Designing a residential building in BIM environment within 45 days - Case Study
February 16, 2021 at 7:16 pm
This Case Study includes information about typical apartment houses project from a BIM point of view which played a big role in designing the project within 45 days. Project aim is to use developed construction project for all Latvian municipalities. BIM models will be used in the management of the implemented projects and in the development of the final construction project.
Project was done together with arhchitects Core Projekts (Latvia) and CUBED (Latvia).
Our job in this project was to make sure the Employers Information requirements are met.
Firstly, a document called BEP was made. It could be considered as an answer to the requirements, defining information about project, such as project team along with the contact information, communication platforms that are going to be used, what kind of information should the designers include in their models, guidelines for modeling, etc.
According to requirements a total of 9 models had to be delivered - AR, Structural, Heat, Ventilation, Water supply, sewage, 2 types of electricity models and a federated model, which is the 8 individual models put together into a single one.
QC includes, checking if the models on the same coordinates after they are linked, visual checking for design errors, making sure the required information is provided, as well as automated tests and analysis for clashes and other types of errors.
A part of our task was also setting up and managing a CDE where all the team members could upload and have access to shared models and the documents produced. Not only it was meant for the internal data exchange but also for the hand-in.
Smooth workflow is necessary when the time is limited - avoiding misunderstandings as much as possible, is a must. In order to achieve a transparent and productive workflow, we created a project email - system that forwards the emails to all members of the team automatically. Emails were sent to let teammates know about updates in models, uploads to CDE, and to communicate regarding the issue solving.
It is very important that the updated models are uploaded to the CDE at least a day before the meeting, because it is a time-consuming task to check the models thoroughly, it is important not to rush this process. Also technical issues can happen that might delay your work right before the meeting.
Since the time pressure was heavy, the team agreed to have coordination meetings once every 3 days, to stay alert and keep a productive spirit and workflow.
The issue related communication was done via the federated model mainly - after receiving models from the designers, we did all the coordination procedures, prepared a presentation for the meeting, where we went through all the issues and the designers would then agree between each other on how to solve each issue. After the meeting, a report, including the federated model with registered issues along with the designer comments, was sent out.
The design process begins with rough conceptual geometries that will eventually undergo changes and get shaped into precise, trustworthy model. Level of detail in coordination evolves accordingly, since the designers are still shaping their models. It starts by simple visual checking around the model, to see if the models are on same coordinates, there are no objects flying around randomly, elements are referenced to correct levels and the design makes sense in general. We don’t go too much in the detail in the beginning, so the designers don’t get too much stuff to deal with at once.
As the models become more complete, the more detailed and intense the issues should get - The federated model gets checked by walk-around, sectioning as well as automated model checks done by the software, in our case it’s Solibri. We prepare rulesets that ensure each model will get checked against itself and the rest of the models, which produces huge lists of issues where geometries are clashing or there are duplicates and so on.
Very important is to keep all the issues registered somewhere in the main file, and bring old unresolved ones to your new presentations, to avoid letting an issue slip through. This procedure also highlights the issues that are for some reason not being resolved. The reasons for that may vary - it could be something that the designer is planning to do later on, or working on it at the moment. It could be that the designer doesn’t consider it a big issue and is procrastinating it. There is a risk that it could be a false judgement, and the issue turns out to be hard to solve and give false information in quantity take-offs if not solved. So offering help and asking for native format models to see the situation yourself is always a good idea.
There are issues that can be allowed to pass for various reasons, some of them are already stated in the clients requirements, for example non-load-bearing structures vs MEP pipes d<50mm, since it is easy to solve on site, compared to creating openings for each small pipe in the model. For such issues we created a separate report to register them and communicate with the client and the clients consultant who checked our work afterwards.
So what helped in designing the project in such short time?
- Definitely the fact that the Employers information requirements were clear and raised no questions, as well as the BEP which was based on the clients requirements and worked like a guide for the designers.
- The email forwarding system that ensured an ongoing and transparent communication between all parties involved.
- A good job done by the project managers who created hand-in and meeting schedules and kept the team alert by maintaining the communication.
- Lastly - BIM coordination to ensure that good quality models are delivered and the number of design errors is at minimum before the project goes to construction phase.
What else you need to know about ITED?
Our company ITED is specialized in Information Management and BIM services - reducing risks in the projects, increasing efficiency, solve problems by using available technologies and IT solutions.
We have delivered over 50 projects of different kinds, working for different parties - the clients, architects, contractors, as well as in different project stages - construction, design phases, maintenance. See all recent projects here.