Cost-benefit analysis of Building Information Modeling implementation in building projects through demystification of time-effort distribution curves

Weisheng LU, Ada FUNG, Yi PENG, Cong LIANG, Steve ROWLINSON

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With a view to legitimizing the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, researchers in recent years have endeavored to develop models that can be used to analyze the costs/benefits of its implementation. However, these models rely heavily on anecdotal evidence, guiding BIM users to identify costs/benefits item by item. As a result, the costs/benefits are too often underestimated or exaggerated. This paper adopts an alternative approach, aiming to measure BIM costs/benefits by demystifying the time-effort distribution curves of real-life AEC processes. Empirical data on two public housing projects – one with BIM implemented and the other without – are used to calculate the costs/benefits of BIM implementation. It is found that, when compared with the non-BIM project, BIM implementation increased the effort input at the design stage by 45.93% (which implies 100.9 HKD/m2 increase in this study), but at the building stage decreased the cost per square meter of GFA by 8.61% (which indicates 591.76 HKD/m2 saving in this study). Taking a holistic view of the AEC processes, BIM implementation contributed about a 6.92% cost saving (which means 490.86 HKD/m2 saving in this study) to the sample BIM project. While these research findings can be used to justify the promotion of more widespread BIM adoption in the AEC industry, cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of BIM implementation remains hampered by a general lack of data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-327
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume82
Early online date6 Sept 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Architecture
  • Engineering and construction (AEC) industry
  • Building Information Modeling (BIM)
  • Time-effort distribution curve
  • Cost-benefit analysis (CBA)

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