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BIM Adoption – The Thought Behind the Design Creating value and reducing risk with BIM execution in the A/E/C industry.

Executive Guide

Executive Guide BIM Adoption – The Thought Behind the Design

INTRODUCTION: Over the last few decades, technology has immensely influenced the way that we interact with the world around us including the way we live, work and communicate. In the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, the technological influences of Building Information Modeling (BIM) has revolutionized how a structure is designed and built, but also the way in which a project team collaborates.

So, what exactly is BIM and why has this technological advancement had such an impact on design and construction? For starters, BIM technology is a process that uses digital 5D models or prototypes to integrate information and parameters that are relevant to building design, structure and systems. When complete, this intelligent model contains geometry and data to support the planning, design, construction and management of a building project. When we say “5D models”, we mean that BIM models consist of three spatial dimensions with the addition of scheduling data and cost estimates.

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Executive Guide BIM differs from traditional CAD drawings because the model consists of intelligent objects that stay consistent throughout the design process when changes are made and when multiple entities work with the model. A project team made up of architects, MEP engineers, structural engineers and contractors can now, quite literally, bring a project to life before ground has even broken. The impact that BIM has had on the AEC industry significantly improves collaboration, saves time, reduces costs and allows for flawless design practices. BIM sounds like a design and construction development dream come true right? Yes, but every member of the design and construction team needs to be on board for this model to function correctly in real world situations. What is meant by this is that designers need to generate a model that is accurate enough to directly hand over to the contractor. What happens a lot of the time is that designers are using their BIM models as only a reference and the model is not part of the actual contract documents. On the other end, contractors do not always trust that the information in the BIM model from the designers is accurate enough to use directly.

Designers Creating High-Level Models for Contractors With the way that the AEC industry is adapting, more and more architects and engineers are taking the leap to strive for BIM models that are of the highest quality and can be given directly to contactors.

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Executive Guide Some architectural and engineering firms are even doing all of their design work in BIM and offer it as their standard design end product. Design firms who are early adopters of using this new technology to the highest level, are seeing increased productivity and improved relationships with contractors and clients. Since there are many different uses for these BIM models and many different viewpoints on the level of implementation that the models will actually have between designers and contractors, it is still important to know value and risk reduction that BIM has the potential to execute.

CHAPTER 1: SHARED KNOWLEDGE, ULTIMATE COLLABORATION The saying, “two heads are better than one” comes to mind when you think of the collaboration that’s attained with BIM, except there are many heads involved. When using BIM over past methods, the entire project team has access to equivalent design, cost, and scheduling information in real time. Different pieces of the model can be worked on and viewed by different members of the project team. All of the project team members can combine their knowledge from diverse disciplines into one model. As long as there is available connection, the model can be viewed in the interconnected databased by any member of the project team. One of the main reasons architects and engineers have difficulty communicating with their clients is because they use field-specific language that often goes misunderstood. When a designer uses BIM, their client does not have to look at lines on a piece of paper. They can actually see what the designer is talking about in an interactive form.

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Executive Guide Managing a BIM Modeling Team A fully integrated and high-quality BIM model requires an environment that brings all stakeholders together early to share information and working practices. The best way to make sure the project team is on the same page from the get-go is to execute a well-thought out and negotiated BIM Execution plan. This step by step plan should reduce the amount of “assumptions� regarding the model and the information that is included. Not only is this necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page, but a BIM model can have an extensively fluctuating level of information and detail if you do not clarify what is in the model and what it can be used for. Moreover, if this information is not clarified, severe liability issues can arise and cause additional complications. Additionally, it is beneficial to implement someone as a BIM Champion to lead the BIM Execution plan and manage the workflow from multiple sources. The best person to execute this role is someone who has strong technical skills, knowledge and motivational finesse to guide the team in executing the plan through all project phases.

CHAPTER 2: Coordination and Clash Detection The coordination process with BIM involves, constructability reviews, clash detection and coordination meetings to ensure optimized and flawless design and construction. Regardless of the size and scope of a project, a fully-integrated team can achieve high levels of accuracy through a step by step process with coordination modeling and clash detection. Coordinated Model Previous 2D drawings lack the ability to encompass the plentitude of a structure. It is difficult to grasp exactly how the building is going to look and function.

