BIM: Integrating Cost Estimates at Initial/Design Stage
The accuracy of the cost estimates is very important in the initial stage because it will determine the viability of the project and provide the project budget. Therefore, Inaccuracy of the cost estimates beyond the acceptable range will cause the cost overrun in the later stage. This research aims to recommend BIM to be applied as a part of the cost management process and to improve the cost estimating at the initial/design stage. In addition, this research will investigate the factors influencing the accuracy, why BIM not been applied to reduce the inaccuracy and how BIM can be integrated into cost estimates at the initial / design stage. This research was carried out via literature review, questionnaire survey and semi-structured interview. It was indicated that insufficient information related to the project, poor communication between project team and complexity of design and construction are the three most factors influenced the accuracy of cost estimates. While collaborating and sharing information between the project team, and investment in software and training are the barriers in implementing BIM. The research also found out that BIM is an integrated multi-disciplinary tool that serves architecture, structural and M&E. In addition, the capability of BIM in assisting cost estimates allow QS to focus more value adding activities in estimating such as: identifying construction assemblies, pricing and factoring risks, which are essential for high quality estimates. In conclusion, with the capability of BIM and its integration will help to minimize the error and enhance the project cost estimates in the future.
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