Monday, April 8, 2013

Transitioning from Design Models to Construction Models:

On my other blog, I've been posting about the limitations of schematic design and design development models.  From a detail standpoint, 3 dimensional models are still lacking the constructability information that instead is captured in 2 dimensional detail sections.

To bridge that gap, and to create a 3D model that captures this 'missing constructability,' a CM needs information from all the parties involved in the construction.  We need reference plane information from the architect, structural information from the engineer, and sequence information from the trade contractors. 

Colocation brings all this expertise together into one room, but again, it's typically the CM who takes on the modeling responsibility, as we're the ones who get blamed when the schedule busts because of coordination failures.

Architect's Model
Curtain Wall Fabricator's 2D detail
Gilbane Virtual Mockup

The creation of virtual mockups is one of the hardest items to achieve a high rate of ROI on, due to the amount of time spent acquiring all the information, then putting it into a format that benefits all parties, but Gilbane feels that it's one of those areas where failure to plan means planning to fail.


A graphical representation of how we used Navisworks to sequence steel at the beginning of the BIM coordination process.  Upon receiving the engineer's steel model and coordinating with the project schedule's erection sequence, it took less than an hour to capture the information and create the graphic. We then distributed the image to all participants of the project (architect, engineers, trades and construction management team). Sequence 1, 2 and 3 soon became common practice when referring to steel and area locations