Article Date: 11/15/2013

New BIM Guide Emphasizes the Importance of Preparation

By Steve Rizer


“Do not wait until you have been awarded a BIM [building information modeling] and 3D modeling coordination project to establish within your company the capabilities that you will need to perform the job accurately and effectively.” This is one of the key pieces of advice offered in the “Building an Effective Spatial Coordination Program” section of the newly released Achieving Spatial Coordination Through BIM: A Guide for Specialty Contractors


Spatial coordination with 3D modeling “should be instrumental to your estimating and negotiating process for any project,” according to the report, released by the National Electrical Contractors Association, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, and Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning National Association (SMACNA). Also, “when you find a requirement for spatial coordination, 3D modeling, or BIM in a request for proposal, you want to be prepared to add to the proposal a description of your company’s unique capabilities to complete the job and fulfill the BIM special requirements of the project.”


The report stresses the importance of carefully reviewing spatial coordination or BIM requirements before bidding on a project. “Your estimators should evaluate the costs of meeting the specification requirements, your operational personnel should review coordination and related construction schedules, your detailing or modeling manager should identify the special requirements and procedures related to this custom project, and your executives should analyze the contract terms and associated risk that might apply.”


The publication’s authors lamented that most contractors discover that they do not have trained personnel available to do this work only after their bids are won. “They assume that the project requires a high-level detailing process, only to find that the BIM requirements demand much more time, resources, and expense than anyone had anticipated.”


The section is included within the guide’s “Building the Team” chapter. Other chapters are entitled “Spatial Coordination in a BIM Environment,” “BIM and Spatial Coordination Basics,” “BIM Execution Plans,” “Managing the Process,” “Documents of Record,” “Benefits of BIM Beyond Spatial Coordination,” “Evaluating Spatial Coordination Contract Language,” and “BIM Technologies for an IT Infrastructure.”


Look for part two of our coverage on this topic -- an article including comments that SMACNA’s Thomas Soles made during an exclusive interview with ConstructionPro Week -- in next week’s edition of the newsletter.



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