BIM for Construction: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls to Avoid

BIM renders a lot of help in construction and building projects, so it is not surprising that many designers, architects, and project managers are leaning toward using the software. However, there are certain pitfalls to avoid in BIM implementation.  

The process of creating a virtual representation of a structure is referred to as BIM implementation. And a BIM implementation plan is a detailed document that assists the business in determining the numerous advantages of integrating BIM throughout the various project phases. 

This article talks about the pitfalls to avoid during BIM implementation.

Common Pitfalls in BIM Implementation to Avoid

Whether you are new to BIM implementation or not, you unknowingly make some common mistakes. Here are common issues associated with BIM implementation. 

1. Lack of BIM Execution Plan 

Believing that BIM execution plans are only appropriate for large-scale projects is one of the most frequent BIM errors users make. It is better to have a basic plan than have none at all. 

The layout's simplicity is the secret to a good BxP. Some BxP is so overly complicated and overthought that they are impossible to apply and quickly forgotten. 

Establish the project goals and objectives, which designers, engineers, and contractors will understand to prevent confusing and laborious BxPs. Also, visualize the clients' wants clearly. 

After that, adding BIM usage standards can help achieve a productive workflow. Examples include agreements on the types of 3D and 2D components, the permitted BIM tools, and file sharing and storage options. 

Most importantly, updating BxP in accordance with project modifications and disseminating them to all stakeholders on time ensures complete synchronization in work. 

Here are the benefits of a BIM Implementation Plan 

  • Collaboration: Every construction project typically differs significantly from other project types in some way, whether it is due to requirements, international standards, laws, or other factors. Plans for implementing BIM enable real-time cooperation and plan modification to reduce unneeded issues and silos among project tasks, enabling each project to get the attention it requires independent of different standards.
  • Time-savings: Schedule compression is one of the biggest nightmares for practically any construction project. A good BIM implementation strategy can concentrate on the project's most important benefits, letting the many parties involved avoid worrying about pointless issues that would otherwise delay project deliverables. It works because only important information is highlighted and described, making it easier for everyone to stay on schedule and resulting in hardly any delays.
  • Communication: As one of its key pillars, communication is encouraged immediately between the many teams and stakeholders engaged in the project from the outset, making it easier to delegate and manage varied expectations and obligations. BIM is beneficial for communicating with stakeholders as well.
  • Execution: Working with a BIM implementation strategy that is concentrated on the current project makes it simpler to communicate and collaborate. Additionally, it eliminates the confusion and sluggishness resulting from using too many file formats and standards. A well-executed strategy keeps everything on course, ensuring that the project is completed on schedule and within budget.
  • Data sharing: Transparency, which makes BIM implementation data available to everyone inside the project at any point, including stakeholders, contractors, and others, is another benefit of BIM implementation plans that is frequently noted. Data for BIM implementation comprises file formats, details, model dimensions, and much more. All of it is easily shareable and can be quickly updated to reflect current information.

 2. High Implementation Cost 

The high cost of BIM adoption is a primary problem that can arise in any company organization. This is less about the price of machinery and technology and more about less significant costs. 

Every aspect of corporate processes, from compliance applications to vendor component specifications, must be streamlined and linked into a single system when implementing BIM. 

You should also consider the potential costs associated with staff training or hiring individuals with adequate BIM expertise and experience, as covered below. 

Due to their scale and ability to adapt, large and medium-sized enterprises may find it simpler to align their equipment with BIM. In smaller businesses, it can be more challenging to dedicate a complete staff to the BIM project at once or over time. 

They could keep their staff together while utilizing the experience and expertise of outside consultants, which would help them better integrate BIM technologies into their business model. 

3. Starting BIM Process Too Early 

Introducing the BIM process early can speed up the building timetable. However, doing it too soon, particularly during an iterative design process, will require the coordination team to do additional work.  

Even while the cost of rework is significantly lower throughout the BIM process than during construction, it still has a meaningful impact on money and time.  

Plan to commence BIM when coordination can be completed about two weeks before the structure's construction to reduce this expense. Enabling the coordination of in-slab work offers the best value.

4. Using Inappropriate Hardware and Hosting Methods 

Frequently high-end, pricy hardware and software are used to give computers powerful capabilities. Choosing the appropriate products for the work line can be economical and reliable. 

A BIM manager or expert should be consulted in advance to determine the hardware needs for a certain BIM implementation type. 

It is essential to determine the exact needed CPU speed, RAM capacity, graphics card, hard disk type and capacity, and core count. Additionally, instead of using local file usage, build up a cloud server to hold the BIM files with open accessibility.

5. Using BIM Systems With Non-BIM Systems 

A staffing issue arises from using BIM and non-BIM technology in the same office. Employees can work on a related project with a single software platform, like CAD. However, a limited number of staff members would be available in the BIM application. 

BIM training or piloting projects should be carefully chosen based on team size, time, and member availability. The effectiveness of the team and billable time could be lost due to this division of team members. 

However, BIM user organizations with many assets must contend with the long-term coexistence of old assets not created using BIM and new assets that must be added according to the methodology. 

The key to a successful transition will be incorporating non-BIM assets into the new BIM-based asset management solutions.

6. Using Place Holder 

A project's success depends on removing placeholders from BIM and substituting genuine content that will be bought or created.  

Trade contractors who can model the project, buy what they modeled, build what they bought, and install what they fabricated, have the greatest success with BIM.  

Aim for real material as much as possible during the BIM process because using placeholders shows uncertainty and a lack of timely decision-making.

7. Incomplete or Inaccurate Building Information 

Many frequently get caught up in the modeling process and over-complicate it with small, subtle details. 

The BxP should create 2D and 3D families with the required compatibility, variety, and useable file sizes. The family set should be straightforward and have a short file size. 

Avoid importing intricate 3D components into a BIM file. Not becoming a BIM specialist is the goal. Also, avoid simultaneously using the same 2D and 3D components for several representations.

8. Inadequate Staff Preparation 

You will need a BIM Coordinator to oversee the BIM process. This individual must be given the duty of reporting clashes.  

The roles involved in settling confrontations would be unclear if the entire team were in charge of reporting conflicts. As a result, there would be a significant amount of rework and unclear accountability.  

This does not imply that the coordinator shouldn't rely on the group to help them settle conflicts, but the responsibility for locating conflicts should fall under the purview of a single leader. 

Also, most workers are accustomed to using conventional tools they have perfected and are familiar with. Several obstacles hinder project participants' use of BIM and cutting-edge technologies.  

Some of the obstacles are fear of failure, stepping outside one's comfort zone, taking the time to learn how to utilize the program, and, frequently, a lack of support from superiors and the companies. 

When implementing a vastly different comprehensive technology in this setting, management must make the proper strategic decisions and collaborate with employees to carry out the implementation while maintaining the current working framework.

9. Not Running Quality Checks  

It's essential to regularly assess whether the BIM is staying on track to ensure successful completion. Ask questions like; can the BIM file clearly instruct how to construct on-site? Or is it a complex model that doesn't seem to fit the design requirements?  

The model should reflect the methods used for on-site construction and include material specifications that can be implemented with related vendors. 

10. Overmodeling 

Avoid modeling every tiny detail that won't appear on the drawing. This is one of the most frequent BIM errors, particularly among novice modelers. 

You might be attracted to using easily-available fixtures on websites; however, the branded fixture has much more extraneous information you don't need. As a result, your loading time and sheet navigation speed will suffer.


Incorporating the use of BIM is a good start, but you should be careful to avoid these mistakes so that your work comes out better than you envision. Good BIM implementation makes the work easier for the team members and ensures the construction does not take much time.

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