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How BIM Enhances the Design Process


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Building Information Modeling (BIM) is more than a new technology;
it is an innovative approach to the entire design, construction, and
maintenance process. Many of the agencies and organizations
involved in the building industry have their own definitions of BIM,
but they all have a similar feel to that of the National BIM Standard

Published in: Design, Business, Technology
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How BIM Enhances the Design Process

  1. 1. Why BIM? Building Information Modeling engineers scientists architects constructorsfishbeck, thompson, carr & huber, inc.
  2. 2. What is BIM? How can construction/contractorsBuilding Information Modeling (BIM) is more than a new technology; take advantage of BIM?it is an innovative approach to the entire design, construction, and While BIM was initially developed with a focus on the design world, itmaintenance process. Many of the agencies and organizations has quickly gained favor among contractors and construction managers.involved in the building industry have their own definitions of BIM, Construction is a team sport, and BIM is dramatically reshaping the waybut they all have a similar feel to that of the National BIM Standard project teams work together to increase efficiency and enhance outcomesdefinition: for all. This process is driving the most transformative evolution the construction industry has ever experienced. The use of BIM and 3DBIM is a digital representation of physical and functional modeling facilitates the optimization of lean construction techniquescharacteristics of a facility. As such, it serves as a shared knowledge and principles.resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basisfor decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from inception In a recent McGraw-Hill Construction BIM Report, 45% of users reportonward. they are utilizing BIM tools at moderate levels or higher. In 2009, 62% of BIM users will use it on more than 30% of their projects; and nearly halfHow does BIM enhance the design process? (45%) of all current adopters will advance to become heavy BIM users (using it on at least 60% of projects), up from 35%. Some of the benefitsDuring the project study and design phases, BIM allows you to for contractors utilizing BIM include:quickly create and review multiple design scenarios and easily conveythose options to the client while maintaining a single model. BIM  ssisting A with scoping during bidding and purchasing.offers many tools to create schematic massing models, as well asdetailed construction-ready models, without losing any of the design  oordinating C construction sequencingintent along the way. (even if just for two trades).The current 2D design process relies on passing information from  dentifing I collisions (e.g., identifying ductwork running into structuralthe design team to the construction document team, creating new members).drawings at each phase. By having all project information containedin a single, continuously updated database, it is easier to manage  isualizing V what is to be built in a simulated accuracy and integrate all project aspects during the designphase. This leads to better specifications, estimations, schedules, and  aking M fewer errors and corrections in the field.compliance, as well as the ability to produce detailed 3D models andsimulate construction. Some additional items BIM will help with  igher H reliability of expected field conditions, allowing opportunity to doinclude: more prefabrication of materials offsite, which is usually a higher quality at a lower cost. arlier E and more accurate visualization of a design. Those contractors using BIM will almost universally tell you the number utomatic A low-level corrections when changes are made to design. of benefits they continue to discover seems endless. There are so many processes we think of in the context of a 2D-based mindset. As we shift to a ccurate A and consistent generation of 2D drawings model-based process, contractors continue to find innovative uses for BIM. or 3D renderings at any stage of the design. arlier E collaboration of multiple design disciplines.Easier checks against design intent.Utilizing BIM on a project institutes a shift in the traditionalproject workload. With BIM, much more work is done earlier in theproject. By shifting more work to the schematic design and designdevelopment phases of a project, changes can be made with a smallerimpact on costs. Traditionally, more effort went into the constructiondocuments phase, where design changes are typically much moreexpensive. The graph below indicates the preferred process versusthe typical process. BIM greatly increases the ability to follow thepreferred process.
