The main objectives of BIM are as follows:
- To offer support to investment decisions by comparing functionality, scope and project costs.
- To offer environmental criteria, allowing for comparative analysis on energy and environmental data, to select design solutions and objectives with which to monitor the operation of the building and its services to users.
- To display and share design and feasibility studies for construction.
- To offer improved quality assurance and data exchange to the process for more effective and efficient design.
- To make effective use of the data of the building project during construction, operations and maintenance.
In order to create a successful model, project priorities and objectives must be set. These requirements should be defined and documented in accordance with the general rules established by the Protocol Guidelines, which will be further addressed in the South African BIM Protocol published through the South African BIM Institute.
Most construction companies are not well aware of the benefits of using building information modelling, or BIM, to identify problems before they happen and facilitate more complete building systems integration. However, gaps in the BIM process often prevent projects from achieving their full potential and all too often design team fail to include contractors into the process or refrain from sharing the rich digital models. All too often they are converted to 2D paper drawings for use on site, where Quantity Surveyors and Planners are left with guesswork and manual layout processes can cause errors that might not become evident until later in the construction process. Additionally, on renovation or retrofit projects, the models themselves might contain errors since many models are developed from outdated and inaccurate as-built paper drawings. These inaccuracies lead to problems in the field during construction, which drive up project costs, increase risks and even derail entire projects.