Construction data offer a complete overview of AEC projects. Learn how to improve the efficiency of your construction processes
In the digital era we live in, the use of data has become a fundamental element for progress in many sectors. The construction industry is no exception.
In this article, we will explore the concept of construction data and understand why an increasing number of professionals and companies in this industry rely on data to manage construction projects and make strategic decisions.
What are construction data?
Construction data are digital information collected and organized during the lifecycle of a construction project. These data include details and specific information about various project components, such as geometries, materials, construction timelines and costs, structural performances, and much more.
Using this data effectively enables informed decision-making, monitoring project progress, enhancing communication and collaboration among stakeholders, and optimizing the overall efficiency of the construction sector.
Without question the introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has played a crucial role in enriching construction data. This process relies on the use of advanced BIM software that allows the creation of three-dimensional digital models, enabling the integration and visualization of construction data in a collaborative environment. This allows involved parties (including clients, designers, and builders) to work together and share information in real-time.
Through BIM, construction data have become more structured, accessible, and easily updatable, transforming into a resource of fundamental importance for optimizing building design, construction, and management.
What do construction data include?
Construction data encompass a diverse set of information concerning the construction project in all its phases, from planning to operation, and through management and maintenance stages.
Here are some examples illustrating in more detail what construction data may contain:
- Geometries and models: Data can include three-dimensional models representing the physical aspect of the building, including shapes, dimensions, and spatial relationships between different components;
- Drawings and documents: These data include construction details and technical drawings showing the arrangement of interior spaces, walls, building systems, structural components, and other building features;
- Technical specifications: Construction data may contain detailed information about the specifications of materials used, including product codes, physical and chemical properties, installation techniques, and so on;
- Material information: Data related to materials used in construction, including costs, quantities, technical characteristics, suppliers, and information about their source;
- Costs and budget: Construction data includes information about the project budget, such as estimated and actual costs of different construction phases, material costs, equipment, labor, and more;
- Construction timeline: These data track different milestones and expected versus actual timelines for each project phase, aiming to enable effective monitoring and management of delivery times;
- Construction site safety: Construction data contains information and documents regarding safety measures adopted on-site, such as safety plans, emergency procedures, personnel training data, and other safety management-related information during the construction phase;
- Quality tests and controls: Construction data may include reports and documents related to quality controls, material tests, structural verifications, and other necessary control activities to ensure project compliance with current standards and regulations;
- Performance analysis: Construction data also includes information about the building’s performance, such as energy efficiency, thermal comfort, acoustics, and other parameters influencing the quality and sustainability of the structure;
- Personnel information: This data pertains to information about personnel involved in the project, such as architects, engineers, contractors, suppliers, and other professionals, aiming to describe roles, skills, and relationships among these parties;
- Management and maintenance: Construction data can be used to manage the long-term maintenance of the building and may include plans for preventive maintenance, operating instructions, repair intervention data, etc.
Utilizing Construction Data for Informed Decision-Making
Simply collecting the outlined data is not enough to ensure an effective improvement in construction processes. To fully leverage the rich informational potential inherent in this data, a methodological approach that allows for extracting strategic information from the stored data throughout all stages of a construction project is necessary.
Analyzing construction data not only helps understanding the complexity of construction data but also provides the groundwork for making more informed decisions that positively impact project efficiency, safety, and overall quality.
Business Intelligence analysis, especially when integrated with the CDE (Common Data Environment, the data-sharing space used in construction and BIM), revolutionizes project management.
Creating dynamic dashboards and advanced analytical tools allows for making informed, data-driven decisions. Generating dynamic reports and interactive charts utilizing all CDE information provides a clear, immediate view for quick and effective decisions with BIM business intelligence software, benefiting from cloud data management and accessing analyses from any device at any time.
Integrating data analysis with cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning allows for identifying patterns and trends, optimizing operations in real-time. This results in risk reduction, more efficient resource management, and greater adaptability to challenges that may arise during project execution.
Data analysis is also used to identify areas of inefficiency and enable corrective strategies. Identifying equipment downtime or suboptimal operational procedures allows for targeted changes to improve efficiency and reduce costs. It also assists in evaluating the performance of suppliers and subcontractors, ensuring a more accurate selection of reliable, quality partners.
An additional benefit lies in the ability to predict future trends. Through historical data analysis and applying forecasting models, construction companies can identify potential cost variations, construction timelines, and future project requirements. These forecasts enable construction professionals and companies to make more informed decisions, adapt to market dynamics, and better manage risks.
To ensure maximum simplicity and efficiency in collecting, analyzing, and using construction data, we recommend using a BIM data management platform. Start organizing all your construction data in a single centralized platform, accessible anywhere, anytime, from any device, and integrate all data into even large-scale BIM models!