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Professional Risk Prevention (PRP) throughout the life cycle of construction projects and Health and Safety

8D BIM: what is it and what are its benefits?

What is 8D BIM and how can it be used to increase safety on construction sites, monitor and prevent the risk of accidents?

In this weekly insight we’ll be taking a look at what 8D BIM is all about.

If you work in the construction sector, you will find this topic very interesting as 8D BIM is the dimension of BIM that supports you in managing safety on construction sites and helps you prevent risks and hazards for workers already during the design stage.

8D BIm and health and safety on a construction site - CerTus HSBIM

8D BIM and the digital construction site

What is 8D BIM: definition and advantages

8D BIM is the dimension of BIM that adds safety information to the geometric model of the construction during the design and execution phases.

In practice, it is possible to model the construction site in all its parts (fencing, storage areas, scaffolding, machinery, signs, etc.) and view it in a realistic way, thanks also to advanced technologies such as virtual reality and real-time rendering.

Construction site tour with virtual reality

How to visualise the construction site with virtual reality

In order to achieve these results, a specific software is needed, that is equipped with special libraries with dedicated objects and that can simulate any type of construction site machine and equipment so as to allow you to produce the most suitable models.

The aim is to have an overall picture of the construction site already at the design stage in order to prevent possible risks and hazards for workers. By visualising the construction site in advance and in a realistic manner, it becomes easier and more effective to analyse all possible scenarios and prevent dangers and critical situations at every project stage.

The dimensions of BIM

The ‘dimensions of BIM’ refers to all aspects and information that come into play in the process of digitising a building.

When referring to the graphical representation of a building, the terms 2D (two-dimensional representation of the model through floor plans, elevation views and cross-sections) and 3D (representation of the model in space) are commonly used. 2D and 3D are ‘dimensions’ that characterise the geometry of a model.

However, there are other BIM dimensions (4D, 5D, 6D, etc.) that express other characteristics of the same model.

In fact, BIM is much more than simple geometric modelling in 3D and encompasses many other aspects (or dimensions) that serve to add useful information to the work to be carried out or managed.

In short, the dimensions of BIM are:

  • 3D – three-dimensional model of the asset
  • 4D – analysis of the time required to complete works
  • 5D – cost analysis
  • 6D – sustainability assessment
  • 7D – facility management phase.
Immagine che spiega quali sono le 10 dimensioni del BIM

Le 10 dimensioni del BIM

8D, 9D and 10D BIM

Oltre alle 7 dimensioni normate, ad oggi esiste un dibattito ancora aperto sulle “3 nuove dimensioni del BIM”:

  • 8D – safety during design and construction
  • 9D – lean construction
  • 10D – industrialisation of construction.

In this article we will focus on 8D BIM, the dimension for health and safety.

To know more about the other dimensions of BIM, have a look at the following articles:

8D BIM and site safety

The construction sector has the highest number of serious accidents on a workplace.

Thanks to BIM, it is possible to verify site conditions more accurately, identify hazards in advance, plan work phases, manage communication and training of workers, critical issues and interference between different works.

Therefore, BIM can become a valuable support to effectively manage construction site safety. Let’s find out how.

BIM 8D allows the creation of a digital construction site, that is a 3D model of the construction site complete with all the objects and equipment that will actually be used during the operational phase.

The result is a realistic model that perfectly reproduces the real construction site, complete with machinery, provisional works, workers in motion, etc. This allows you to verify the overall dimensions and simulate emergency situations in order to assess the correctness of the design choices and, if necessary, to intervene to modify them.

In fact, thanks to the functionalities of BIM, it is possible to focus on the analysis of each identified risk and to review the work flows in advance so that each worker can prepare for each type of activity and avoid possible dangers: by examining the work time schedules already during project phase, it is easier to integrate all the aspects concerning the project implementation.

In addition, BIM, that is the collaborative method par excellence, also facilitates sharing of any project element, including safety planning on site, so as to avoid unexpected risk situations during the execution phase.

Finally, thanks to BIM it is possible to:

  • represent the construction site in a realistic way complete with all the activities to be carried out and the surrounding context situations (urban context, the orography of the area, the critical points of the area, etc.)
  • have a complete picture of the site scenarios
  • prepare detailed and up-to-date safety plans
  • plan the timing and organisation of each activity
  • identify and accurately analyse the most appropriate safety design choices
  • prevent risks by intervening on the design choices that may generate possible dangers
  • visualise the digital construction site in 3D
  • train workers even in virtual reality
  • reduce the risk of accidents.

8D BIM software

In order to model the digital construction site and add safety information to the BIM model, a specific software should be used.

In particular, software for 8D BIM modelling should allow you to:

  • model the construction site in 3D (equipment, BIM model of the building, etc.)
  • have a large library of BIM objects to be added to the model to obtain a realistic representation
  • simulate in 4D the evolution of the construction site over time and in the different work phases and highlight any interferences and overlaps
  • dynamically integrate the BIM model with Safety Plans in a single BIM environment
  • visualise the construction site model in a realistic way with Real-Time Rendering and virtual reality to experience possible risk scenarios at first hand and to facilitate training for workers
  • share the construction site model in the Cloud to interact with all the professionals involved
  • import and export the model in IFC format.

If you’re looking for a solution that allows you to obtain all of the above, find out more about  CerTus-HSBIM, the software for 8D BIM modelling.

8D BIM modelling tools for accident prevention through design

The accident rate in the construction sector is about twice as high as in other sectors. Studies and analyses have confirmed that many safety risks are already generated at the design stage. It can therefore be argued that one of the most effective means of dealing with a hazard is to eliminate it at source, i.e. prevention through design. Until now the tools to effectively manage the links between design and site safety were not available, but now thanks to BIM and appropriate software tools it is possible to control safety in the workplace right from the preliminary stage.

With CerTus-HSBIM you can design the worksite and include information about its evolution in time and space: model the worksite, optimise times, prepare safety plans, automatically obtain worksite layouts, organise training courses for workers, all in a single environment.