Advantages of BIM for time management of building projects

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Developed by Raivo Kalderauskis

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an information management method or a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.

BIM like a tool is a very big influence to building industry. This tool helps building companies, individual users and government agencies to easily do some processes. One of the key benefits is a fast time management, fast communication process and communication diversity, which means that project manager will need a good knowledge about time management.

BIM not only helps time management but also completes the cost of project effectively and identifies risks, plans quantity of employees, deals with communication problems and provides a visual effect to the customer.


About BIM

Figure 1:Different BIM versions [1]

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.[2]

4D BIM, an acronym for 4D Building Information Modeling and a term widely used in the CAD industry, refers to the intelligent linking of individual 3D CAD components or assemblies with time or schedule-related information.[3]

5D BIM, an acronym for 5D Building Information Modeling, is a term used in the CAD and construction industries, and refers to the intelligent linking of individual 3D CAD components or assemblies with schedule (time - 4D BIM) constraints and then with cost-related information. [4]

6D BIM, an acronym for 6D Building Information Modeling and a term widely used in the Construction industry, refers to the intelligent linking of individual 3D CAD components or assemblies with all aspects of project life-cycle management information. [5]

BIM origins

It is considered that the term BIM, as well as its main ideas have been created by software developers such as Autodesk or Graphisoft. Technologies and processes that are driven by BIM have begun developing for more than 40 years ago, when in 1974 Charles Eastman published "An Outline of the Building Description System.” [6] This article included the idea of parametric design, 2D drawing creation of the model, as well as the amount of output. It was the first software that was described in the individual library elements that could be added to the model. Consequently, the idea of BIM is presented 7 years before the foundation of Autodesk (1982) [7] and nine years before the Graphisoft (1984) [8]

1982. in Budapest, Hungary physicist Gabor Bojar began the development of the program, based on the principle of BDS technology. In 1984 there was presented CH Radar program for the Apple Lisa operating system, which was later renamed to ArchiCAD. Consequently, it is the first ArchiCAD BIM software, designed for personal computers.

In 2000, Iowin Jungreis and Leonid Raiz enterprise “Charles River” in Cambridge Software presented a program called Revit, which, thanks to the object-oriented programming, made modeling much easier and more efficient. In 2002, Autodesk purchased the company and launched Revit development. Revit made a revolution in the design in BIM, creating a platform where visual programming environment can create groups of parametric elements, including time as a fourth dimension of the components. It allows to create time schedules, specifications and simulation based on the BIM model.[9]

BIM software

There are two kinds of BIM software: authoring software and coordination software. As the technology matures single software packages, there may be used single software packages, which contain both elements.

Common authoring software platforms include: Autodesk Revit Architecture; Bentley Systems; Coordination Software; Autodesk Navisworks, and Bentley Projectwise. Each specific industry is developed as authoring software, and a variety of specialists are working on the most suitable.

BIM coordination software is potentially revolutionary for construction management and contractors in particular. This software takes the model made by the authoring software and attaches cost, scheduling and other information to it thus creating a tool for achieving improved project delivery. [10]

Time management with BIM

Time Management

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. It is meta-activity with the goal to maximize the overall benefit of a set of other activities within the boundary condition of a limited amount of time. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get done more in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high. [11] Time management is usually a necessity in any project development as it determines the project completion time and scope.

Six essential elements of time management: [12]

• Managing Goals: Goals are important in a project. Project goals will steer a project team in the right direction and will help this team to focus his strengths in achieving that goal.

• Managing Tasks: Every project team member tackles important tasks every day. Managing these tasks is imperative to make sure that a team member do not end up with too many things to do. In addition, managing tasks will ensure that a project team did not forget any important errands or miss any deadlines.

• Prioritize: Learning to prioritize is also a good skill to complement managing tasks. Since time is very limited, it is vital that a project team completes its priorities first before anything else. That way, a project team gets closer to accomplishing those goals every single day. Prioritizing is simply knowing when it is necessary to finish a goal and knowing what to do next.

• Utilizing the Calendar: A calendar is important to manage project time fully. Whether it is a desk calendar or an electronic one, it is critical that a project have one. It is also recommended, if project team has multiple calendars, that all calendars be synchronized so as team members do not to miss anything.

• Procrastination Management: Everyone has a tendency to procrastinate and, for some, it is a feeling that is very difficult to resist. However, for one to be a successful time manager, one must learn to resist the calls of procrastination.

