BIM can be used for generation of accurate and reliable quantity take-offs and cost estimates throughout the lifecycle of the project.
While tasks related to the designing and planning of a building are focused on by the Architect, tasks such as quantity and cost estimation are generally sidelined and left to the estimator. However, using simply hand-drawn designs or even 2D CAD for that matter may not generate the best possible results. Models obtained through BIM eliminate the potential inaccuracies and human errors, as well as make sure that the information is always consistent with the design.
Quantity estimation through BIM helps the different stakeholders to see the cost implications of the changes they are proposing, at all the phases of construction process, thus keeping budget overruns due to project modifications under check.
The time saved in estimation is instead put to use to focus on higher value project-specific factors – identifying construction assemblies, generating pricing, factoring risks and so on – which are essential for high quality estimates.