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Building Information Modeling Services and Cost


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Title: Building Information Modeling Services and Cost

A professional working in the architecture,
engineering, and construction industries understan
d how crucial precise planning is to streamline
the construction process. In recent years the
development of BIM technology rose, which
completely changed the game when planning
construction projects. BIM, which stands for
building information modeling, is a comprehensive
modeling technology that incorporates all
information about the design, construction, and
demolition (or other structure) into one place.
Essentially, it reduces logistical problems and
provides cost and time-saving benefits. However,
it is quite an investment to make, and for some
engineering firms, outsourcing their services may
be more practical than trying to do it
in-house. Read along to find out what costs you
may expect for different BIM services/projects
and whether or not it is worth the investment to
train your in-house team. Average Costs to Hire
a BIM Consultant
Top Earners 75th Percentile Average 25th
43 / hr 43 / hr 39 / hr 33 / hr
The national average cost to hire a BIM
consultant is 39 hourly. However, many other
factors could either lower or increase this price
significantly, such as the expertise of the
consultant, the delivery time, and the difficulty
of the project.
Should I Use BIM Services For My Projects? The
BIM market is predicted to improve immensely in
the next few years. There might have been a
slight dip in its usage due to Covid-19 and the
resulting material shortages and delays, but it
is currently rising on an upward trend. Many
engineering companies are looking to become a
part of this growing market. Overall, the
benefits of using BIM boil down to two things
cost reduction and time-saving. Cost
Reduction Some critical BIM coordination services
include clash detection, scheduling, and
cost-analysis features. Essentially, all of these
services increase the planning accuracy and
reduce the chance of getting rework done, which
can estimate around 30 more of construction
costs. Clash detection software ensures that
equipment fits in the space allotted for it, and
there are no improper calculations that lead to
significant blunders. These mess-ups can be
highly costly, possibly new parts needing to be
ordered or, worse, demolishing them. With poor
scheduling, downtimes may occur when workers are
at the site with no supplies, which raises labor
costs unnecessarily. The cost-analysis feature
provides an up-front fee that can sometimes be
hard to calculate without having all
the information in one place. This can be
incredibly cost-saving as you can realize early
on if a particular feature or material will be
too expensive for the budget. Finally, BIM can
decrease the chances of legal problems by
comparing the model to its as-built dimensions,
making sure the two are as similar as possible.
Deviating too much from the construction
contract grows into messy legal territory. Time
Savings Most of the BIM services that are
cost-saving are considered time-saving as well.
Rework, and litigation issues are not only
extremely costly but can delay a project
significantly. However, BIM allows for
transparency and reduces the chances
of unpredictable situations that can delay the
project. For example, a contractor named Robins
and Morton adopted BIM to design and construct a
hospital in Augusta, Maine, and surprisingly, the
project was completed ten months ahead of
schedule! BIM software enables us to make
what-if scenarios, changing different materials
around and playing with features to observe the
cost and result. This can be highly time-saving
as there is no need to create a prototype. Okay,
I Want to Implement BIM Services For My
Construction Projects. Should I Outsource the
Services or Expand My Company? When it comes to
owning a large company, there is little to no
fear about the return on investment from
implementing BIM into their platform, as the
efficiency and accuracy of BIM software cannot
be overlooked. However, when your engineering
company is a smaller one, this unquestionably
becomes a more difficult question. Mind that
AutoDesk Revit is about 2,545, not to mention
the additional expenses of hiring BIM specialists
and the hours it takes to train your employees.
Further note It is common for employee
productivity to decline due to difficulty
getting started. BIM managers are also highly
skilled professionals and will require a high
salary, one a small company may or may not be
able to afford. It may be wiser to hire a BIM
consultant/modeler for specific projects you
think could benefit.
  • I Decided I Want to Hire a BIM Specialist. How Do
    I Choose?
  • Choose a company with qualified professionals.
  • Communicate a budget to your specialist right
    away. BIM allows for highly accurate cost
    analysis, and your BIM specialist can help you
    stay very close to your budget.
  • Do not shy away from a BIM specialist with a
    steep hourly charge. Typically, It is a sign
    they are experienced and that their work is of
    excellent quality,
  • leading to little or no mistakes.
  • BIM makes delivery easy. You dont necessarily
    have to hire a specialist close to you, or even
    in the United States. With the remote world
    growing faster than ever, this is a pretty
    viable option. Sometimes you can find an
    experienced professional in other countries at
    more affordable rates.
  • Communicate when you expect the various portions
    of their services to be due. Depending on the
    local market, the business of a BIM specialist
    can vary greatly. Make sure youre on a similar
    page when it comes to delivery time.
  • Consider having a brief meeting before you
    officially hire them. You want to make sure you
    and the specialist are a good fit for each other
    before working together long-term.
  • Check out their previous work. Notice whether
    theyve done projects like yours before and have
    done it well. Note when a specialist is unable
    to show you their previous work experience, this
    is a likely red flag
  • General Factors
  • Some general factors will affect the cost of
    implementing BIM services into your project.
    Make sure to keep them in mind when estimating

