The Five Essential Actions To Ensure BIM Success

Five Essential Actions To Ensure BIM Success

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” is a quote often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. This is true in many aspects of the BIM planning process. This blog focuses on Five Essential Actions which when taken, can help you and your team gain more clarity on expectations, ensure that the BIM effort is a success, and ultimately add more value to the project.

Although we believe these are essential tasks, the list does not include other tasks that are basic building blocks on every project, including the BIM kick off meeting and having a clear and thorough BIM Execution Plan.

  1. Leverage the investment of the design team in design models.
    The construction team can benefit by performing a thorough clash report of the design models to identify initial areas of focus. The architectural, and structural models need to be evaluated for use in coordination and updated to reflect construction conditions. This is necessary as the team determines who to involve in the BIM process.
  2. Engage the right subcontractors.
    Teams get a schedule boost by using design models to coordinate with architectural and structural components. Often though, formwork and structural contractors make changes to economize designs. The most effective BIM efforts include structural shop drawing models, in addition to traditional MEPFP trades from the beginning of the project.
  3. Discuss model tolerances in relation to construction tolerances.
    Construction conditions and as-built structural components are not often incorporated in the BIM process. Understanding model tolerances is a critical planning step for any team that can accelerate or stall the BIM process when it is time for installation.
  4. Integrate and regularly update the BIM and construction schedules.
    Due to project schedules and increasingly iterative design approaches, it is more common to see changes to a project plan after the BIM process starts. It is critical for project success to identify the schedule impact of these changes and reconcile those impacts with the construction schedule. The project team needs to clearly define when it is the appropriate time to “put down the pencil.”
  5. Incorporate a model sign-off into the coordination process.
    The BIM coordination team also needs to have clear deadlines. A sign-off provides the entire project team with a common model to build while clearly defining finish lines, so the team can prioritize resources.

What do you think of the Five Essential Tasks List? What other tasks would you include as essential for your project’s success? Share your thoughts with us!  This post is a part of our BIM series. Be on the lookout for the next BIM blog post: “4 Pitfalls to Avoid for BIM Success.”

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About Dan Cotton


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Dan Cotton is the manager of Virtual Construction at McKenney's and is responsible for our BIM and CAD modeling teams. He has been a member of the LEAN Construction Institute (LCI) since 2011 and is currently a core team member of the LCI’s Georgia Community of Practice. Dan holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Georgia Tech and led the LEAN efforts at McKenney's from 2010 through 2013. Prior to his involvement in Virtual Construction and LEAN, Dan was a project manager in the McKenney's New Construction division for six years.

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