Don’t feel like you’re being left in the dust. Many firms are just starting to get their feet wet with BIM.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) will eventually be mainstream. It can increase project speed, reduce costs (especially during Construction Administration), allows for tighter contractor pricing, and helps with future building maintenance and repairs.
But don’t feel like you’re being left in the dust. Many firms are just starting to get their feet wet with BIM. Here are a few things you need to know:
- Everyone on a BIM project has to commit to drawing/
documenting in 3D. Just because 3D can be hard – and you’ve got to plan for some training and ramp-up time – no one should be allowed to draw in 2D.
- The PM and lead architect/engineer should know the model like the back of their hand so that they can communicate information about it to the contractor quickly and accurately so that things can be corrected or figured out in the field.
- If possible, hire a Construction Manager early in the process. In many cases, they’re more familiar with BIM than designers are, and can help you through the process.
- The standard SD, DD, and CD design phases may no longer apply, with a BIM process being more of a continued refinement of the 3D model. Decisions are made earlier than usual with BIM, and the costs to change them can be significant.
- The PM and client must agree on and clarify to the team (including subcontractors) how detailed the 3D model needs to be. You may not need to show every fastener.
- BIM isn’t bulletproof. Though a good 3D model is highly detailed, with most conflicts worked out, don’t expect perfection.
- Your IT personnel, or those most familiar with the computer systems, should plan for continued and frequent involvement. There will be periodic software upgrades and coordination issues with subcontractors.
- Your subcontractors have to work on the model at the same pace. If one of them is pushing ahead with fine details while your structural engineer is still adjusting the column grid, there are going to be conflicts.