The Autodesk BIM 360 group recently published an article on cloud-connected BIM coordination, “3 Ways You Can Use Construction Software to Improve Your BIM Coordination Process.” The article states, “Coordinating designers and trades is consistently identified as the highest value BIM (building information modeling) workflow among general contractors, subcontractors and fabricators.” The article identifies 3 important components for productive BIM coordination:
Although it has historically seemed shrewd to keep project coordination under the authority of one person, it doesn’t result in the most productive workflow. On today’s complicated jobs, it’s essentially impossible for one person to juggle all of the moving parts efficiently. On jobs where power was held tightly by the BIM manager, that person typically gathered information from the project teams, combined it and checked for clashes. Issues were assigned to someone to fix or clarify, and new documents were issued. Unfortunately, this process is not only vulnerable to human error, it limits the number of issues that can be reviewed and resolved before construction begins.
On the other hand, if the multiple-discipline models for the project are published to a single cloud-based repository – like BIM 360 – and are accessible to multiple stakeholders (democratization), the scope of the clash detection process can broaden, and teams have instant access to model changes and updates. BIM 360 clash detection runs automatically, so stakeholders can take the initiative to identify and resolve clashes on their own – particularly the costly ones – before construction begins.
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As models are published, apparent clashes are detected and listed by model, object, system name/type. Sometimes the software detects an issue that would typically be addressed and resolved in the field. Teams can review the clash list that’s generated and decide if each listed clash is truly a clash that needs to be corrected. Autodesk refers to this as the “Not an Issue” workflow. Not every issue is urgent, and not every issue needs to be addressed before construction begins.
If a clash is truly a clash that needs to be resolved in the model, BIM 360 enables a workflow to assign and resolve those issues. The seamless issue management workflow of BIM 360 allows accountability and transparency as issues are resolved.
While there is still an important role to play for BIM and VDC managers in clash identification and resolution, BIM 360 workflows speed up the process considerably. Enabling multiple teams to be involved in coordination, BIM 360 provides real-time identification of coordination issues, the ability to sort priority issues from the “noise” of non-issues and traceable issue resolution. Using BIM 360, project teams can stay in communication to ensure the most constructible model before construction begins.
If your company isn’t using BIM 360 yet for BIM coordination, but you’d like to streamline your workflow, contact Applied Software today to request a demo. The Applied experts can help you design the right BIM coordination workflow for your company’s individual needs.