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Building Information Modeling, AI And Mobile Apps

Last week, I wrote about how artificial intelligence will dramatically change how the construction industry operates in the next few years. But there’s an associated technology called Building Information Modeling (BIM) that’s already making big changes. The combination of Building Information Modeling and mobile could be more revolutionary than AI for the construction market.

What is Building Information Modeling?

Construction 3.jpg

BIM builds a virtual 3D model of a building to be constructed, and allows architects, engineers and contractors to see it before it’s built. That way, team members can identify design, construction and operations problems before a plan design is finalized and construction begins. AI and machine learning can be used to find any issues and offer solutions.

BIM workflows provide project planners and other team members involved in the planning, design and building process relevant information about the project. The workflows are typically based on 3D models or 3D CAD designs.

"Building Information Modeling (BIM) gathers all relevant data on one platform, links them and then generates a digital model. The standardized file format »Industry Foundation Classes« (IFC) is used for communication between these data." (Source: ConcreteConstruction.net)

What Does Building Information Modeling Measure?

Building Information Modeling software collections dimensions, or levels of information and data from a 3D model, including, time data, costs, and durability. Dimensions rank from 1D BIM through 6D BIM or 7D BIM. You can see an example of the type of data associated with each BIM dimension in the image below (Source: BIMCommunity):

BIM dimensions through 6D BIM

Modernizing Building Information Modeling with AI

The combination of Building Information Modeling and mobile could be more revolutionary than AI for the construction market. Information management teams are beginning to watch the trend.

BIM and AI - a powerful combinationBIM isn’t pie-in-the-sky technology. It’s here today and growing. Today, BIM is a $3.56 billion market, says a report by MarketsandMarkets, and will more than double, to $7.56 billion, by 2020.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a big enough believer that it’s established a CAD/BIM Technology Center. The center notes that BIM “can provide vast savings in cost and time” for construction projects. The center has been so effective that it’s been awarded two Vice President’s Hammer Awards for Excellence in Reinvention of Government.

BIM is being used in the construction of a new Engineer Research and Development Center for the Army Corps of Engineers. The corps notes that the use of BIM for the project has led “to more efficient field construction schedules, reliable costs, and reduced waste due to rework.”

The construction is pushing BIM to use new capabilities as well — 4D models of the building being constructed. That fourth dimension is time. The corps explains, “The construction of 4-D models enables the architect, engineer, contractor and customer of a construction project to visualize the entire duration of a series of events and display the progress of construction activities through the lifetime of the project.”

Building Information Modeling and Mobile Apps

BIM and mobile appsMobile technology makes BIM even more powerful. Clients, architects, engineers and contractors can collaborate using BIM via mobile apps. Bryce Finnerty, CEO and founder of Texas software consultancy HingePoint, which uses BIM, told Engineering.com, “When we do BIM models for our clients, we deliver them here on mobile apps.”

Read about the Army Corps of Engineers CAD/BIM Technology Center.

Read how BIM is being used to construct a new Engineer Research and Development Center for the Army Corps of Engineers.

See our construction punch list app exampleCombine BIM, AI and Mobile Apps Using Alpha Anywhere

Alpha Anywhere is a great tool for companies in the construction industry, whether they’re using BIM or not. Alpha Anywhere can be used to build offline field service apps, building inspection apps, and much more. See how Alpha Anywhere can help with construction apps.

Read how an international construction equipment rental company built an enterprise platform with Alpha Anywhere to run the company and save tends of thousands of dollars.

Download the source code for a free mobile construction inspection app and project punch list app, or register for a free webinar that will teach you how to build your first construction inspection app in an hour.


Alpha Software can help you meet your construction needs. We offer pre-built punch list, non-conformance and home inspection apps or can build the app you need. Learn about Alpha Software Construction Apps.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.

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