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Executive Guide Fully coordinated models of the highest level incorporate floor plans and models to show just about anything you would want to know about infrastructure including architectural design, structural design, MEP/FP building systems, highway and road engineering, landscape and land surveying, offshore and marine architecture, rail and metro transportation engineering, tunneling and subway architecture, urban master-planning and smart city design. Not only do coordinated models show various elements that make up a building or other type of infrastructure, but they show how they come together in a way that could never be achieved with separate digital systems. Clash Detection Extremely complex internal building systems such as mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection (MEP/FP) elements can be difficult to orchestrate through the walls floorboards and ceilings. Some of these systems even interact together and will intersect, but they all need their own dedicated space to function safety and properly. In order to arrange and coordinate all of these systems with the architecture and structural components, the systems are built in the digital model first. Clash detection is then used to resolve design issues from different systems clashing together or where errors in the design appear in the coordinated model. All the involved disciplines can now discuss changes, detect clashes and move forward with solutions to the clash errors. No Need for Coordination Drawings from the Contractor Frequently, contractors prepare coordination drawings to demonstrate the arrangement of materials, equipment, systems or plans to reduce conflicts from different trades when a new building a being constructed. With the production of accurate and reliable BIM models, there would be no need for such documents produced by the contractor. As stated previously, architects and engineers don’t always create models that are of a high enough level to hand over to contractors to use in place of coordination drawings. Although this is not always the case, innovative architecture and engineering firms should be striving to achieve this level of accuracy in their BIM models.

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Executive Guide

CHAPTER 3: Existing Conditions Modeling Since BIM has so many useful capabilities, it probably comes as no surprise that the BIM modeling process is not only useful for greenfield design and construction, but for developing models of existing site conditions, facilities on sites and specific areas within a facility. Enhancing Efficiency and Accuracy of Existing Conditions Existing conditions modeling differs from greenfield modeling due to developmental needs that represent the current building. Creating the existing conditions model can be done by laser scanning or traditional surveying techniques. Performing the BIM modeling process for existing conditions is a timelier process when you compare it to greenfield architecture, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks of using traditional methods. There is additional value involved when recreating an existing building or piece of a building as a BIM model. If you were ever to complete renovations or an addition on the existing BIM model, you would have everything ready to go for your project team. Additionally, you could use this information to create a pre-disaster plan and post-disaster record.

CHAPTER 4: How BIM can Help Reduce Project Budge and Duration As BIM is now a mainstay in the design and construction industry and many professional firms are busy updating to accommodate BIM procedures, one of the most beneficial factors remains largely unstudied. This major benefit is “how can BIM modeling help reduce project budgets?� We know that BIM can save money because a lot of the challenges that are faced in the building lifecycle can be improved with the use of BIM technology. Improvements could mean a reduction in project duration, errors and omissions, rework and/or claims/litigation.

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Executive Guide All these project factors make big impacts on the total cost of the design and construction project. The AEC industry is no different when it comes to the saying “time is money”. In the various project stages that are gone through during the lifecycle of the project, there are plenty of ways to save on project budget and duration.

Reduce Project Budget and Duration – Design Stage Conceptual design, spearheaded by architects and engineers, sets the groundwork for the entire project by factoring in design components such as building plan, client desires, local codes and regulations, budget and sustainability, amongst building simulations and analyses. Without the use of BIM, the project team would require extensive sit-down meetings to attempt to factor in all discipline’s concepts with the end product being a drawing with unrealistic, 2D lines. Powerful, intelligent models allow for all members of the project team to go over the design at an accelerated rate while giving everyone a breakdown on exactly what the infrastructure is going to look like. For example, an architecture firm created 150 visualizations for a hospital in Seattle and adjusted the formation of the building to look arched, but with flat glass, saving over $900,000 on mullions and glazing and 800 hours of design time. Reduce Project Budget and Duration – Construction Stage General construction planning is directly connected to project design planning so there is no need for additional construction coordination drawings to be produced at an additional fee. With the project rolling right into construction after design, the entire team is still on the same page which leads to a more accurate project timeframe.

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Executive Guide When the opportunity presents itself for pre-fabricated building components, BIM modeling makes this simple for project teams by improving site safety, schedule and cost. Reduce Project Budget and Duration – Management Stage The value of BIM can be extended by helping facility management operate efficiently by planning and managing the building. Lifecycle costs can be greatly reduced by using intelligent models to analyze data to better manage facility operations. How Much is Rework Really Costing You? Out of the several reductions that directly impact project cost, a reduction in rework seems to have a significant impact on project budget and is almost always a common occurrence. According to a research paper on the impact of construction industry rework by Jason Dougherty, Nigel Hughes and James Zack, Jr., the median cost of rework, as a percentage of total project cost, is between 4.03% and 6.05% with a median value of 5.04% (16). These percentages are only taking into account the direct cost of reported rework. With this number in mind, that would mean on average per $1,000,000 that is part of the total project cost, $50,400 is spent on rework. For a project that has a total cost of $5,000,000, the owner would be spending an average of $252,000 for the rework on the project. Even more significant, according to the same study, is the cost of rework when you consider both direct and indirect factors is between 7.25% and 10.89% with a median value of 9.07% (17). Now with this number in mind, that would mean on average per $1,000,000 that is part of the total project cost, $90,700 is spent on rework. For a project that has a total cost of $5,000,000, the owner would be spending an average of $453,500 for the rework on the project. Most would probably agree that they would rather spend this money in other areas of the project than the work that is supposed to be done right the first time. The elimination of rework is completely possible with the use of BIM modeling, designers who have the skill level to create accurate BIM models, contractors who can build directly from the BIM model and a project team who properly implements their BIM Execution plan. The cost of construction rework is just one of the factors that has been considered. Think about all the other project factors that BIM could help reduce cost in.

