Precision Matters: How BIM Reduces Waste and Saves Costs

The BIM Engineers
27 July 2023

In our previous blog post, we discussed in detail the introduction of BIM in cost management. In this blog post, we elaborate on the effect of precision in BIM combined with cost management. BIM is a powerful tool that enhances the precision, efficiency, and sustainability of construction projects, substantiating our motto at The BIM Engineers - 'Leading in the World of BIM'. The essence of BIM lies not merely in creating 3D digital models of buildings, but in the meticulous detailing that these models encompass, ultimately culminating in a level of precision that has far-reaching implications. It's not an exaggeration to say that in BIM, precision indeed matters. But how does this precision reduce waste and save costs? Let's delve deeper.

The Intersection of Precision and BIM

When we talk about precision in the context of BIM, we're discussing the level of detail and accuracy captured in our 3D models. This precision dictates how well the digital models will correspond to the eventual physical structures. The more precise the model, the more likely it is that the real-world construction project will adhere to the intended design, schedule, and budget.

A Case for Precision: Eliminating Errors Early On

A vital aspect of precision in BIM is the early detection and rectification of design and construction errors. In traditional construction methods, such errors often went unnoticed until the construction phase, leading to costly rework. However, with precise BIM models, potential errors are identified in the design stage itself, leading to considerable savings in both time and money. A research study by McGraw Hill Construction reported that 75% of companies that implemented BIM reported positive returns on their investment, largely owing to error reduction1.

How Precision in BIM Reduces Waste

Beyond financial savings, precision in BIM has significant environmental implications as well. The construction industry is one of the leading producers of waste globally. However, BIM, with its emphasis on precision, can help reduce this waste.

In traditional construction, a significant amount of waste comes from ordering surplus materials to compensate for errors or changes in design. However, with BIM's precise calculations and 3D visualizations, project managers can order exact quantities, thereby reducing surplus orders and the waste they lead to.

A Case Study: The Impact of Precision BIM on Waste Reduction

Consider the construction of The Shard in London, Europe's tallest skyscraper. During its construction, BIM was employed to ensure a high degree of precision, which resulted in minimizing waste generation significantly. The accurate and detailed BIM models enabled the project team to order just the right amount of materials, which substantially reduced surplus and waste2.

The case of The Shard aptly illustrates the power of precision in BIM and its potential to contribute to more sustainable construction practices globally.

How Precision in BIM Saves Costs

In the world of construction, small miscalculations can lead to substantial financial overruns. BIM, with its emphasis on precision, brings a paradigm shift in cost management. By creating detailed and accurate models, BIM allows stakeholders to visualize the project fully, plan more effectively, and make decisions with higher confidence.

One of the main areas where BIM contributes to cost savings is through clash detection. By identifying conflicting elements within a design, such as intersecting structural elements or building services, before construction begins, BIM eliminates costly delays and rework.

Additionally, BIM facilitates more accurate quantity take-offs, leading to better budgeting and less waste. A BIM model can accurately calculate the materials required for a project, which drastically reduces the chance of over-ordering or underestimating materials. This not only reduces waste but also brings down the overall project costs.

A Case Study: BIM's Role in Cost Saving for a Major Construction Project

Let us consider the case of the Beijing National Stadium, famously known as the "Bird's Nest". The project involved intricate design and complex steel structures that would have been near-impossible to estimate accurately using traditional methods. However, with BIM's detailed 3D modeling and accurate quantity take-offs, the project was completed within budget and became an iconic symbol of modern architecture3.

The Future of Precision in BIM

BIM's precision has already demonstrated its tremendous value in reducing waste and saving costs. But what does the future hold?

Emerging trends point towards integrating BIM with other innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and machine learning. These integrations are expected to bring about further improvements in precision. Furthermore, we can anticipate better regulatory acceptance, more comprehensive software capabilities, and a surge in BIM usage on a global scale4.

In the future, BIM won't just be a tool for design and construction. It will evolve into a comprehensive solution to manage buildings throughout their lifecycle, thus extending the benefits of precision beyond the construction phase and into operation and maintenance, resulting in further cost savings and efficiency improvements.


To put it succinctly, precision in BIM matters. It has a profound impact on reducing waste and saving costs in the construction industry. As we continue to lead in the world of BIM, we eagerly anticipate the advancements that will further cement BIM's position as an indispensable tool for construction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How does BIM increase precision in construction projects?
    BIM increases precision by creating detailed and accurate 3D models of the project before construction begins. It allows for clash detection, accurate quantity take-offs, and visualization of the final project, thereby reducing errors and rework.

  2. Can BIM really help in reducing construction waste?
    Yes, BIM can significantly reduce construction waste. The detailed models and accurate quantity estimates prevent over-ordering of materials, thereby reducing waste.

  3. What kind of cost savings can be expected from using BIM?
    The cost savings from using BIM can be substantial, particularly for large projects. Savings come from reduced rework, waste reduction, and better project planning and execution.

  4. What is the role of a BIM manager in ensuring precision?
    A BIM Manager is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the BIM process, ensuring the precision of the models, and facilitating communication among all project stakeholders.

  5. How is the future of construction industry shaping up with the advancement in BIM technology?
    With advancements in BIM technology, the construction industry is moving towards greater efficiency, cost savings, and sustainability. The integration of BIM with other technologies like AI, AR, and machine learning will further enhance precision and project outcomes.


  1. McGraw Hill Construction. (2012). The Business Value of BIM for Infrastructure.

  2. Leite, F., Akcamete, A., Akinci, B., Atasoy, G., & Kiziltas, S. (2011). Analysis of modeling effort and impact of different levels of detail in building information models. Automation in Construction, 20(5), 601-609.

  3. Autodesk. (2008). Beijing National Stadium.

  4. Sabol, L. (2019). Future trends in BIM. AECbytes.