More than just a technology, Building Information Modeling (BIM) helps architects in creating innovative building structures. It provides high-quality results with greater efficiency, short project lifecycles, and reduced costs.
Moving beyond simple Clash Detection, Our BIM Professionals will elevate your design and construction service delivery.
I often get asked about the “best way” to do BIM coordination. There isn’t a “best way” to fit everyone’s project. However, there is one thing that every BIM coordinator must have when working with multiple trades. LEVERAGE!
We can all agree that contracts are the only way to hold leverage over another party. The issue is that the contract must be clearly defined and enforced by the general contractor. This means that the BIM scope of work needs to be clearly defined, and the consequences of not fulfilling that scope of work need to be clearly outlined. This could occur in the BEP or the actual verbiage in every BIM contract. It doesn’t matter where; make sure it’s there and the GC is willing to back you up. How can this be accomplished:
- Don’t upload your models on time or miss the meeting – any clashes dealing with your trade are not discussed. If there are conflicts with your trade, other trades will be given a higher priority – Your performance card is dinged.
- Don’t clear clashes in a specific zone during a specific timeframe – don’t get paid for that zone until you complete it – Your performance card is dinged.
Internally, BIM Education is your biggest advantage over other contractors. Most of our clients must have the “BIM Guy” in the room to field the BIM questions during the Q&A of a presentation, and honestly, it is very apparent that there is no BIM culture in the company. If you have not done so already, you must integrate BIM education throughout the company, preferably by a third-party consultant who would not take away from the day-to-day operations.
BIM education would aim to educate everyone touching a project on various BIM topics. That education can come in the form of periodic emails on specific BIM topics, monthly digital lunch and learns, or even localized in-house “lessons learned” sessions where you meet for 30-45 minutes and discuss highlights and lessons learned for a project. You must educate everyone. The goal should be for each person to understand the process and be able to talk about BIM intelligently.
Establishing Value for Prospective Clients
Too often, BIM is a check box during a presentation. You have the BIM person at the presentation as eye candy; they may have a 30-second speaking role of how they do 3D modeling, clash detection, quantity takeoff, 4D scheduling, etc. That’s what everyone has in their presentation. The client has a schedule, so they don’t care about 4D. They have the estimate, so quantity takeoff is useless to them. The only thing of value during that 30-second presentation is that you will check a 3D model for issues and resolve those issues before construction, which saves time and money. Everyone says that.
So how do you move beyond clash detection as their only benefit? There are varying approaches to this, some dependent upon the time allotted to present. However, if you can integrate the BIM process into the various pieces of the presentation, the client can see just how important BIM is to YOUR workflow. Don’t just showcase the benefits during the 30-second slide.