Off-Site BIM Solutions

Off-Site BIM Solutions

Off-Site Engineering Solutions are specialists in the production of 3D drawings and fully compliant BIM models for the entire range of prefabricated and off-site manufactured building sub-assemblies. Our normal focus is on the scope areas of the project that are suitable for off- site construction. We transform the Client’s traditional 2D drawings, into a detailed modular 3D design and the model we produce for the prefabricated scope area is then fully integrated into the Client’s overall BIM model.

Module manufacturing sheets and workshop production drawings are extracted from the 3D BIM model produced for the modular scope area. These drawings are used to facilitate the efficient manufacture of modules by our client’s in-house workshop team or by third party modular manufacturers.

Our team is most effective when engaged early in the project so as to incorporate design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) into the original design. Off-Site Engineering Solutions BIM Department works in line with PAS1192 – the framework on which BIM is built – to ensure we meet a client’s requirements and identify all potential pitfalls.  Resolutions are anticipated and implemented prior to construction commencing, whilst providing clients with coordinated 3D designs, visualizations and spatial layouts.

The impact of BIM

BIM facilitates the construction industry supply chain in the use of offsite prefabrication. Although initial costs between modular and traditional construction indicate a 5-7% advantage in favour of off-site, it is the whole-life cost and efficiencies that weigh in favour of offsite – the speed of build and reduced time onsite deliver tangible benefits for modular over traditional build. In this region, the reduction in foreign labour of 40-60% is another compelling reason for prefabrication. Whatever type of prefabrication system, Bathroom PODS, Room Modules, MEP Prefabrication or 3D Printed Buildings….. it all starts with BIM.

Offsite manufacturing and BIM both serve as valuable solutions in terms of improving performance of the construction industry. Anecdotal evidence demonstrates that offsite construction brings faster delivery, better quality and safer working sites, and a 2016 report from KPMG strengthens this evidence, as it found offsite construction to be six months quicker than traditional construction, with financial net savings, on one such project, of £36 million.

The future of 4D & 5D construction

4D/5D BIM modelling – the alignment of individual 3D models with time and cost related information– is already helping support pre-construction planning and building. It’s playing an integral role in many projects, helping to bring together both design and construction teams before any onsite works commence. By using 4D planning tools, not only will it surpass 3D BIM models, it will allow these models to be controlled and manipulated, showing the building as it will appear during the construction phase and throughout its design life.

Industrialized Construction and Lean Thinking

Buildings and infrastructure projects are generally bespoke and designed for the needs of end-users and local communities. The individual nature of projects has historically prevented harnessing the benefits of standardisation, mass production and offsite manufacture. DfMA changes this mind-set at the design stage. Through standardised solutions, including technologies and processes already used successfully in other industries, it is possible to deliver many benefits:

  • Faster onsite installation and more controlled onsite processes
  • Improved programme certainty and reduced commercial risk
  • Improved design lead time
  • Reduced workforce onsite, reducing risk and improving safety
  • Reduced quality defects and associated waste
  • Reduced quality defects and associated waste
  • Reduced operational and embodied carbon
  • Economies of scale through optimised transport solutions and standardised products

By harnessing new digital design technologies and aligning them with offsite manufacturing facilities and onsite processes, a new, profoundly different design process can be developed.