We recently interviewed Sameer Merchant, Head of Product Development for Autodesk Construction Solutions to unpack the new product announcements from Autodesk University – Autodesk Build, Autodesk Quantify, Autodesk BIM Collaborate and Autodesk Tandem.
A360 Collaboration for Revit with BIM 360 Team were the first collaborative products Autodesk released to address cloud collaboration for dispersed project teams. The first set of additional modules for collaboration included BIM 360 Field and BIM 360 Coordinate. Both were used as construction tools: Field for field management and Coordinate for model coordination. The next product on the docket was BIM 360 Docs, used for project document management. As of April, 2018, the Collaboration for Revit and Team products are found in BIM 360 Design.
The version of Revit you’re using on your project determines which platform you can use:
Eventually, “BIM 360” became an official Autodesk registered brand, and the product line now contains multiple modules and products that are used during design, pre-construction, construction, commissioning, and handover.
Currently, there are four major options to BIM 360:
All of the BIM 360 products are used for collaboration on construction projects using the building information modeling (BIM) process. Collaboration involves organizations working together to resolve issues and deliver successful projects. The collaborative process leads to a better end product, with less effort and money spent on avoiding risk. It also brings teams closer to completing a project that’s on time and within budget.
Some of the BIM 360 products have overlapping functionality. Following is a summary of each product.
Note: Glue has been renamed Coordinate.
Clashes and conflicts get resolved before construction begins, thus reducing RFIs and confusion among the players. With a collaborative process, you have a “single source of truth” – everyone is working on the current project files. The data is more timely, and everything is up to date.
With BIM 360 construction documents and the rest of project information are available in real time to owners and other stakeholders without requiring extra time for the project team to furnish it.
3D modeling software offers the ability to manage clash detection in the model before work is done. It also allows contractors, owners and other stakeholders to visualize the project’s details: geometry, piping, ductwork, cable tray, and other things which 2D drawings can’t convey. But 2D drawings can still be created from the 3D model if desired.
Digital photography, drones in construction, and mobile devices have resulted in an upsurge of documents and file management needs. Captured images need to be organized and accessible to team members. BIM 360 lets users capture photos in the field, associate them with project checklists and issues, and maintain the photos as part of the complete project record. Team members have instant access to specific images when needed.
Version control and rollback
Single viewer for 2D and 3D files
Project- and folder-level access rights
Access defined by role, company and user
Five permission levels available for assignments
List and thumbnail views
Version control and rollback
Single viewer for 2D and 3D files
Create, view, assign, and track project issues
2D and 3D markups with thumbnail views
Assign custom attributes and properties
Extract document sets from design files
OCR title block data for automated naming
Separate multi-page PDF files
Online/offline access on all devices
PDF and model viewer
Modules, apps and tools:
Securely co-author a Revit model within one firm or across multiple firms with BIM 360 Design. Coordinate deliverables, visualize design changes and track project progress. BIM 360 Design is the Autodesk cloud worksharing, collaboration, and data management product that helps deliver projects faster. With BIM 360 Design, teams can collaborate in Revit anytime from anywhere with the inhouse team or with external firms.
Revit data exchange can be coordinated and managed in a project timeline between teams, with easy navigation from 2D to 3D views of the same location in the hyper-model. Changes can be visualized between deliverables in aggregated models. WIP (work in progress) report creation and data exchange can be controlled by setting the correct user/project/folder permissions.
Files can be viewed, reviewed and marked up. Issues can be assigned and resolved on mobile devices and tablets. Users can even schedule a time for teams to automatically publish their files to BIM 360 via the cloud.
Next-gen design collaboration with a focus on authoring, collaboration and detailing
Revit cloud worksharing
Next gen Document management
BIM 360 Team (for projects on legacy Revit versions)
Enhanced workflows are possible with design collaboration and Revit cloud collaboration. To learn about setting up a collaborative project, access the Applied Software on-demand webinar How to Keep Your Job Using Revit.
It covers setting teams and permissions, using “packages” to effectively control when others have access to your data, and controlling when data from other teams is updated in your model. Included are common troubleshooting techniques and BIM 360 site setup.