Level of Development Contract Type Whether
youre paying hourly, by the square foot, or with
a lump sum, either one will have an impact on
prices. For example, a BIM specialist may account
for unforeseen problems in their cost, but the
project ends up going smoothly, so you end up
paying more than if you were to pay by a time
and material method. Nevertheless, when dealing
with a pretty complex project and the lump sum
doesnt seem too unreasonable, you may want to
go for it as you could be getting yourself quite
a bargain if the project ends up being
problematic and costly. Project/Building
Type Creating a BIM model for a commercial
hospital will be much more expensive than a
humble residential home. Therefore, the type of
building, the number of stories, size, and
purpose will significantly impact the
cost. Time, Scope, and Quality These factors may
seem like a no-brainer, but it can be easy to
forget just how much they will affect the
overall cost. Excellent quality work will not be
so affordable, but it may as well be a sacrifice
to consider when reducing rework and repair
costs. When you give your specialist a minimal
timeframe to complete the work, theyll have no
choice but to increase prices to account for
working overtime and other sacrifices. Finally,
the projects scope, such as what services the
specialist offers, what LOD, what dimension,
etc., will influence the costs. Usually, when the
specialist takes on a manager role for the
project, you may need to pay them considerably
more. There are various Levels of Development
(LOD) that a BIM model can be, based on the
clients requests. LOD creates an industry
standard so clients can accurately
express how much detail they want to include in
their model. Take note that as LOD increases, so
does cost. LOD 100 Concept Design Parameters
like area, height, volume, location, and
orientation are defined in this stage, and the
information is represented on an elementary
level. There may be symbols to represent
elements but not their precise location, shape,
or size. LOD 200 Schematic Design This LOD is
slightly more detailed, where different features
are more accurately represented to their final
shape and size. There may be placeholders to
represent elements. However, the information
from this stage is still only approximate. LOD
300 Detailed Design In this stage, the
quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation
of elements can be observed from the model
directly without referring to notes. LOD 350
Construction Documentation The parts necessary
for certain elements to interact with other
nearby features are modeled (supports and
connections). This is in addition to all aspects
being of accurate size and shape. LOD 400
Fabrication Assembly This stage includes a
model that is sufficient in detail and accurate
in size and shape. It will be mostly developed
before the construction begins. LOD 500
As-Built This model stage is a field verified
representation of the project in terms of size,
shape, location, quantity, and orientation.
Dimension BIM is a very complex software with
varying levels of features. There are between 2
to 7 dimensions that all provide different
information. Figure out which size you need for
your project, but remember, the more detailed the
model, the more it will cost. 2D BIM 2D BIM is
a two-dimensional construction drawing that
consists of an x and y-axis. These drawings are
critical, but this will most likely not be the
only dimension requested by the client. 3D
BIM 3d bim services represent the geographical
structures of a building on an X, Y, and Z-axis.
3D BIM is probably the most popular BIM as it
allows for pretty accurate visualization,
especially with growing virtual reality/virtual
walkthrough technology. This dimension can also
include information about construction
materials. 4D BIM 4D BIM adds a scheduling/time
element to 3D BIM. This dimension helps organize
the building site by creating a timeline for the
different construction stages and delivery of
equipment. 4D BIM reduces delays and can
implement on-time delivery of equipment and
supplies, which reduces labor costs of workers
waiting around and creates a more productive and
safer workspace. 5D BIM 5D BIM is 4D BIM cost
estimation. 5D BIM links the cost information of
materials stored in 3D BIM with the work hours
tracked by the construction schedule kept in 4D
BIM. 5D BIM can provide a live update of cost
estimation when the information of the model is
modified and provides a visual for the progress
of the project so far. 6D BIM
6D BIM considers the sustainability element. It
can track if the project complies with LEED
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
certification requirements or manage green
construction practices. 7D BIM 7D BIM is known
as project lifecycle management, which means it
considers the entire lifetime of the project
from design to demolition. As-built drawings can
be produced by taking 3D scans of the finished
building and converting it into a 3D model. This
model can be used to plan the changes and
  • Rate Types and Average Costs
  • There are many different metrics by which a BIM
    specialist can charge you. The
  • most common ones are hourly (covered at the
    beginning of this article) by the square foot,
    turnaround time, or a combination of a few
  • BIM Costs Per Square Foot
  • Service Cost per square foot
  • White Model 0.30
  • Material Model 0.60
  • Ornament Model 0.60
  • BIM Model 0.90

