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Whenever we are discussing with a client the next BIM project, the same questions usually come up: “how much does the BIM cost?” Or “what are your hourly rates?” Or the famous “how much by square feet?” I assume, the same may also happen within in-house BIM teams, for an A/E firm or a Contractor to budget the BIM component of a job to be performed internally.
Let’s see the different ways we can approach this topic…
As we may know, defining a price for BIM services is not like a simple equation where all members are known, as in 2+2=4. First of all, each project has its own scale and complexity. However, there is a big variety of scopes and tasks that we, as consultants, can perform within the project, as well as -luckily- be in charge of a whole one.
Within design and construction phases, we can mention several scopes of work like BIM Modeling and trade coordination, Shop Drawings, Spooling, Scanning and Scan to BIM, Structural modeling and Detailing for Fabrication, BIM Management, As-Builts, among many others.
Although some organizations have their own metrics based on their expertise, there is no universal method to define or estimate all previous scopes. Nevertheless, there are some ways to address this subject, at least to give a rough order of magnitude. For instance using square feet metrics, % of construction costs, linear feet of piping, splitting the quote by level, by deliverable, by phase, by trade, and so on…
Many a time, if the project is at bidding stage, it is pretty common to only have a single project sketch for reference. To make things worse, sometimes there is not much time and we have to send rough numbers by risking potential profits, or losing money, or even outpricing ourselves, when pricing a rush request.
That being said, it is important to discover, describe and bring on the table as many attributes as possible in order to evaluate how they will be impacting in our numbers and this is what we will call: It’s not the same.
It’s not the same
Long story short, these points are the main aspects that may impact our project’s budget, but each project and client can take us to include several additional variables. If we are lucky and we have all the project documentation, it is essential to take the necessary time to fully understand the project in order to suggest the best strategy and approach. It will make the client save money, not to mention increasing his trust in us.
A deep understanding of the project, along with knowledge of BIM processes, and Construction practices will give us the ability to recommend to our clients some new possibilities and visualize new opportunities by leveraging their BIM models, and so when you unleash the possibilities, the actual price of BIM becomes irrelevant!.
Mariana Jimenez – BIM Project Manager – ENGworks
Call us: (949) 340-6924