The construction industry professionals have acknowledge theglobalization, adaptation and diversification of technology within theindustry’s future. The industry has increasingly utilized and implemented visualizationtechnologies to meet the increasing need and attention for high and efficienttechnologies and management tools. The technological advancement has built upand developed new technological tools that makes the industry and its workersoffer major and more effective improvements when being compared to the use oftraditional tools and technologies. Visualization, is one of the most importantand dominant tools used to improve data presentation. The implementation ofvisualization technology in the Construction Industry has accrued and developednew technologies and management tools that makes the industry and its workersoffer major and more effective improvements when being compared to the use ofprior planning technologies and tools such as Gantt charts and Critical PathMethod.
These traditional tools are still used both locally and universally bythe Construction industry despite its limited capability for planning andmonitoring of projects. Traditional tools don’t show the 3D and 4D images, thus, making itdifficult to analyse and visualise construction sequences (Sheppard, 2004). Itis said that the outputs of traditional tools are very difficult to communicateand demonstrate as the complexity and intensity of the project increases.However, despite the criticism, the traditional planning tools and techniques arestill used by the AEC industry.
It is said to have limited capability forplanning and monitoring of projects because of the foreseeable challenges. Withthe construction projects becoming much more complex and difficult to managethere are reciprocal interdependencies between the different stakeholders andas a response to this increasing complexity of projects, visualization toolssuch as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Mobile Data and Apps, Drones, GPSTracking, 3-D Printers and robotic Constructors, just to name a few have beenutilized in the industrial and academic circles as the new Computer AidedDesign (CAD) shift (Succar, 2009).The use of 3D modelling software has led to thephenomenon known as Virtual Design and Construction or Building InformationModeling (BIM). The implementation of 3D connected software allows for greatercontrol in making changes as all aspects of the 3D model are now connected. Since BIM has been recognized as arelevant and advanced collaborating tool, a large number of construction firmshave invested in its usage just to reap its benefits. The firms utilize thesenewly acquired BIM technologies in various stages, such as construction,concept building and design, tendering, operation and maintenance. The changes in today’s construction industry areinevitable and this has traditionally led to serious problemsof coordination. In a much more complex construction project where changes areprevalent, it almost impossible to check for conflicts on the fly but with thisconnected software (BIM) changing a door on a plan will result in the doorbeing changed or moved in all dimensions not just the plan thus making less chancesof error.
BIM is a newly developing design process in which the building isdesigned and built within the computer. Therefore, when the members of thedesign team are all working in a BIM enhanced environment and the intelligentbuilding models are being used and coordinated then there is a higherprobability of error-free construction documents. The recent versions incorporated, added an increasingamount of information into the model; for example, it pulls from historical orother databases to improve the effectiveness and delivery of information onsite conditions, such as scheduling. This constant and onward advances intechnology have enabled connecting BIM models to devices in and out of thefield, as the advancement presents real-time sharing, thus enhancingproductivity in a construction project. An expansion in the range of team members to have simultaneous access toa project BIM model is also becoming more common, and for the BIM model to be requiredand deliverable to the owner and operations team, therefore, the unleashingpower of machine learning will enable faster and effective real-time deliveryof information through BIM in Jamaica and the Caribbean Construction industry. The scope of BIM’s usage is wide as it can serve asa useful tool and technique for different building and infrastructure projectsand at the same time it can be utilized for architecture, engineering andconstruction (AEC) projects. The usage of BIM in construction projects, createsa more intelligent and advanced process as objectives becomes achievable andpossible.
Thus, the usage and implementation of BIM as a visualizationtechnology has implications for constructing more sustainable buildings, byusing sustainable and effective methods. This is so because the data that isstored in BIM, maintains the accuracy and consistency even when the changesoccur within the system reflects the changes in the project. Despite thevolatility of project, the software’s purpose to improve efficiency andproductivity of construction, maintenance and operation processes rarelyremains unfulfilled. In addition, the general productivity of a constructionproject can be enhanced due to the fact that BIM simplifies sharing of thecentralized model.
All the project stakeholders, namely managers, designers,manufacturers, and contractors share information regarding community,coordination, tasks and design processes and updates, thus ensuring the projectis under control by all the relevant stakeholders. The involvement in sharingof construction project information by all the members of the project requireseffective cooperation between them. Thetechnology of BIM empowers the collaboration of project participants. Itcoordinates and update the changes performed by building designers in real-timeand these changes are made evident to all participants on the constructionproject.According to the ISO standard, the lifecycle building stages encompassinception, brief, design, production, maintenance and deconstruction; where eachof these stages benefit from utilization of BIM. In order to enable the adoption and implementationof BIM by organizations, designers and managers, an understanding of factorsthat lead and hinder BIM utilization has to be achieved. The factors leading toBIM implementation can be examined on the individual, organizational andinstitutional levels. The high-level implementation areas of BIM are thestrategies and policies used because the methods and approaches theimplementation of BIM has to correspond to the overall company objectives for acompetitive positioning, operational excellence, and efficient delivery onconstruction project.
