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Thursday, March 5, 2009

BIM in the trenches and on the wall - Revit in the real world

Our company is working on a project for an internaional General Contract at an airport. I can't tell you anything about it, other than Joe Biden was there today.

About a year ago, our company started a new division doing 2D to BIM conversions for contractors. It's lots of fun uncovering clash detections and coordination issues as we're essentially playing contractor and building the project from the blueprints in Revit.

Instead of outsourcing to a foreign country, how about letting us do the modeling, interference check and coordination for you.

One of the great things about doing this is finding all of the issues before construction begins, as an CM at Risk will tell you, delays cost time and money.

I had the honor of sitting in on the MEP coordination meeting with the contractor, subcontractors and owners. It was the most amazing thing to me. After five years of talking about Revit, BIM and clash detection, to actually see it being used on a real live job was such a thrill for me.

In these photos you can see the BIM Manager for the GC discussing an issue in the model. The second picture is my absolute favorite. What you see here are the superintendents for the electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractors. They're inside the main equipment room and discussing who's pipes go where and how to deal with some code related dimensional issues. They're talking about the the layouts, coordination and potential conflicts with all of their piping.

Before I forget, you're seeing Navisworks on the screen, you know, the program that does clash detection of all of the 3D modeled objects on a project.

They were having a calm, cool (and I mean 'not outside in 96 degree heat) and collected discussion about the placement of all of the systems and how they could all work together. It's something you'd never see on a 2D project. This is the power of 3, 4 and 5D.

The last picture is of the MEP systems in the room. This is why you want your engineers to use Revit MEP. (Yes, I know that the plumbing still isn't 100%, but it's still better than dealing with RFIs and Change Orders during construction).

I know this all seems so far fetched, but you can see it here in the real world. My wife insisted that I go to the VP event at the airport today, hand Joe my business card and tell him to require BIM on all new projects. What would you say if I actually did it, met him and he said, yes, Barack and I have discussed Revit and we want it required on every new project in the US. Yup, I'd say the same thing. If someone dared me, I'd actually have the cojones to have done it. I love BIM that much.


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