March 1, 2011

Ideate Health Check - QC for Your BIM

Derek Wielkopolski and I spent Wednesday, February 17th meeting with 100+ architects, engineers, and contractors at the Seattle Revit User’s Group (SEARUG) presenting information about Quality Control for Building Information Models. It’s been on our minds a lot lately as our customers are trying to stay on top of increasingly sophisticated models, often with reduced team sizes. As our Support Manager, Derek and the Ideate Technical Team review and troubleshoot large Revit models every day. We went to SEARUG to share some of the tools and strategies we implement as part of our Ideate Health Check Service. Below is a summary of our presentation.

Whether prompted by the AIA’s E202 BIM Model Protocol document, COBie2, or the GSA, or simply from owner expectations, our customers are recognizing the need to bump up the quality of their BIM deliverables and Ideate has responded by offering the Ideate Health Check. As part of the Ideate Health Check Service, our team works together to audit Revit file(s) either at the Design Development Phase or after a project has been completed. We provide feedback (quantitative and qualitative) for improving the model from both a performance and a quality standpoint. Our goal is to educate customers on how to build cleaner, quicker, and higher quality models for subsequent Revit projects.

Our frontline tool for assessing model integrity is Ideate Explorer for Revit, which we use to quickly scan project files for anomalies. We liken this level of review to the routine check by doctors for blood pressure; sometimes this simple check can reveal a tremendous amount about a project’s “health.” With Ideate Explorer, we start by specifically looking at some of the items that cannot be reviewed within the Revit Project Browser such as:
· How many CAD Imports (and repeat instances) are there?
· Has the Group>Array option been used extensively?
· How many Detail Lines are there (this can sometimes point to CAD Imports that have been exploded)?
· How are Groups being used (how many instances per each group)?
In addition to the basic items above we find that we are always surprised what this simple Audit can reveal about a project. As you get into the habit of reviewing every project it becomes very easy to spot items that are worth investigating further. Recent examples include these “AHA!” moments: Why are there 7,000+ Ceilings in such a small building? Why are there 100s of JPGs in this project? Why are there 5,000+ Reference Planes? Each of these findings represents an opportunity to sit down with staff and discuss modeling best practices!

What’s going on here with these 91,000 Detail Lines...

Next week we’ll post additional information from our presentation, including details on how we are using Autodesk’s Model Review, and Ideate BIMLink as part of our Ideate Health Check.

Is your project feeling a little under the weather? Contact Ideate, Inc. about a Health Check: 888.662.7238 or

Glynnis Patterson,
N.C.A.R.B. – Director of Services

Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients across the nation, developing, and implementing best practices solutions. In her spare time Glynnis is a member of the Morristown Environmental Commission and builds Lego projects.

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