The modelmanagement tools and BIM processes are combined with the enterprise systems neededto produce the information in a collaborative setting across the organizationand construction project teams. In order to make BIM implementation moreeffective, the whole process should be divided into stages that targets each ofthe stage depending on the project type.As for the other visualization tools stated by Succar (2009),mobile Devices and Apps are themost widely used and adopted new technologies. They are said to be easy-to-useas they allow workers to access document and share and edit important projectinformation from any location, even the jobsite. Heavy-duty devices madespecifically for field work feature rugged construction, screens that arebetter lit for viewing in bright daylight or poor weather readers (both ofwhich can help track shipments, equipment and materials).
It’s widely believedthat the future of mobile will be to dispense with devices entirely. Wearablegear probably represents the next “big thing,” a stopping point along the wayas hardware developers pursue the elusive goal of achieving truly invisibleways to augment reality. Laser scanning as another tool offers enormousefficiency when it comes to assessing sites or as-built conditions as fieldmeasurements performed with laser scanners capture very accurate and detailedgeometric information in the form of “point cloud” data that is, a large set ofpoints on a coordinate system. This type of technology is and can beparticularly useful when analyzing potential clashes between exiting conditionsand new building elements. Laser scanners data can be fed into BIM or CADfiles, which results in both time and cost savings. Drones also can be used tomonitor logistics, deliveries and the workforce. Some companies are takingdrone footage and converting it into 3-D pictures that can be compared toarchitectural plans.
However, in light of all the glorified advantages offered by the usageof the advanced planning technologies developed from the case studies and casesevaluated by several other researchers, the new advanced visualizationtechnology a planning tool is not widely used by Jamaica and the Caribbeanconstruction industry. Kier Group plc, an international constructioncompany out of the United Kingdom who is operating in Jamaica and the Caribbeanstated in a brief that theUK Government has now mandated the use of BIM on all capital projects by April2016 and as an early adopter of this approach across many areas of business,Kier is a solid position to be able to add significant value to its clients.Therefore, Kier has positioned themselves to be a part, if not at the centre ofthe future of visualization technologies in the construction industry. They useBIM as a collaborative process and a technology toolset which enhances thevisual representation of a project, and improves information managementthroughout an asset’s lifecycle. BIM provides a truly multidisciplinary modelthat allows input from, for example, architects, mechanical services andstructural consultants, ideally all the way down the supply chain to suppliersand manufacturers. There are factors influencing and stemming theimplementation of visualization technologies and there are specific factors influencingthe implementation of BIM. They are topmanagement support, subjective norm, compatibility, and computer self-ef?cacy.These have been identified by prior studies as key determinants that impactarchitects’ behavioral intentions to embrace BIM, governance, model-centricworkflows, collaboration and data management and integrated analysis (seeFigure 4).
Action and planned behavior are useful when it comes to theexplanation aspect if the implementation of BIM. First, the antecedent factors,behavioral intentions and relationships are mediated by recognized usefulnessand/or ease of use. Then the understanding of BIM’s implementation behaviorshould have implications its utilization rates, thus, leading to increasingnumber of construction firms and architects implementing BIM. On the other hand, the technical complexity,scheduling, and financing does present some amount of hindrance when it comesto implementing BIM as a visualization technology in Jamaica’s constructionindustry. According to the questionnaire, it is shared that for the various andcomplex companies that perform these construction projects, the successfulimplementation of BIM is a different test at each level and it demands astructured and meticulous approach method.
The companies have to take intoconsideration the numerous combined segments of the organization’s business.According China Harbor Engineering Company and Kier Group as an organizationthey chose to implement BIM due to various benefits offered by this approach.Hence,to implement BIM efficiently requires significant changes in the wayconstruction businesses in the industry work at almost every level within thebuilding process as this requires the necessary individuals to reinvent theoverall workflow, train adequate staff and delegate responsibilities, alongwith altering the way of construction modelling. With the proper set ofguidelines outlining an effective strategy and methodology of BIMimplementation, the construction industry in Jamaica and the Caribbean couldbenefit at an organizational level.
Inreviewing the benefits of BIM for Jamaica’s construction industry, it is justthe same as it is for the industry on a whole. Holistically, BIM’s technologyempowers the collaboration of project participants. This is so because the implementationof BIM in the design part of the construction project cycle will lead to arecord reducing of document errors and omissions and reduced rework, as well asa significant reduced cycle time for the design process. The study by Sacks andBarak reported that the potential productivity gain from 3D modeling isestimated to be in the range of 15–41% of the hours required for drawing production;and another study by Sacks found that three-dimensional (3D) parametric modellingresults in a cost reduction of drafting of approximately 80–84%. Moreover,according to Bernstein and Pittman (2004), the effective execution of BIM canresult in efficiency change in construction, operation and support stages.