  3. 3. We offer clients the option of construction management services. This integrated design/build approach fits perfectly with BIM technology. This software and production method will improve the exchange of building information throughout the building design and construction process. - es Hewitt, Retired Senior Vice President/Principal LHow do clients/owners benefit from BIM?From the owner’s perspective, BIM offers the promise of a high- quality project, as well astime and cost savings. The 3D models enable project owners to gain a better understanding,early in the design process, of how their final project will look. Design issues can beaddressed early on with the prime consultant. If revisions are made, the database and modelare updated as necessary, and changes are automatically integrated throughout the process.This should lead to fewer surprises, errors, and omissions. For owners doing multiplesimilar projects, BIM offers the ability to communicate similarities and differences to thedesign and construction teams. The result is consistency across all projects. In addition, ifthe owner takes control of BIM when the project is completed, the owner benefits by havingmore detailed models and schematics on hand for ongoing operation, maintenance, andrenovation of the project. Are agencies or organizations requiring the use of BIM? In 2003, the Office of the Chief Architect (OCA) of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Public Buildings Service spearheaded the BIM helps the contractors National 3D-4D-BIM Program. To date, OCA to visualize a building before has led a pilot program with over 30 projects and during construction that incorporated a variety of BIM technologies to address different programming, design, and construction challenges faced by GSA capital projects. In addition, OCA is assessing and supporting BIM applications on over 40 ongoing GSA projects across different regions. For all major projects (prospectus-level) receiving design funding in fiscal year 2007 and beyond, a spatial program BIM will be the minimum requirement. Along with the GSA requiring BIM to be a major part of the design process, several other federal agencies and large companies are requiring BIM as part of the design process. Some examples include:  .S. Army U Corps of Engineers  ational Aeronautics N and Space Administration  aval N Facilities Engineering Command Working with a 3D model increases coordination and collaboration U.S. Coast Guard among disciplines, reduces conflicts among systems, and allows us to make design decisions faster and earlier in a project.  isconsin W Department of Administration - dam Meeker, AIA, Senior Architect/Associate A
  4. 4. BIM necessarily provides the “ideal”… contractors, architects, engineers, and suppliers who are communicating, on the same page, and working toward the same goal. An excellent product for all! -Charles Wesley, Construction Manager How is FTCH utilizing BIM? FTCH realizes that BIM is the future of design and construction. During the past 18 months, FTCH has invested heavily in software, hardware, and training to help bring FTCH to the forefront of this new design and construction process. As the use of BIM increases within the design and construction industry, it will lead to a revolution in project delivery. Many are already referring to this revolution as leading to the fully collaborative project team. The theory of full project collaboration generally envisions the entire team–owner, architect, engineers, consultants, construction manager, and specialty contractors–being involved from the project’s inception by “sitting together at one table” in developing the project design. Essentially, the team constructs the project virtually in 3D with the use of BIM. This full project collaboration allows for increased speed of delivery, enhanced economics for the project, and true lean construction—all at levels not yet experienced in our industry. FTCH has the unique ability to realize the full potential of BIM because we have all disciplines, including construction, under one roof. This integrated services approach helps us utilize everything the model has to offer, from the preliminary design phase all the way through construction. Over the past year, we have created models on several types of projects, including:  niversity U facilities  otel H prototypes  ig-box B retail  unicipal M water treatment plantsFTCH has made the transition fromCAD to BIM a top priority. The firm views Leveraging BIM (using Autodesk Revit specifically) will require some new www.ftch.comimplementing BIM technology as a means of thinking and should enhance communication and coordination betweenachieving the next boost in productivity and disciplines. With the help of our IT Department, Graphics Task Force, CADimproved communication. Support Group, and new BIM Task Force our transition will be smooth and - es Hewitt, Retired Senior L deliberate – helping us deliver exceptional client service! Vice President, Principal - ohn Condie, P.E., Senior Vice President/Principal/ J Senior Electrical Engineer engineers ◆ scientists ◆ architects ◆ constructors Michigan Ohio Grand Rapids Lansing Kalamazoo Farmington Hills Cincinnati ph. 616.575.3824 ph. 517.882.0383 ph. 269.375.3824 ph. 248.324.2090 ph. 513.469.2370