The impact of building information modeling (BIM) on change orders for university construction projects

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University of Alabama Libraries

Recent growth in construction volume is leading The University of Alabama to identify areas for improvement in the construction process. Change orders have a significant impact on project cost and schedule; therefore they are in need of improvement. Researchers have worked on improving the change order management and prevention plan and implementing it into their construction management. With the implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for the design and construction of new facilities new research is necessary in order to determine the impact of BIM on the change order management and prevention strategy. The University of Alabama recently completed the construction of two similar engineering facilities, The South and North Engineering Research Centers (SERC and NERC), designed for labs and classrooms. The first building is designed and built using 2-Dimension modeling while the second building is designed and built using BIM for 3-Dimension modeling and coordination. Change orders due to design errors/omissions are noted as preventable, and the main focus of the research. Pertinent information was extracted and analyzed when reviewing change orders from both SERC and NERC. Change orders due to design errors/omissions diminish from 45 on SERC to 9 on NERC. The change in the project cost due to change orders from design errors/omissions decreased from 0.54% on SERC to 0.18% on NERC. Researchers found that BIM is not the only contributing factor in change order reduction. A thorough design review process coupled with the implementation of BIM, allows a level of reduction not yet achieved on other projects.

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Engineering, Civil engineering