Similarly,a survey conducted on BIM’s utilization states that when BIM is used in the designphase, it is (55%), in the detail design and tender stage it is (52%), for the constructionstage it is (35%), for feasibility stage and operation and maintenance stage itis (27%) and (9%) respectively (see Figure 2). BIM fulfills its purpose throughall the stages of the project delivering benefits in terms of its significant improveddesign quality, easinessto be implemented, the ability to share information, its reduction ofconstruction costs and design errors, it ability to work faster and shortening thetimeline for the construction project. Thus, enhancing energy ef?ciency andsupporting construction projects and project managements. In the tender and bidding stage, BIM is useful asthe model holds information about work details and specifications of products.This BIM capability accelerates and simplifies the process of tender document preparation.
Some more benefits are attained in the construction phase as BIM helps to planand regulate precisely what and how the construction process goes. This benefitblocks errors, decreases construction time and enables a quicker change ofmaterials if needs be. Presently,the usage of BIM in Jamaica and the Caribbean can be very positive andpromising. Agarwal et.al (2016) presented a McKinsey reportthat highlighted the impact of BIM in the industry shows that, one study found that 75% of companies that haveadopted BIM reported positive returns on their investment with shorter projectlife cycles and savings on paperwork and material costs. Because of thesebenefits, various governments like Britain, Finland, and Singapore, mandate theuse of BIM for public infrastructure projects (as cited in Goubau, 2016).
Thereport further stated that utilizing BIM solutions in the construction sectorresulted to higherquality work, greater speed and productivity, and lower costs for building professionals in terms ofdesign, construction, and operation of buildings, hence, the proposition of BIM to be implemented as avisualization technology for construction projects for Jamaica and theCaribbean (Laiserin, 2002). Itcan and will promote higher quality and allows for flexibility in theexploration and changes to the project design or documentation process at anytime without any hassle to the design team. This may result to minimizedcoordination time and manual checking that enables the design team to have moretime solving real AEC problems. As well as BIM encourages greater speed whichwill be beneficial to the construction projects in Jamaica as it allows designand documentation to be done concurrently instead of serially, such as schedules,diagrams, drawings, estimating, value engineering, planning, and other forms ofwork communication that are created dynamically while work is progressing andcontinued. BIM allows for adaptation of the original model to changes like siteconditions at a very low cost rate, therefore it will enhance the siteconditions. Utilizing BIM, will allow for more work to be done by a smallerteam and this would be ideal for the Caribbean construction industry as itstrives forward. This mean that companies both locally and from countries suchas UK and China will operate at lower costs and lesser miscommunications, lesstime spent doing jobs and projects and the money will be spent in process andadministration, thus making it very functional because of higher documentquality and better construction planning.
During the construction phase of construction projects,BIM technology will provides a much more powerful media for progress monitoringand this can be used for quick, easy and remote analysis construction performance(see Figure 3). Additionally, the integration of as-planned and as-built modelsenables the identi?cation and the isolation of elements deviating from theaccepted tolerances. Finally, a digital 3D model as BIM shows building anddifferent schemes to the building owner(s), thus aiding operation andmaintenance. The benefits of BIM for the building owner, developer, and other stakeholdersare also plentiful because BIM allows for better understanding of energyconsumption, scenario simulations and also provides the visual aspects of abuilding project, as it contains energy parameters which under variousoperating conditions, specify the cost indicators. This benefit may also resultin decreased financial risks regarding the operation, design, and constructionprocess. Moreover, it also expedites and heighten any/the possibility ofissuing various documentation packages for the examination of buildingparameters, which simplifies the preparation process of various approvals.
Another significantbenefit of BIM lies in its ability to impact the processes by minimizingprocess-related risks. Take for instance, the use of BIM may preventinformation loss, and, consequently, the wasting of resources and time, such asthe transferring of documents from one company to another and for thetransition from one construction stage to the next one. However, the usage ofthe common platform can increase the chances of stealing of createdconstruction project information and intellectual properties.
Even though the overalleconomic benefits of BIM on a theoretical level are comprehensible, itsimplementation in the field of the construction project has been dealt with inslightly different ways. Already many examples are known of what a properlyapplied BIM method can ideally add to the construction process in matters ofeconomic gain. Additionally, the modifications in the technical systems, the exteriorsand interiors are reported in the BIM model this is where it is permitted toupdate all business calculations and to keep information concerning all the installedmaterials and products in one central database. Hence, since the BIM model allowsfor the obtaining of information on all engineering systems, it qualitativelymodifies the building operation and management.