BIM 360 Design is based upon the Forge platform and BIM 360 Document Management. While users still have access to the legacy BIM 360 Team technology, BIM 360 Design provides enhanced collaboration workflows, more control over file permissions, and much tighter integration with BIM 360 Docs for use in “downstream” collaboration workflows during the post-design phases of a project.
|BIM 360 Team||BIM 360 Design|
High trust environment
"Issues" with email notifications and "subscribed to" folders with email notifications
Standalone - no connection with BIM 360 Docs
Includes the Document Management service (next generation BIM 360 Docs)
Sharing of data is automatic
Data sharing and consumption are controlled through the design collaboration workflow
The differences between BIM 360 Team and BIM 360 Design involve control. In BIM 360 Team, any project member that can edit one Revit file can edit all Revit files. There is no way to control access to files and folders on an individual or team level.
In BIM 360 Design, however, users are assigned to teams, which have specific permission levels in the project folders based on their role and their relationship to the folders. While these permissions are completely configurable, the use of teams allows for them to be simplified and automated.
BIM 360 Coordinate is for pre-construction, and the focus includes scope, cost/schedule and constructability.
A cloud-based BIM management and collaboration product, Coordinate has a social networking feel that connects the entire project team and streamlines BIM project workflows. It works in over 50 different industry file formats. Coordinate also helps loop in stakeholders that are less technically-oriented.
With anywhere-anytime access to the most recent project models and data, Coordinate accelerates project reviews and streamlines virtual design and construction (VDC) and BIM workflows.
With model coordination and clash detection, communication delays are minimized, so multidisciplinary teams can quickly identify and resolve issues.
Cloud-based construction document management eliminates the problem of working from the wrong set of drawings. It provides a simplified way to record issues directly in the plan documents and notify the correct people immediately. The improved communication ensures that everyone is working on the same issues and solutions in real-time from any location. BIM 360 Coordinate and Autodesk Navisworks® software – used in spatial coordination and clash detection – are complementary products.
Markups can be made directly inside the plans (or 3D model), and cloud-based document management makes the latest data immediately available to everyone on the job, no uploading or downloading required. Markups can even be done by hand on an iPad or smartphone and automatically linked to the file and version in which it was created. Open markups will carry over from one version to the next. Markups always match up with the correct file version.
Autodesk made a branding change in June, 2019, and changed the name of BIM 360 Glue to Coordinate. The change only impacted the subscription name, not the products or subscription entitlements. BIM 360 Coordinate replaced BIM 360 Glue in Autodesk Account.
The BIM 360 Coordinate subscription includes:
BIM 360 Build is for field execution and is used by contractors and construction project teams. The focus is quality and safety, progress tracking and work coordination. It is a cloud-based construction project management solution that connects project information and workflows, keeping the office and field teams in sync.
Visibility into project performance can be gained by connecting the office and field with an integrated construction project management platform that supports quality and safety programs, RFIs, submittals, and daily reporting. Use Build if you need to connect project drawings, models and documents with key workflows that take place leading up to and during construction execution processes.
BIM 360 Build combines mobile technologies for onsite data collection with cloud-based collaboration and reporting to manage quality, safety, project controls, and commissioning.
Build enables onsite use of tracking and logging RFIs and submittals. Teams can gain insights into reporting to manage field processes – quality, safety and commissioning.
Build allows teams to stay up-to-date with less paper and access for document management at any time. As soon as the assigned person updates the central files, everyone knows about the changes. Checklists can be created to expedite inspections and make them more consistent and thorough.
Everyone can access and update a unified set of plans from mobile devices, tablets, and laptops, so the project team has the latest data to work from no matter where they are located. Build connects project management workflows and project information on a common data platform, keeping all project team members informed and up to date.
Build includes the iPad (iOS) app at no additional charge.
The nine trackable Build project tabs include:
Overview – Track issues, companies on the job and progress.
Issues – Create, log and track issues by date and monitor resolution.
Tasks – Track tasks chronologically on a calendar.
Checklists – Assign tasks, add to a calendar, and track.
Daily updates – Create reports on daily site activity.
Equipment – Log and monitor equipment on site.
Library – Create multiple folders to categorize reference material.
Photos – Store photographs in multiple formats by category in chronological or alpha order.
Reports – Generate reports and view those by others.
