and data collection and maximize ROI for any project. Dan has a BS in Marketing and a Minor in Sustainability from UMass Dartmouth. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and his three kids who enjoy sports and the outdoors.


Comments are closed.