BIM for Healthcare

If the suitability of BIM across various industries is assessed, it seems that the healthcare sector stands to gain the most from using better building technologies. The reason lies in the exhaustive list of operational and conceptual ingredients that are involved in the setting-up and functioning of a healthcare facility. Other businesses too have complex building designs but none of them present challenges as demanding that are found among healthcare institutions. Designing-related issues such as the amount of natural light entering the interior space or compromised temperature regulation become critical when the occupants of the facility are patients battling with health disorders. Every hospital, medical research center and private clinic presents a plethora of designing issues that are hard to solve using conventional designing methodologies. The sheer volume of structural elements involved in establishing or upgrading a facility is unrivaled among buildings catering to healthcare needs. The need for every building component performing to its efficient best rises significantly among healthcare establishments, since providing medical care often means directly influencing an individual’s chances of survival.

Understanding BIM Suitability for Healthcare Facilities — using BIM solutions in an integrated manner, i.e. providing comprehensive solutions for building designing, maintenance and operationability, can streamline constructional and operational costs along with improving employee performance. It is worth highlighting that the healthcare sector is prone to periodic changes in treatment technologies and often upgrades itself to using new equipments. This creates a challenge in ensuring that the building’s design does not provide a hurdle for the implementation of technical improvements. The compatibility of a building’s various structural constituents with new methodologies or the cost for making them more adaptable can be best monitored through BIM software applications. A BIM methodology called Parametric Modeling has proven its effectiveness in simplifying renovations that need to be carried out in an existing medical facility/campus. Using BIM has resulted in a drastic decrease in interferences that are inherent to M/E and structural systems. Reduction of the constructional schedule means direct costs savings whereas better management of building components means reduction in daily operational costs. Nearly every suggested change or planned renovation in a hospital can be analyzed better through BIM softwares. These applications are adept at providing multiple views demonstrating various possible configurations for any issue, making decision-making easier and more transparent.

Collaborative BIM Solutions — building management requirements in a healthcare facility are beyond conventional approximations. Hospitals incur heavy expenses due to disparities across patient/staff movement, M/E/P activities and material distribution. This is where the unique functionality of BIM comes to the fore — although it primarily caters towards providing constructional/design-based solutions, as a software application it can be used as a building management tool. Hospitals have many barriers that discourage sharing of information across various disciplines. By involving a medical facility’s staff and hospital administrators, the BIM modeling process becomes more comprehensive. BIM’s collaborative platform is remarkably effective in resolving issues that can directly affect a building’s performance, as possible inconsistencies can be easily pointed-out. This is how BIM has transformed itself into an affordable and effective, conflict resolution resource.

How does BIM become so effective?
The answer is simple — BIM acts as a single-information resource for the entire facility and supports every personnel who can access BIM applications. This integration of information is made possible through involving 3-D models of the existing facility along with uploading hoards of related data that can be accessed for solving problems or for conceptualizing a building upgrade. To make the entire definition simple, BIM can be understood as virtual construction, designing and management of a building through digitalized applications. A standard BIM database would include:
• Detailed Drawings, including 3C Diagrammatic Presentations
• Spreadsheets & Models explaining cost considerations
• Textual Description & Visualizations of each structural component
• Building Maintenance & Safety Schedules
• Information Updates for every department
• Regular updates from the Management
• Compatibility issues for every proposed alteration in the building design, i.e. cost, functional or policy considerations

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