• Reminder Systems: A good follow-up system is necessary so old tasks or projects are not forgotten. There are new things to do each day that might need much attention and a good reminder system will definitely help manage all of these tasks.

In recent years, all over the world there have been made different time planning events for people to get more time and for processes to take place rapidly. The construction industry is no exception, but it is famous for the project not being completed in time. Customers and members of the construction industry have shown very big willingness to work and build buildings faster. With BIM capabilities it is better to do so; in recent years BIM has been developing very fast. Time is very important to the customer, because the costumer has a strong interest in completing the construction or buildings faster so that it can begin to operate. BIM allows quickly starting their exploitation and gaining revenue.

Time management with BIM in design phase

Figure 2: All involved parties works in BIM
Figure 3:Tradicional workflow
Figure 4: BIM modeling
Figure 5:BIM information sharing scheme

The first construction phase of the project is the development of the project. This is one of the most important stages of the projects, as well as another projects. If the project is planned well, then the easier it is to operate and manage. In this development phase it will usually involve professionals from various industries. In the development stage of the project there are mainly engaged: an architect, a civil engineer, heat, gas and water engineers the client himself and other involved sides. With BIM software all parties are possible to merge, how it is shown in the Figure 2.

During recent years, there has been developed a new profession - BIM manager. This profession is offered in a number of university master's programs. BIM manager is a person who combines involved sides in the construction process with the help of BIM, as well as controls and manages the BIM file flow throughout the construction process and then transfers the final product to the customer or operation manager.[13]

When working with BIM, general workflow is quite different from the traditionally accepted. Its center is not a CAD or hand technique created drawings, but the model with all the necessary information (Shown in the Figure 3 and Figure 4). We can see that the traditional workflow file movement is one-way, but BIM model file movement is going two-way, because the model may also obtain additional information to facilitate the work of designers and saves time.

However, the Figure 5 adequately represents a separate section of the designer synergies for the joint model development. It shows a separate local file usage based on a central model file. This principle was initially difficult to understand since until now cooperation between designers took place with the help of e-mails. BIM cooperation is organized by exchanging the current information. At any time any section designers are able to keep track of how their elements for design fit into the overall model.

Time management with BIM in building phase

Figure 6: [14]

Perhaps it seems that BIM can help only in the design phase, but developments of possibilities at BIM are adapted to the construction phases. According to the plan, the activities in the design phase create a timing diagram, which indicates the sequence. It is also referred to as BIM 4D. Time management charts or Gantt chart have been around from the early 20th century.

The Gantt chart is a graphical depiction of a project schedule. It is a type of bar chart that shows the start and finish dates of several elements of a project that include resources, milestones, tasks and dependencies. The tool is very commonly used in project management because it gives a clear overview of:[15]

• What the different activities within the project are;

• When each activity is initiated and when the deadline is;

• How long does the activity last;

• Overlap between activities;

• The start and end of the entire project.

At the start of the computer era, charts became digitized. Diagrams are used in almost every project in order to plan time better.

With the help of BIM Gantt chart the diagrams were created to the next stage, showing them visualized in 3D model (Figure 6). 3D model reflects the sequence and the appropriate time for each activity. Resulting in a visual perspective on the whole building construction process. It helps the project manager to plan the time of the construction process, to understand when they need to purchase materials, when the materials have to be delivered, when it is necessary to mobilize workers on the object, which activities are priority to not stop the construction, which operation is followed by the next operation and which operations can be done at the same time.


A short video to show a visualization of construction simulation in 3D model.

Video 1:Virtual construction simulation.

Time management with BIM in exploitation time

Today, BIM also works after the completion of the construction process, when all the building is put into exploitation, the customer or operation manager is transferred to a BIM file with all the details. This file is a completed building model with all the material specifications. This means that looking at some elements of the building, such as windows, information is obtained on its size, the firm that produced it and more. It is also available on guarantees, the desired service life and the price. The example you can see in video 2. This stage saves time when it is required to obtain information on any of the building elements, for example, when something breaks down, there is no need to look for the information in paper piles, since all the information stored in the model.

BIM model at this stage usually works better in large buildings such as shopping centers, because operation managers on a daily basis are faced with different problems and the BIM model is much easier to navigate and respond to various situations. For private homes it is a benefit, but does not give such a high added value, because usually in these buildings no large systems are built in and the construction is small.


