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Collaborating Successfully With BIM 

Jared Krieger (at right) will talk about how to execute a fully integrated BIM project at the 2013 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver. Image © Gensler

I became a true believer in the power of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology several years ago, during a design development meeting for a complex project: twin seven-story student residence buildings. Originally, the design build team was going to coordinate our work traditionally with CAD sections, plans, and hand markups. Then we realized as part of the deliverable the client required each primary consultant—architect, MEP engineers, structural engineer, and contractor—was required to deliver an integrated Revit model. We figured, since we had the models, why not use them to coordinate collaboratively? It wasn’t long into the planning meeting that my teammates and I realized that BIM is more than just a fancy delivery tool. We could instantly see the systems and potential conflicts by cutting sections, looking at 3D views, hiding roof layers, and isolating the structure and mechanical ducts. We found ways we could, as a team, tweak the design and make it more efficient—all because we were revolving around the model and making changes on the fly. The project turned out to be a huge BIM success story, and I haven’t looked back since.

With this in mind, I’ve outlined five tips (originally posted on BD+C) for running a successful BIM coordination meeting so you can maximize this technology too:

  1. Practice and prepare. Yes, practice for a meeting. The more you do it, the more productive your meetings can be. It takes some skill to be able to navigate model, have the right models loaded in, and correct visibility settings. Spending 15 minutes before loading models and opening views for the areas of focus will save you a lot of waiting and downtime in a meeting.

  2. Have one person as a designated “driver.” This person needs to be familiar with the model and savvy with the software platform. It can be quite cumbersome and drag down the meeting when a group of people have to watch someone poorly navigating the model. That will quickly kill your productivity.

  3. Use your team’s time wisely. You don’t always have to have the full team in the room at the same time. Consider splitting the meeting into structured trades. One example is meeting with the structural engineer for the first portion of the meeting to review structural specific coordination. Then have some overlap time with MEP and structural for common coordination. Finish the meeting with MEP-specific coordination.

  4. Use meeting notes to stay focused. Open action items and homework given out in a previous meeting should be the basis for discussion in your current meeting. Use this structure to keep yourself on track and resolve open coordination issues before moving on to new items.

  5. Talk about this process early on in a project. For most, using a more collaboratively focused process leveraging technology will be a new process. It may sound like a large time commitment, but if done correctly it will save you time in the long run. Educate the team early on and set/manage expectations.

For more great insight on how to use BIM effectively, don’t miss Jared Krieger, Project Architect in Gensler’s Washington, D.C., office, at the AIA National Convention in Denver. He will speak on “Maximizing BIM: How to Successfully Execute a Fully Integrated BIM Project,” on Friday, June 21, 6:00-7:00 p.m. More information: http://convention.aia.org.

Jared Krieger is an associate based in Gensler’s Washington, D.C., office. As an architect and a leader of Gensler’s design and delivery team, Jared has successfully lead and delivered a variety of BIM heavy commercial design projects from concept through construction, including GMU Housing 8A, TCC Tysons Tower, and many others. He believes that collaboration, identifying and navigating hurdles in advance, and looking beyond the ordinary are critical to project success. Contact him at jared_Krieger@gensler.com.

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Reader Comments (2)

I really find this article very interesting. These insights really make sense. I think BIM is a wonderful tool which helps every building construction at its best. A successful collaboration with this tool makes incredible results. But we can't deny the fact that flaws are there, too. If we just take this positively, there's a greater chance to make this BIM process at its best. Thanks for sharing incredible post. Your ideas are so brilliant.
07.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIris Wise
Awesome article with meaning full insights. Bim is really an awesome tool and using bim with any other is definitely helpful. Bim is now future of construction industry.
08.14.2015 | Unregistered CommenterSophia

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