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8 Ways Architects & Engineers can Outsource BIM Services

The success of any building construction project depends on two vital aspects; the coordination of timing and efforts of architects & engineers

Published: 20/12/2017

Country: United States

The success of any building construction project depends on two vital aspects; the coordination of timing and efforts of architects & engineers. They are the ones who have their hands full with construction project details which cannot be and should not be overlooked. Since decades architectural and engineering construction companies have acted rigidly to keep their 3D modeling and CAD drafting processes in-house so as to adhere to prescribed construction schedules - religiously.

However, the advent of robust CAD software from Autodesk has made it a convenience for architects and engineers to outsource BIM modeling component of their projects without compromising on schedules or incurring additional costs as a result of delays into building processes. The robust software particularly empowered builders to outsource MEP design and drafting services to specialists, equipped to streamline project delivery, reduce waste, and the risk of design defects.

As against the 2D drawings prepared by in-house draftsmen at the inception of a building project, architects now can have hands-on multi-dimensional depictions of the project. BIM specialists develop 3D CAD models, which can change and grow along with the project and can be used across conception through completion and operations of a building.

Enlisted are 8 ways why architects and engineers should outsource BIM services:

  • 3D/4D/5D BIM Modeling controls overall project costs

BIM Service Company provides 3D models, which help in-house AEC and MEP teams of the architectural firm.  BIM modelers also prepare 4D simulations of a clash free coordinated model for all three disciplines such as architectural, structural and MEP. It helps all involved to visualize the whole series of construction events and understand the progress of construction activities throughout the lifetime of the project. It also helps in MEP construction sequencing as the project progresses.

5D BIM is prepared by BIM solution providers, simultaneously during the pre-construction 4D construction schedule sequencing phase. Now with the help of such 5D BIM model, cost Managers can very quickly determine the quantity of a particular component, applying rates to those quantities to reach an overall cost for that package. 5D BIM is itself integrates the cost estimation ability to the BIM model in a way that any change in the design reflects immediately in the budget.

With emergence of BIM and the outstanding benefits that it offers, AEC firms can now keep more of their in-house professionals at the construction site. Outsourced BIM services provide them with all the information they require in order to keep their project schedules within budgets.

  • Documentation with minimal turnaround

Documentation of any building construction project starts with documentation of designs in form of 2D drafts. Revit software that BIM companies use empowers them to make changes and to respond to documentation requirements within prescribed TATs. This is what makes outsourced 2D drafting teams more competent at providing all documents required for regular reviews, building permits, financing, and investor and owner presentations. They are competent as it is their core expertise – and they are supposed to do only this activity.

Unlike in-house drafting function which requires professionals to satisfy document demands along with routine activities, outsourcing happens to provide better benefits. Specialist BIM companies which prepare documents with minimal turnaround will save substantial costs and other resources.

  • Integrating inputs from architects, designers, engineers and subcontractors

BIM solution providers integrate the efforts of architects, designers, engineers, and subcontractors into a single function, to help project managers by centralizing BIM components.

BIM subcontractors can easily track and organize contacts with each service provider, so as to manage and report the workflow and overall progress of the construction project. Additionally, centralizing BIM subcontractor services will see to it that changes made by any of the subcontractors are approved by all involved in the project. Also, those changes are communicated to several other service providers whose work will likely to be impacted by those changes.

  • Project Coordination to avoid scheduling conflicts

Eliminating scheduling conflicts, idle time and delays are possible only if project coordination is in place. Advanced BIM software will not only portray MEP layout of a construction project but even the time which will be required for each section of MEP installation and the workflow in and around that installation. This eventually takes care of the stress which usually projects managers have to bear, in terms of coordinating the efforts of teams of service providers and supply chain stakeholders.

  • Visualize construction & installation of MEPF systems

MEPF systems are made to squeeze into tighter spaces and complex pathways due to modern building project requirements, making it challenging enough for the contractors to visualize construction & installation of MEPF systems in such projects. Identifying problems between MEP elements during the design development stage is a key factor in keeping costs down during construction phases.

Expert BIM contractors will deliver field drawings and visualizations of construction activities, enabling contractors to see where and how their systems will be installed, before the construction activity starts. They leverage their expertise at Revit, supported by BIM workflow and not a CAD workflow. With Autodesk Revit, the design documentation process is streamlined and productivity is maximized. A single design change in one system is automatically updated across all MEP models. All this ultimately will reduce delays and help in maintaining a workflow schedule, keeping all contractors on task.

  • Real-time project management as the project progresses

Project supervisors are ready to spend hefty dollars for any tool, software or a platform, which can help them manage building projects conveniently and efficiently. Outsourcing BIM services, to a specialist design and engineering firm, will make it a convenience for the project manager to handle project logistics, costs, and material flow.

BIM models help them to have a look at drawings and mock-ups on real-time basis as the project progresses. They can prepare themselves to make those important project decisions, which will help them in saving cost and time.

  • Easy roadmap for operation and maintenance

Completion of a building project is not when the construction ends. The next step is to make that building operational and maintaining it over years. BIM Specialist Company maintains all records of a building project, to help building owners and operators across the project lifecycle. These records are a quick and easy roadmap for contractors to access and repair MEP systems with minimal effect on other systems.

The benefits are not limited to repairs and maintenance. Building owners and facility managers are able to install new MEP systems and upgrade existing systems conveniently when they have access to such records.

  • Project implementation through collaboration and coordination

Project implementation can fail miserably with inadequate or improper planning. BIM services will facilitate both in collaboration and coordination, for implementation. Detailed multi-dimensional 3D BIM models developed by BIM specialists are potent enough to give all project participants, the required clarity as to where they are headed. It also gives them the assurance that the project is viable and achievable, well within the project manager’s schedule.

Why outsource BIM services?

BIM service providers are experts at working with project planners and building project managers across phases of conceptualization, analysis of requests for proposals, bids, designs, and construction. Building architecture, engineering, and construction are no more separate trades. Outsourced BIM service providers unite and provide efficient, effective, and coordinated services.

NBS has set up goals which define industry-best practices for MEP design and various other disciplines, which are completely focused on maintaining open standards that all BIM service providers can use to deliver better services. MEPF systems are getting eco-friendly, energy-efficient, and complicated also, due to advent in systems and technologies. Subcontractors who fail to accommodate these industry-best practices will have to leave the game.

Only the best BIM service provider can blend the efforts of planners and subcontractors to optimize MEP planning, design and drafting. Those subcontractors ready to commit to outsourcing the BIM aspect of building projects will realize greater efficiency and profitability.

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