BIM is the foundation of digital transformation in the built environment. This means it has opened up many possibilities for surveyors.

In the past, surveying relied on 2D topographic surveys, elevations and floor plans, whereas nowadays, it has moved on to 3D intelligent models, last scanning, point clouds and UAV photogrammetry.

The following significant change in surveying is integrating BIM and GIS (geographic information systems) into construction management so that surveyors take a central role in Industry 4.0.

The future of BIM: Digital transformation in the UK construction and infrastructure sector” report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) states that the “utility of BIM to surveyors has now progressed to owning information management and to connecting other Industry 4.0 technologies.”

How are changes in BIM standards impacting surveyors’ task loads?

Information management now defines the maturity level of BIM and not technology. This means surveyors need to standardise their information flow to get on top of information management through BIM.

Surveyors will also need to engage with other contractors to ensure all deliverables are value-driven. Collaborating through BIM means surveyors can thoroughly understand data, design or spatial geometry to ensure efficient construction.

Surveyors are experts in geospace technologies, making them ideal for providing BIM-based information. Modern surveyors can provide data-intensive deliverables that include orientation, site contours, site configurations and surface models.

During the project planning stage, surveyors have a crucial role in capturing As-Built conditions through scanning and tools. This will provide more excellent value with 3D visualisation to enhance spatial awareness of As-Built assets and detailed documentation.

As-Built information offers precise location, mesh geometry and terrain model data, making the transition from design to construction seamless, leading to lower rework and reducing the number of RFIs.

Using BIM models on the construction site is an ideal solution to improve onsite installation through detailed prefabrication drawings. Gaining additional insights through AI, AR/VR, and mixed reality technology can also help enhance field connectivity and performance.

Which three BIM pillars can surveyors implement?

The three BIM pillars that quantity surveyors should implement, as they are valuable assets, are:

  • Information Visualisation – Better information delivery leads to effective project management and enables 3D model views to augment constructability and design based on interactions and simulations. BIM capabilities mapped to 3D data visualisation include 5D costing analysis, drawing interpretation and data extraction, and tendering and estimating.
  • Database Reliability – The rich dataset produced by a BIM model provides surveyors with reliable information about the functional and physical characteristics of a building through the use of intelligent objects. Surveyors can then use this reliable information to produce on-point cost estimations. BIM capabilities mapped to data reliability include identifying design changes or prototypes and post-construction cost management.
  • Data Coordination – Coordinated BIM models help communicate vital data between the back office and the contractors onsite at the construction site. BIM capabilities mapped to data coordination include estimations based on 3D models and project-wide access to the same information.

Access to accurate and dependable data, paired with geospatial knowledge, means that surveyors can ensure maximum precision in project execution. This is one of the main reasons why surveyors are moving towards a more central role in the BIM environment.

As a leading BIM and surveying services provider, The CAD Room can partner with you to offer surveying services to suit your timeframe and budget. Please get in touch to find out more.