What makes a project design constructible? Having coordinated data from all the disciplines on the job and using it to streamline the workflow is invaluable. That’s what makes BIM a revolutionary process that almost all forward-thinking firms are now embracing. But, hey, that’s a lot of data for one person to gather, upload, sort, identify the clashes, assign fixes, and track resolution. Talk about a traffic jam! There’s got to be a better way to coordinate the BIM process.
The recent Connect&Construct online article, “3 Construction Pro-Tips for Better BIM Coordination,” points out that coordinating designers and trades is consistently identified as the highest value BIM workflow among GCs, subs and fabricators. Following are three ways this can be accomplished:
- Center project coordination around a broad set of stakeholders instead of just one BIM manager. When the BIM manager’s myriad responsibilities are spread across all the teams early in the project lifecycle, it cuts down on human error and increases the number of issues that can be identified and assigned for resolution. In addition, the process can take place faster, ideally before construction begins. By publishing project models in the cloud and giving stakeholders controlled access, the process of preventing or identifying clashes is easier and more efficient. The Connect&Construct article featured the following graphic to illustrate this workflow:
- Know when an “issue” is not really an issue. Sometimes what seems like a clash is really an intended design feature. The BIM manager might not know it, but the responsible team will know, so it’s helpful to have their input during the clash detection process. Otherwise the manager spends time trying to chase down a problem that doesn’t even exist. Collaboration at this stage results in less time spent addressing what can sometimes turn out to be moot issues and more time spent on clashes that truly must be resolved.
- Assign responsibility for resolving issues. Finger pointing has probably been part of every job to some extent down through the ages. It’s a wee bit human nature. But when the appropriate and most up-to-date information on a job is accessible by all teams, it becomes a matter of record who is responsible and accountable for resolving which clashes and how much progress they’ve made toward doing that. The problem can be communicated, assigned to a responsible person or team to resolve, and a transparent workflow is provided for RFI submittals and responses.
The Autodesk BIM 360 group of products has made great inroads in assisting companies with coordinating data from multiple disciplines on projects worldwide. See the recent article, “BIM 360 – What’s the Difference,” for a quick summary of the different products that are available.
Bluebeam is also an excellent coordination and collaboration tool. For more about what Bluebeam offers for project coordination and collaboration, see “The Skeptic’s Guide to Bluebeam.”
For help in evaluating which software product is best for your firm’s individualized needs, request a quick discovery call today. Whatever product you choose, the improvement in the way your firm coordinates designers and trades is sure to pay off in more efficient workflows, professional handling of the RFI process and a better bottom line.