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How Builders, Investors, and Developers are Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) Software to Make Smarter Choices

BIM models help reduce risk, cut inefficiencies, and streamline the development, design, and construction process

For most construction companies and architectural firms, 3D building modeling is now the norm. And each year, more and more companies are taking advantage of the range of benefits from employing Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.

BIM software allows all stakeholders to get a more integrated and in-depth look into a building, so that they can foresee and correct potential errors and problems before they occur, easily and quickly make changes to designs, and more easily share designs and information between multiple parties simultaneously.

BIM software integrates a variety of data sources into a single model

Today, the data available about construction sites goes far beyond traditional land surveys. Tons of digital data, including satellite, aerial, and drone imagery and video, digital elevation information and LIDAR topographic surveys, laser building scans, and many other types of information are now compiled and analyzed at the beginning of the building design and construction process.

Considering that all of this diverse information exists and is being used, it makes sense that it should be seamlessly incorporated into a building model – something that’s impossible with traditional 2D drafting. This data helps designers, construction managers, contractors, and clients better understand the environment and land they’re building on, so they can make better informed choices at every stage of the development process.

BIM models can help attract buyers or investors to large real estate development projects

2D drafts and models are great, but there’s just something about 3D models that can make viewers feel like a building is truly coming alive. That makes BIM an amazingly effective tool when trying to attract early-stage investors to a real estate development project. In addition to helping potential investors visualize a construction or renovation project, a comprehensive 3D model created with BIM software demonstrates that the developers have a detailed design plan that can likely soon begin construction when funding is fully acquired. This also allows potential investors with a design, construction, or engineering background to investigate any potential problems, issues, or concerns with a building’s design in an entirely new way.

In addition to attracting early-stage investors, a great 3D model can help attract potential early-stage buyers or tenants, especially for large multi-unit residential real estate projects. A flat, 2D image may not be enough for a potential buyer to part with tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars for a down payment or early stage list reservation fee. A 3D model, especially one that has been colorized and accurately detailed, can help bridge the gap between drawings and a physical model, and in many cases, can be more realistic than a physical model – especially once a 3D video or interactive 3D tour has been created.

BIM modeling can improve collaboration, facilitate conflict resolution, and potentially improve a building’s energy performance

Throughout the development and construction process, there are a variety of stakeholders present in the process, all of whom need up-to-date information about the progress of the project and any updates to its design. BIM modeling has the benefit of being incredibly easy to update, as well as allowing the ability to to track and reverse those changes if necessary. Additionally, BIM models, especially when combined with cloud-based software and storage solutions, can be accessible anywhere in the world. So whether you’re working with a glass installation company in Miami or a bank in Bangkok, interested parties can be given access to detailed 3D models with just a few clicks.

BIM models also have the benefit of being an excellent conflict resolution tool, and can often help sidestep conflicts in the first place. In construction, a lack of quality communication is the underlying issue that leads to many misunderstandings, conflicts, and similar issues that can significantly undermine a project. And of course, conflicting and/or outdated plans can greatly exacerbate any miscommunications that occur. BIM provides a single 3D model that everyone can view at the same time and edit if needed, helping various stakeholders get on the same page about doing what’s best for the project.

BIM software has yet another benefit: It has the ability to run simulations that can estimate a building’s energy efficiency by calculating factors such as the amount of sunlight that will reach different sides of a structure during different times of the year. This information can be incredibly valuable to designers and developers, who can then make subtle changes that can greatly increase the energy efficiency of the project based on simulation data.

To learn more about BIM software and other solutions that can make the commercial real estate construction, development, and investment process faster and more efficient, contact Morris Southeast Group today. To set up an appointment for a free consultation, contact our team today at 954.474.1776, or you can reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400 or at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.

South Florida Is Working – and Commercial Real Estate is Paying Attention

A look at job growth in the area and its impact on the real estate market

There’s a lot to be happy about as the New Year begins, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, the primary economic development organization in Broward County. At the end of 2016, job growth was up in the Ft. Lauderdale – Pompano Beach – Deerfield metro area. In fact, the region’s jobless rate was 0.2% lower than the state rate, which stands at 4.8%.

The news is certainly good and welcome. And its impact on commercial real estate, along with other trends, merits closer examination.

A look at the numbers

At 4.6% in November 2016, the unemployment rate in Broward County saw an overall real percentage point decrease of 0.2% from the previous year. The area also gained a significant number of nonagricultural jobs:

  • Non-agricultural jobs increased by more than 30,000 jobs, a nearly 4% increase.
  • The region led the state in the trade, transportation, utilities, manufacturing, and information sectors.
  • The region had the second highest annual job growth rate in the professional and business services, education and health services, and government jobs.

More money in the pocket

With more money being earned, more consumers have money to spend on things like mortgages and rent. That’s good news for the residential market.

Also predicted to reap these rewards is the industrial market. With the growth of e-commerce and guarantees of next-day shipping, there is a greater need for warehouse facilities to house goods.

According to a recent article in the Miami Herald, “trends in the industrial sector – comprising warehouse and logistics space – are a far better barometer of our local economy’s well-being.”

South Florida tenants have leased almost 19 million square feet of warehouse space over the past three years. More than 4 million more square feet is expected to come on line in the coming year, a sign of consumer activity, stability, and population growth.

And now for this commercial message

While all of this news seems encouraging – and it is – for those with a vested interest in commercial real estate, the growth is tempered with an asterisk.

Yes, greater job growth means companies are either growing or more smaller businesses are getting off the ground. Some might assume that would indicate a similarly growing need for more and/or larger office space and higher rents. But several outside forces may affect the commercial market, including:

  • Open floor designs mean a smaller footprint for office space.
  • Telecommuting also indicates offices do not need as much space to accommodate a large staff of employees who arrive on a daily basis.

According to Marc Miller, JLL Florida Research Manager, “A tightening and more expensive marketplace may slow growth for Class A office space, which in turn will benefit the Class B/A segment. Given the uncertainty surrounding monetary/fiscal policy from Washington, continued turmoil in closely-tied Latin American markets, and general economic sentiment that expansion is coming to an end, 2017 could likely be the last year of modest strengthening in the office market.”

A balanced view

This doesn’t mean there will be a complete shutdown of commercial development, especially in the South Florida region, and specifically because of this year’s job growth. In fact, 500,000 square feet of new office space in downtown Fort Lauderdale is currently planned.

Negotiating the coming year in commercial real estate will require knowledge, skill, and well-informed decisions. Morris Southeast Group, a South Florida leader in commercial real estate, can help you at every step of the way.

To set up an appointment for a free consultation, contact our team today at 954.474.1776, or you can reach Ken Morris on his cell at 954.240.4400 or at kenmorris@morrissegroup.com.


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