A short video to show how to work BIM in exploitation time.

Video 2:BIM in exploitation time.

The future of BIM and time management

The world tends to make processes faster and BIM is developing in this area. Standards are formed and they are tied to national legislation. Already in some countries the building companies may submit information in electronic format to taking information from BIM, for example, the United Kingdom [16] and Norway. [17] In many countries this regulation is only in creating and developing phase. Development is also in the process associated with the control of the government, such as the faster building checking whether it complies with all regulations.

First 3D printed buildings [18] and bridges [19] are already made. It could be one of the future technologies for small construction elements and maybe for all building construction.

In recent years software producers have started and now continue to put the standards and laws in the software of the country where the construction is planned. This is done because the development process could prevent errors associated with the legislation.

Already solar movement is simulated and its effects and buildings to better figure out where to place the solar panels, but the system is designed to make energy analysis of the building.

Accident simulations with BIM could be one of the emerging development programs, for example, fires accident situation, simulation of people evacuation, deformation of building and impact of adjacent building.


Figure 7: 2D CAD versus BIM Workflow

BIM is a very good tool to speed up the construction process. There is a benefit for all parties involved, from the architect to the client. With BIM more time is devoted to the planning and design process, which saves at least 20% of the total construction time (Figure 7) [20].

The main benefits of time management with BIM:

Time management with BIM project design phase:

- All involved parties have access to a single file

- Information is transferred to use a single file

- BIM model gives designers additional information

Time management with BIM construction phase:

- Created Gantt Chart

- Are listed in all the work sequence

- Construction process is shown visually in 3D

Time management with BIM exploitation time:

- On the BIM model can simply read the information on all the building component

- Can simply read guarantee and life of the various building components

In this article there was viewed only time management with BIM and its benefits. BIM helps many more fields - in communication between the involved parties, risk prevention, save cost, quality improvement, etc.

Annotated Bibliography

  • Shepherd D. "BIM Management Handbook"

This Handbook provides an authoritative and practical road map for those implementing and managing BIM workflows.

  • Hardin B., McCool D. "BIM and Construction Management: Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows, 2nd Edition"

In this book is a complete integration guide, featuring practical advice, project tested methods and workflows, and tutorials for implementing Building Information Modeling and technology in construction.

  • Crotty R. "The Impact of Building Information Modelling: Transforming Construction"

This book is not about how to do BIM, it explains why we should adopt BIM. The book includes some useful case studies.

  • Mordue S., Swaddle P., Philip D. "Building Information Modeling For Dummies"

The book about how to start using BIM, if had not idea about it. The book demonstrates how BIM saves time and waste on site and shows how the information generated from BIM leads to fewer errors on site.

  • Lūse A. "Garantija, apdrošināšana un nākotnes projektēšana - BIM"

This article describes the main current events about BIM in Latvia. (The article is in Latvian) [1]


  1. BIM 6D
  3. Mills, Fred. "What is 4D BIM?".
  4. Mills, Fred. "What is 5D BIM?".
  5. Mills, Fred. "What is 6D BIM?".
  6. An Outline of the Building Description System: Eastman, Charles; Fisher, David; Lafue, Gilles; Lividini, Joseph; Stoker, Douglas; Yessios, Christos (September 1974). An Outline of the Building Description System. Institute of Physical Planning, Carnegie-Mellon University.
  7. About Autodesk, Autodesk,
  8. About Graphisoft, Graphisoft,
  9. Vanessa Quirk, A Brief History of BIM, Arch Daily:2012,
  10. "Building Information Modelling"
  11. What Is Time Management? Working Smarter to Enhance Productivity
  12. Jussila Harri "Time Management Definition – The 6 Essentia" in Asministrative assistant resource.
  13. Find A Masters
  14. Construction Superintendent "Upgraded Asta Powerproject BIM Enables 5-D Digital Construction Planning"
  15. Gantt "What is a Gantt chart?"
  16. Digital Built Britain: Level 3 Building Information Modelling - Strategic Plan
  17. Statsbygg Building Information Modelling Manual - version 1.2.1
  18. 3D Print: Chinese Construction Company 3D Prints an Entire Two-Story House On-Site in 45 Days
  19. MX3D Bridge
  20. Graphisoft: Open BIM
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