Article Date: 11/22/2013

SMACNA Official Offers Advice for Professionals Intending to Use the New BIM Guide

By Steve Rizer


Now that Achieving Spatial Coordination through BIM [Building Information Modeling]: A Guide for Specialty Contractors has been released, what is the best way to use it? During an interview with ConstructionPro Week (CPW), Thomas Soles, executive director of member services and market sectors for the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning National Association (SMACNA), offered some helpful tips for professionals possessing varying levels of expertise with the technology who intend to use the guide, which SMACNA, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) unveiled last week (CPW, Nov. 15, 2013, “New BIM Guide Emphasizes the Importance of Preparation”).


Soles offered the following advice for using the publication, which can be accessed at


Because the guide covers a broad range of issues, “we encourage the reader to first review the table of contents and then read the brief introduction of a select chapter summarizing what is covered,” Soles said. The first three chapters are designed to “orient the uninitiated.”


“Need guidance on managing documents of record? See Chapter 6, where … more than 30 specialty contractors belonging to SMACNA, MCAA, and NECA provided input from their successful experiences,” Soles reported.


“For those new to BIM and who are concerned about what they need to know in terms of hardware and software costs and requirements, check out Chapter 9, [entitled] ‘BIM Technologies for an IT Infrastructure,’” Soles suggested.


During the interview, Soles also commented on the current level of BIM use among specialty contractors, how BIM use among this group may change in the future, other measures the organizations intend to take to promote appropriate BIM use, the expected timetable for revising the guide, and other topics. His comments on these topics are included in the ConstructionPro Network member version of this article.



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