Investigating benefits and criticisms of bim for construction scheduling in SMEs: An Italian case study
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Scheduling is one of the driving factors in the success of a construction project and it is a critical step for all team members as it provides guidance to where and when they should perform work. Despite its important role, scheduling is typically based on approximate time schedules, which often lead to delays and extra costs. This is due to the lack of visualizing the real effort before the construction phase starts, as well as the difficulty in managing a large number of uncertain factors using traditional approaches. According to many studies, building information modeling aims at improving the quality of construction scheduling by enabling virtual simulations and by promoting digital working space. In this context, following questions arise: How does BIM support the digitalization of the scheduling process? Which are the benefits and criticisms of applying BIM for construction scheduling in a SME environment? This paper aims at evaluating the role of BIM in the digitalization of the construction scheduling process and its suitability for SMEs companies through a real case study. The paper starts with a state of the art on relevant applications of BIM for construction scheduling. Afterwards, the paper suggests a framework for combining construction scheduling and BIM, considering a case study used to verify the feasibility of the integrated method. Finally, findings from the implementation of the proposed framework are summarized, particularly examining the role of BIM in digitalizing the construction scheduling process, as well as the benefits and criticisms of its applicability to SMEs.