ideal practices

I am working on an article on BIM for MM&T, an online resource for the AEC community. One of things they'd like me to address is my (and Tocci's) idea of the ideal practice for a design-bid-build job:

Bid Phase

We, along with several other contractors are invited to bid on a new project. The next day, the architect sends us the complete Revit model, containing components from Revit Building, Revit Structure, Revit Systems & 3D Civil, and the e-Specs file.
The department administrator sends the model and e-Specs file out to subcontractors for pricing. The e-Specs file allows our team and subcontractors to easily review the specifications and view the places in the model that each specification section applies to.
Meanwhile, the other team members work on extracting quantities for an internal takeoff and scheduling the model. This work may be done in Revit or Navisworks.
After the quantities are extracted, they are linked to the Timberline estimate. An estimate populates, using Timberline's GC databases. As bids from subcontractors start coming in, we already have quantities and pricing to compare to.
Once the model is scheduled, we will produce scheduling deliverables which will later become contract documents:
an AVI file that shows what looks like a movie of how the building is going to built and a series of images, showing what the building will look like at specific dates during construction.
We will also use Revit to come up with some suggestions for value engineering (VE). We can compare design options in Revit & then extract the associated quantities from the model. This allows us to present multiple budgets to the owner.

Construction Phase
After we win the job (because with accurate and user-friendly deliverables like those described above, how could we not), the project team (designers, subs & team Tocci) would have a meeting to review model sharing strategies, chain of communication and VE items.
From there, the subcontractors each develop and then submit a model (instead of shop drawings) for their trade, basing it on the designer's model. Those models are merged in NavisWorks and then used to develop a clash report. A series of coordination meetings and model updates resolve the issues that were brought up in the report. If all of that is done correctly, it should greatly reduce the number of field coordination issues as well as the number of change orders.
We will also continue to use the model for scheduling and quantity takeoffs. The visual schedule will allow us to easily compare the actual construction progress to the schedule. We can also update the model to reflect actual construction progress. With respect to quantity takeoffs, we can notify the superintendent and subcontractors the quantities of items they will need onsite each day, enabling them to take advantage of lean construction principles.
As we proceed, I'm sure we will find dozens of other ways to use BIM. The difficult part is figuring out how to share the model and collaborate with other project partners.
We are years away from being even close to this; out of the 43 architects that are designing projects we are building or planning to build, only 2 have provided us with architectural 3D models. Maybe 2-3 more have approached us for advice as they consider using Revit or another 3D intelligent modeling program. Out of the thousands of subcontractors in our database, only a few are using 3D intelligent modeling. We have yet to recieve any models from any of them.

Well, it's nice to dream.


John said...

you da best. Nice blogging. I'm proud to have you here helping us change the world. JT

Rohit said...

"Lack of Sharing Data hits the subs"

I have worked with Sub-Contractors and my experience tells me that they are a forgotten lot.

I have worked on Qty takeoffs for a painting Contractors. They have to reconstruct the floor plans, Interior Elevations & other drawings, because they donot get the electronic CAD files from Architects. And the BIG GC will never pass the CAD files to Subs.

If we are heading towards utopia then the teams must understand that sharing data will result in financial benefits for everyone.

Any solution must take into account, the merging of information coming in from Subs in form of "Revit Sub Model"

Laura Handler said...

I completely understand what you are saying about "sharing the data". We currently receive CAD files from most architects (although we usually have to ask for them in addition to the PDF files).

As for sharing that information with the subcontractor, we at Tocci (you know, the "BIG GC") would feel comfortable sharing any file with them (CAD, RVT, etc.). In fact, I've sent CAD files to subcontractors who want them, but I've found that most subcontractors don't want any files. They want paper drawings, so they can do an "old-fashioned" takeoff. In fact, a lot of them don't even have e-mail.

There is absolutely a need for sharing the data with ALL project participants. However, all project particiants need to be comfortable using the digital data.

Jason G. said...

I think this is a great post. It actually got me into wanting to create my own blog. Currently we are about to start a project where all of the drawing will be in Revit. Architecture, Stuctural, and MEP. I am going to blog about the process along with other stuff. It is great to see the contractor side of things and I do not believe that your dream of this ideal practices is that far off.