The 2d conversion of the Starwood aloft and element has been ongoing; we are hoping to wrap those up ASAP. Our experiences with the 2d conversion of the aloft and the element have taught us a lot. The "lessons learned" will help us streamline our external 2d conversion process.
We have already started to do some clash detection within Navis for those projects; we anticipate bringing the models on site next week to facilitate MEP coordination.
We are also using BIM for more cost engineering. In the past day, I produced a basic model for a new mixed-use project we are looking at. The cost engineer will use the QS extracted from my model for their pricing program.
Over the next week, we will be developing a 4d logistics plan for one of our pre-construction projects.
We might also be producing a visual schedule for the project that we just bid (if we go in for a follow-up interview with the owner)! For that project, I did a little bit of modeling for some of the QS, so it shouldn't be too much additional work to schedule it.
All of this activity has been really exciting for us; the thrill of it has spread to some members of operations. Several of our assistant project managers have become very interested in BIM; they are starting to "see the light". Some are actually teaching themselves Revit and are using BIM to demonstrate certain aspects of their projects. It just keeps getting better...
This isn't the first hard bid I've participated in, but during this project specifically, I realized how flawed the process is: The architect designs the building and drafted a set of documents (perhaps with the input of a CM). Then, the drawings are issued to GCs/CMs (in this case, to a select list of them).
The GC/CM has about 3 weeks (although in this case, it was extended to 4) to:
- issue invitations to bid to subcontractors,
- distribute drawings and specifications to interested subcontractors,
- understand the full scope of the documents and specifications,
- review and scope subcontractor bids, and
- assemble and review a pricing program.
During this process, addenda are issued to clear up discrepancies and provide more information. Those addenda need to be distributed to appropriate subcontractors and reviewed internally. In this case, there were 10 addenda, several of which were issued 3 business days before the bid was do.
The process is very time consuming and, as I said before, flawed. After 3-4 weeks, does a GC/CM have enough of a handle on a project to be able to accurately cost engineer it? Is that enough time for planning? Doesn't it seem a bit rushed?
Model Checker has been featured in several articles as a clash detection solution: AIArchitect, AECCafe, and AECbytes to name a few. However, when I looked into it, it didn't seem like much of a solution. From the information on their website, I inferred that it only imports IFC files. To me, this seems like a problem; I thought that IFCs weren't fully developed for most disciplines (especially those crucial for clash detection).
So I contacted Solibri, asking:
From what I've read about your software, it only imports IFC files. Is this true?Heikki Kulusjärvi, Managing Director of Solibri, responded:
- If so, can you send me some information on IFCs; it is my understanding that they are only developed for architecture and structure. (Is that the case?)
- If not, what other file formats can be imported into Solibri?
Solibri Model Checker reads IFC files. "Only" is a word I would not use as IFC's are exported from all major BIM authoring tools like ADT, Revit Bentley Architechture, ArchiCAD, Tekla Structures and many more. There are also building services products producing IFC's.
In addition to IFC's SMC has a two-way seamless communication with ArchiCAD.
That didn't really answer my question. So we did a test. We exported 3 Revit models (an architectural, a structural and a HVAC model) to IFC format from Revit. We exported those same models to NWC format from Revit. We opened the two composite models in NavisWorks. When we click on a specific water heater in the NWC model, the properties read "Water Heater - 2". When we clicked on the same water heater in the IFC model, the properties read "Solid Mass".
The intelligence of our model wasn't exported in the IFC format. My conclusion: Solibri isn't really an effective clash detection solution.
Or does anyone know if I am mistaken about IFCs?
The lecture (mostly given by John) was organized into 22 BIM "lessons", separated into 4 categories: Basics, Uses, Process, Tools & Support (click the image below for more detail on the lessons).
In the hands-on portion of the class, I led the group through exercises to learn how to use NavisWorks for navigation and clash detective.
The group was fairly diverse: attendees ranged from administrative assistants to CAD managers to presidents. However, it did seem that there were more people who were decision makers and decision influencers than not.
There have been requests across the country for programs like BIM101. The demand has been go great that the BIMForum is strongly considering developing several classes that can AGC chapters can teach across the country (live or via webex).
However last night, at a presentation made to a WPI grad class, Jeff Millet compared the industry to Hollywood. In Hollywood, a diverse group of individuals and subcontractors get together to produce one movie. After that movie is over, they break apart and move on to different projects with different individuals and subcontractors. It might be a good movie or it might be horrible, but it is still one product.
I found his analogy particularly interesting because it is one that Davis Chauviere used at the BIMForum meeting in January. However Davis was referring to both the technology and the process/relationships.
Davis brought up the point that the technology and the process go hand-in-hand. When older films were created, they used casts of thousands, elaborate scenery and older recording technology. The director and producer shot all of the scenes and then pieced it together. Because of the expense of the actors, extras and scenery, they were never able to go back and reshoot anything that they wanted to change.
This can be contrasted with George Lucas, who includes a line item in contracts with the major actors in a film for extra takes after the entire movie is filmed. Because of recording technology, he is able to reshoot the majority of the scenes in the film, once the entire cast has seen it and gone through it once. Much like in BIM-enabled construction, they are able to "build it twice".