Structural BIM Modeling: Select The Right BIM Services To Avoid Cost Overruns

BIM (Building Information Modeling) has brought a tremendous change in the construction sector, allowing the AEC fraternity to perform revisions in the building designs effortlessly and avoid possibilities of errors during the construction phase. 

Structural BIM, being one part of the BIM umbrella, is meant to provide 3D object view of an actual building structure. It represents the building construction using 3D to 5D objects of the actual structure in the real world. 

BIM for structure helps in expanding the design decision matrix and improve the collaboration between other stakeholders involved in the construction process. Apart from that, it also assists in improving the overall quality of the building structure. Projects with design as well as building insights can be developed together through the use of Structural BIM. 

However, simply looking at the benefits of structural BIM will not help. You also need to understand about the types of services that structural BIM service providers deliver, and then select the ones that suit your specific requirements. This is essential to avoid cost overruns and also ensures that BIM actually works in your favor rather than leaving you clueless in the middle of the project. 

Let’s look at each of these services briefly,

Structural Design & Drafting (3D BIM): 

These services primarily include developing 2D drafting and 3D structural models for conceptualization. It also includes developing detailed structural design with BIM tools like Revit and Tekla to improve collaboration. Many companies also provide structure design validation through detailed analysis. 

Structural Steel Detailing Services: 

This type of service includes structural design development for steel and concrete elements, calculation and design for reinforcements, assembly drawings development for precast walls, columns, beams and walls. Steel detailing service also involves BIM co-ordination and clash detection between architecture and MEP designs. 

Construction Documentation and Drawings: 

While this service do not necessarily involve the use of BIM tools directly, on the other hand it is equally important for a steel fabricator or a structural engineer to take informed decisions on site. It primarily covers development of detailed 2D drawings with floor plans, elevators and sections along with creating steel shop drawings with Bill of Material - BOM. This service also includes development of architectural specification with necessary schedules. 


With 4D BIM services, construction companies can integrate their construction scheduling and sequencing information to their existing 3D BIM models. It helps construction project stakeholders to foresee conflicts and optimize the processes to gain control on the project outcome. 

5D BIM: 

The use of 5D BIM is primarily meant to integrate cost estimation information with their BIM models. This integration helps stakeholders to extract BOQs (Bill of Quantities) at any stage of the construction process and take informed decisions quickly. 

Those working in the construction field may it be structural design firms, architects or contractors; know the benefits of structural BIM as well as the services provided by Structural BIM services providers. Thus, each service has its own purpose, and as a steel fabricator or as a construction firm, it is important that you choose the right one out of it, to ensure that your objective of implementing BIM remains profitable.