  • It is common for BIM models to be charged per
    square foot as it is a reasonably
  • accurate representation of how much work goes
    into the project. It will take much more effort
    to model a 2,000 square foot home than a 5,000
    square foot home. As the table suggests, the
    price per square foot also increases based on the
    level of detail as requested by the client.
  • It is also common for a company to use a
    combination of methods to charge for BIM
    services, such as a flat fee in addition to a
    cost by square foot charge. For example, Burwell
    Designs, an engineering and architectural support
    services company,
  • reported charging a 1000 project set up fee
    0.60 per square foot for total BIM Management
    CD production. They also said charging a 1000
    project set up fee in addition to 75.00 per
    rendered view for 2D to 3D BIM rendering.
  • Delivery Time
  • Turnaround Time Cost per Source Document
  • 3 Days 350
  • 5 Days 245
  • 10 Days 195
  • 4 6 Weeks 140
  • The above prices are for the costs per source
    document to turn a 2D sketch into a BIM model by
    the allotted turnaround time. Whenever you need a
    service expedited, you will see the costs
    skyrocket. That is because the company/professiona
    l will most likely have to sacrifice projects
    from other clients to complete yours, and it
    needs to be worth it to them. They will also
    need to put in extra hours of work which they
    need to be compensated for.
  • Conclusion
  • BIM technology is ever-changing and growing. Its
    positive impact on the efficiency, accuracy, and
    ease of the construction process is immense.

When it comes to costs to implement BIM for a
project, the more detailed and the larger the
project is, the higher prices will be. Hiring an
experienced specialist will be expensive but
worth it as a poorly completed project will rack
up repair costs quickly. A BIM specialist can
charge hourly, by the square foot, a lump sum, or
a combination method, and each method has its
perks and disadvantages for different kinds of
projects. As BIM is a complicated technology to
understand, the best thing you can do is have an
honest conversation with a potential specialist
to understand what price youre looking at for
your project. How Cad Crowd Can Help Cad Crowd
can put you in touch with reputable BIM firms
without having to worry about the time and
expense of managing additional personnel within
your organization or paying the high price of
training employees to use BIM software and
paying for the software itself. No matter what
size your project is or how far along you are,
BIM and the experts at CAD Crowd can help. Get a
free quote today. Source- https//
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