The success of a construction project depends on how well a contractor interlaces quality into every stage of the process. To achieve that, each team must perform efficiently and comply with building codes. But we all know this isn’t always possible due to human error and uncertainties such as scope changes, supply chain disruptions, and labour shortages. Therefore, quality control is necessary to ensure each team hits daily or weekly targets and that all milestones are achieved on time with optimal outcomes.
Construction quality management has come a long way from relying entirely on spot checks, and end-of-project inspections, which often led to major issues being overlooked and only dealt with when accidents occur. Now, it’s more comprehensive and involves data-driven digital tools, enabling contractors to minimise construction snags further and prevent rework. In this blog post, we’ll explore one of these digital tools – building information modelling (BIM) – particularly how it transforms construction quality control.
What is BIM?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the most efficient method for creating and managing a building’s digital models. It combines various software tools so critical processes, such as 3D modelling, clash detection, quantity takeoff, scheduling, and cost estimating, can be performed in one place. In addition, it allows project stakeholders to collaborate and coordinate their work more effectively and to detect and resolve potential issues before construction begins.
Unsurprisingly, since the digital twins through BIM are used throughout the construction project, BIM also plays a crucial role in quality control. Contractors leverage construction project management software like PlanRadar with BIM integration to help assess progress in real-time and more accurately. With BIM accessible to all key players in a construction project, tracking progress and spotting potential problems is much easier. Below are some of the specific ways BIM is improving quality control in construction.
BIM facilitates collaboration and coordination among all stakeholders involved in the project, including architects, engineers, contractors, and owners. By creating a digital model of the building, all stakeholders can visualise and understand the project in a common language, which reduces the risk of errors and misunderstandings. Any critical information that requires immediate action can also be relayed faster with the help of construction project management software.
Collaboration also fosters open communication among team members, allowing for better sharing of information and ideas. This can help ensure that all stakeholders are aligned on the quality standards and expectations for the project. With multiple eyes on each aspect of the construction project and all stakeholders able to voice their thoughts, the plan can be polished better to ensure quality output.
Early problem detection
BIM offers capabilities beyond illustration and modelling. For instance, it can be used to perform clash detection, which involves identifying where different building elements intersect or overlap in the design. In addition, it can be used to simulate and analyse the building’s performance, such as energy usage, lighting, and acoustics. These capabilities are vital in identifying potential issues with the building’s systems early in the design process, allowing changes to be made to optimise the building’s performance.
Additionally, with improved collaboration among stakeholders, detected issues can be brought to the attention of the construction teams responsible, allowing for quicker resolution and reducing the risk of rework or project delays. Apart from detecting issues, this construction technology also helps stakeholders improve what’s already working to boost quality further. Therefore, BIM must be incorporated into quality assurance in construction.
Collaboration can foster a sense of accountability among team members, which is essential in ensuring building quality. BIM provides a transparent digital model of the building that all stakeholders can access. This means everyone has access to the same information, which can help create transparency and accountability among stakeholders.
Furthermore, using a shared digital model of the building makes it easier to understand who is responsible for each aspect of the project, which can help reduce confusion and ensure that everyone is accountable for their specific tasks. When stakeholders know their role in ensuring quality control, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and strive to meet the required quality standards.
Each team is expected to take responsibility for their work, which includes potential errors that might lead to repair or rework. This ensures that everyone puts their best foot forward as their step into the construction site. However, it should be noted that the most critical reason everyone should do their best is that it impacts others’ work. Therefore, quality assurance and quality control in construction projects are shared responsibilities.
This culture should start from the top management down to the crew. Thanks to BIM, which has created a platform where stakeholders can collaborate more freely, sharing responsibility for quality control is no longer just an unwritten rule. This makes it easier to identify and address issues that may arise. It also reduces the likelihood of finger-pointing and encourages a more cooperative and solution-oriented mind-set among stakeholders.
Every structure standing stably amid destructive natural forces results from excellent decisions stakeholders make during its construction. And those that failed and risked the safety of their occupants are the result of poor decision-making. Contractors have learned that a successful construction project is one where multiple experts evaluate choices through collaborative planning and quality management.
This was made possible by construction technology like BIM. The collaboration it ushers allows for better decision-making, as team members can bring their unique perspectives and expertise to the table. As a result, decisions no longer come from the execs but instead contested, verified, and polished by field experts. This leads to more informed decisions about quality control measures and results in a higher quality final product.
BIM has transformed how builders perceive, achieve, and gauge the quality in construction. Originally built to aid in construction design and planning, it became integral in various aspects of the construction process, especially in quality control and assurance. This technology enables construction companies to comply with the latest standards and regulations, as well as stakeholders’ specific requirements. Using construction project management software with BIM integration further improves the accuracy and precision of quality control systems.