Building Information Modeling (BIM) is elevating the level of design and coordination in our industry by creating very efficient processes and superior collaboration among architects, engineers, and contractors. Currently, there are many software programs that provide BIM designing tools that can help all disciplines coordinate their needs and objectives throughout the life of the project.
Revit is one of the software programs that can produce BIM models, which allows project teams to collaborate earlier by creating smart 3D models of the project that give architects, engineers, and contractors a real-time view of the project. This allows problems to be solved before the construction starts, which ensures a more efficient and cost-effective building process.
However, some firms are trying to adopt BIM to soak in its benefits without having the proper training of how it works. The companies that do not handle BIM properly encounter obstacles that can have an impact on the budget and end-user. There is a common misconception that the project team communicates less with BIM. BIM actually requires more communication, not only at early stages of design, but throughout all design phases. Also, unlike other 2D software, BIM as a process is front-loaded, meaning more effort is needed in the beginning to establish a BIM model that can accommodate and support the growth of data and information in the model(s) during the design phases.
Communicating and keeping project team members up-to-date, in regards to the construction of BIM model(s), throughout the project life-cycle can help solve, if not avoid, issues with BIM.
Below are a list of best practices to reap the benefits of integrating BIM into your project design:
BIM Execution Plan
Before inputting information into the BIM model, the team needs to develop a BIM execution plan. This document is usually put together by the architect with input from all the prospective consultants and contractors. It will prioritize the needs and the requirements for the project regarding design, engineering, and construction. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach; therefore, the document will be unique to each project with differing sets of requirements and expectations.
BIM Execution Kickoff Meeting
Once the BIM execution plan is completed, all BIM coordinators and project team members must schedule a kick-off meeting to discuss an approach to start building the 3D model. With BIM, it is a collaborative effort among all the members. The architects and engineers must communicate and coordinate spaces, systems and all other building components on a daily basis so they can create an accurate BIM portrayal of the building.
Continuous BIM Meetings
As the BIM model(s) progresses and the design changes from one phase to another, BIM managers and coordinators must remain in touch with each other to review and validate the constructability of the BIM model(s). Depending on the project’s size and design complexity, meetings should occur consistently, with a recommendation to meet at least once a week at the early stage of the design and then once every two weeks afterward. Regularly scheduled meetings will allow the BIM manager to examine and take necessary action to the model(s) to ensure the project team can continue designing without any issues.
Navisworks Coordination Meetings
Navisworks is one of the supporting BIM software programs that assists designers and engineers in reviewing their work to catch design flaws and clashes so they can make corrections and modifications prior to the construction phase. Depending on the project’s size and complexity, coordination meetings also should be scheduled frequently. Project team members and BIM coordinators should attend these meetings, which are ideal opportunities for members to provide input and take action on any clashes before construction occurs.