March 7, 2011

BIM Experts: Subcontractor model creation sequence/schedule: who goes first?

Question via LinkedIn BIM Experts forum:
My company works in geographic areas where the BIM process is still very new to most of our subs, so in addition to the coordination efforts (these are design-bid-build projects, so subs are not involved until CDs are issued), we have to educate the majority of our subcontractor team. Needless to say, we are on a tight time line, so the BIM coordination schedule is very important. We issue a coordination schedule that is a fragnet of the construction schedule with construction milestone dates, etc. I struggle with how to sequence the tasks for developing various trade models. Does everybody start modeling at the same time or does the first trade create their model and then pass it on to the next trade for use in creating their model and so on? The staggered approach takes longer, but makes more sense. Has anybody come across a sequence that works well?

Answer from Lana Gochenauer, Ideate, Inc.:
I’ve worked both workflows. The easiest I found for all involved is to let the prime contractor take the lead with their layout. Give them a week to do that work. Friday PM the model is handed off to all of the other contractors. They will all do their layouts and hand back to the prime at the end of the week, (the prime is also working ahead during this week). At this point you have a coordination meeting in the middle of the week so the prime has time to run a coordination review. This is an “old-school” work flow for the 3D that we’ve used 10 years ago. You will have to have this workflow in writing so all the members will understand the flow and the time frame.

Lana Gochenauer, LEED AP,
MEP Solutions Application Specialist

Lana has a wealth of real world experience, having used Autodesk products on projects from hospitals to universities, restaurants to corporate office headquarters, from strip malls to tenant fit-up. Most recently she focused on coordination drawings/models with MEP contractors, and fabrication from the model. Lana successfully ran her CAD business and worked as the CAD manager for an international MEP engineering firm in Seattle. Lana is a Certified Autodesk Trainer and NECA certified electrical estimator. Currently pursuing her MBA in Sustainability and based in the Ideate ATC in Seattle, Lana provides training and services for AutoCAD MEP, Autodesk Revit MEP and Autodesk Navisworks.

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