Autodesk BIM 360 Plan is a cloud-based Lean Construction production planning product that connects the entire project team. Plan is designed as a software version of the “sticky note” planning process. It helps construction teams develop reliable work plans by following Lean Construction principles. A BIM 360 account admin can create projects and assign project admins in each BIM 360 web service, including BIM 360 Plan. A project admin can set permissions and invite project team members. As a cloud service, BIM 360 Plan enables everyone working on a project to access and update schedules from anywhere.
How it Works:
Using BIM 360, an account admin creates a project and assigns project admins in BIM 360 Plan. The project admin sets permissions and invites project team members. Team members click a project link in the email invitation to launch Plan. Using an Autodesk ID, members sign in to access their Plan projects. As a cloud service, Plan enables everyone working on a project to access and update schedules from the job site, the trailer or the office.
The project is set up with its own set of companies, contacts, location sets, and work schedules. Teams add the activities they are committing to complete. As the plan proceeds, teams can view the scheduled activities in List, Swim Lane, and Gantt views. Activities can be viewed, added and edited from the field. Performance is tracked as each team records completed activities. The root causes for incomplete activities can be determined. Reports are generated to track the team’s planning reliability.
BIM 360 Ops is for post-construction operations and focuses on commissioning, handover and maintenance. Ops helps building owners realize the operating potential of their buildings.
Ops is a mobile-first asset for maintenance management that enables general contractors and building owners to realize and utilize the value of BIM in building operations. General contractors can use Ops to improve the handover process by connecting the BIM asset data that was created during building design and construction to post-construction building operations. Owners can begin operations on day one with a mobile-first solution and the information they need.
BIM 360 Ops is available direct from Autodesk. As of January 31, 2020, the first 100 service tickets are provided by Autodesk at no charge.
The Ops solution helps provide closure for the final interaction between general contractors and building owners. Instead of the prolonged time that can be required to get building operations running smoothly using a set of PDFs and notebooks containing warranties and operating manuals, Ops streamlines the handover experience and enables owners to have turnkey asset management and maintenance on day one. It provides building owners access to the relevant equipment information and building operations data from BIM 360 Field in a responsive mobile-first solution. Ops also helps contractors improve service for warranty requests and reduce expenses from equipment maintenance when needed.
Autodesk BIM 360 Layout is available only as a mobile app for iOS and BIM 360 web service. It provides vertical construction contractors the ability to connect the coordinated model to the field layout process. This helps increase job site productivity and enables more accurate staked or installed building components. The app synchronizes with the BIM 360 account to download and upload project models with point location coordinate detail. Once paired with a total station, BIM 360 Layout on an iPad guides the user to the exact location of those points on the job site for field staking and/or location verification.
The project manager can find the exact images, points or models needed while discussing options with project teams and stakeholders. The app makes explanations and descriptions easier by providing visuals, thus giving a clearer understanding on which to base decisions.
How it Works:
BIM 360 Layout provides field layout personnel with the most up-to-date coordinated model to conduct layout activities. It eliminates the manual process of preparing and transferring point coordinate detail to field data controllers for layout. Layout allows users to communicate and share issues collected in the field directly in the coordinated model for action by the VDC team. The intuitive 3D-model-based app interface lets users navigate and locate point coordinates on the job site, and the app analyzes layout productivity data to determine best practices for planning and execution.
For compatibility of the BIM 360 Layout app, see the Applied Software eBook “The BIM 360 Family Tree.”
One of the most frustrating and least favorite workflows of project managers can be handling data, especially the same data in multiple locations:
Applied Software developed 360 Sync software especially to automate the file updating process. This non-intrusive, resource-easy product leverages Autodesk Forge and other APIs to automatically update Windows and BIM 360 libraries. In addition, it can be run at the click of a mouse or set up to run automatically on a schedule. The goal of 360 Sync is to eliminate the double (or triple) entry of data at the company-wide and enterprise levels. It will automatically update projects, saving time and effort through automation of the file transfer process and elimination of double data entry.
Using 360 Sync with Windows:
Using 360 Sync with Docs:
Using 360 Sync with Field:
Using 360 Sync with Coordinate:
Time saving and easy-to-use 360 Sync is a product of the Applied Software application development team.
For an explanation of how 360 Sync helps users avoid double data entry, watch this Bridging the Gap segment with Michael Reuter.
When trying to decide which BIM 360 products to use, you don’t have to go it alone. The industry-experienced experts at Applied Software can help you create the BIM 360 scenario that best fits your firm.