A Building Information Modeling (BIM)-Integrated System for Evaluating the Impact of Change Orders
Change orders are inevitable in most construction projects. The conventional change order practice is usually associated with 2D drawings and various paper-based documents, which cannot illustrate the existing and altered building conditions efficiently. This often leads to misinterpretation and miscommunication among project participants. In addition, cost and schedule information, which is basic inputs for analyzing the impact of change orders, is usually scattered and poorly organized resulting in difficulties in retrieving it. The evaluation of cost and schedule impacts is often subjective and unsystematic contributing to construction disputes. Building information modeling (BIM) is widely used in modern construction projects. BIM is a promising construction information management tool, which can address the aforementioned challenges. In this paper, we develop the BIM-Integrated System for Evaluating the Impacts of Construction Change Orders (BIM-ISICO), which can systematically analyze three main impacts of a change order: physical conditions, schedule, and cost. The BIM-ISICO assists users in observing and visualizing the effect of a change order on building conditions systematically via 3D BIM models. The system can also evaluate the impacts of such change order on project cost and schedule. It establishes a new paradigm of delay and cost analysis by minimizing subjectivity and providing the auditing trails of change orders. To demonstrate its efficacy and practicality, the system is applied to an actual 18-story building project for analyzing the impact of a construction change order. The system can successfully assess and report all three aspects of change order impacts. These results can mitigate the conflicts between the project owner and the contractor about the construction claims resulting from change orders.