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Executive Guide

CHAPTER 5: Environmental Impact and Sustainability The AEC industry as a whole is trying to reduce the footprint that they have on the environment. BIM can help with this in several ways. Energy Efficiency BIM is a data-rich platform that can provide comprehensive and interact accumulations of building elements to create new types of energy models. This is done by each division adding more and more components to the model day-in and day-out. As time goes on, the model functions more like a real structure, allowing real world calculations to be made about the use of the building. BIM is a data-rich platform that can provide comprehensive and interact accumulations of building elements to create new types of energy models. This is done by each division adding more and more components to the model day-in and day-out. As time goes on, the model functions more like a real structure, allowing real world calculations to be made about the use of the building.

Data Collection for Owners It is very true how architects, engineers and contractors can become very close to a building as they go through the design and construction process, but one day they have go on to the next project and the owner takes over everything. It is sometimes difficult for owners to get to know their building from a performance standpoint especially when it comes to the health and safety of their staff and community.

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Executive Guide The data that has been collected can be given to the owners to provide information on the building’s energy use on a day-to-day basis, ways that can be of use to the community from an environmental standpoint and methods on improving health and safety of the building’s staff.

Conclusion In closing, BIM is actually not a new concept and has been around for almost 20 years. Even as far back in 1962, Douglas C. Englebart gives a very accurate prediction of what he thinks is going to happen next for the architectural industry in his paper Augmenting Human Intellect. “The architect next begins to enter a series of specifications and data–a six-inch slab floor, twelve-inch concrete walls eight feet high within the excavation, and so on. When he has finished, the revised scene appears on the screen. A structure is taking shape. He examines it, adjusts it… These lists grow into an evermore – detailed, interlinked structure, which represents the maturing thought behind the actual design.” As BIM adoption continues to accelerate, the early adopters with the design and construction industry, can now allocate almost two decades of BIM experience to their portfolio. It is hard to believe that something that still seems so new was first created so long ago. With this guide, we hope to bring realization to the value of BIM and encourage the AEC industry to accelerate adoption of this process. We’ve covered the following benefits: 

We assessed existing collaborative methods for all disciplines and project team members to share information on the model and manage a BIM modeling team (Chapter 1).

We established the benefits of fully coordinating a BIM model and performing clash detection so there is no need to obtain separate coordination drawings from the contractor (Chapter 2).

We identified how to use BIM modeling capabilities to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of existing conditions (Chapter 3).

We discussed the advantages of how BIM can reduce the budget and timeframe of a project lifecycle (Chapter 4).

We reviewed how BIM can be used to decrease the footprint that the building process has on the environment (Chapter 5).

BIM is and continues to be the way of the future for the AEC industry. The designers and contractors that adapt will be the ones to pave the way as industry leaders, as well offer the most value to their clients.

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Executive Guide

JPT Architects, P.C. A specialized architecture and engineering firm making a big impact on the quality of BIM models to further bring the AEC industry into the future. 

JPT offers a standard high-level BIM model with every project that we design. Quality and bringing value to our clients is of the upmost importance to our firm.

At JPT, we understand your challenges because the world of healthcare is our focus. Complex codes and regulations that govern medical facilities are second-nature to our team of professional healthcare architects, engineers and planners. Our firm has demonstrated experience in a full range of design, engineering and construction solutions that help healthcare organizations deliver superior care. As a Pennsylvania-based firm that has been in business for 15 years, we have completed projects across the United States, ranging from small renovations to greenfield hospital designs. Our solutions come from the combined insight of a fully integrated team working together to create an environment that benefits healthcare organizations and their patients. 

Specialize in Architectural and Engineering design and planning for the healthcare industry

Standard high-level BIM model.

Our reputation is based on our strengths and capabilities. Ask our clients!

Experts in complex regulatory and code compliance requirements for the healthcare industry.

1% change order rate - A testament to our reliability and accuracy.

Never incurred Errors and Omissions costs.

Woman-Owned WBENC business.

Please give us a call at (814) 536.5321 and visit our website at

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Executive Guide Works Cited Dougherty, Jason, et al. “The Impact of Rework on Construction & Some Practical Remedies.” Navigant Construction Forum, Aug. 2012. Print.

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BIM Adoption - The Thought Behind the Design  

Creating value and reducing risk with BIM execution in the A/E/C industry.

BIM Adoption - The Thought Behind the Design  

Creating value and reducing risk with BIM execution in the A/E/C industry.