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BIM, FM and Outsourcing – the Revolution for Design/Build

If BIM is the revolution in Design/Build then what’s the technology behind the revolution?  Some may say it’s the software, some may say it’s the models, but we think it’s about people, process, and collaboration.

From a CAD Service provider’s perspective, one of the most valuable additions that BIM offers is the ability to work more closely with the people who send us their CAD work.  While we may specialize in CAD conversion, the truth is that today, CAD conversion is no longer about someone sending us a file to convert, and more about collaborating with the design team to ensure that they have all the bits and pieces of information in their BIM model.

Invariably, as a design/build project progress, this means that we get to interact with a lot of different players on the team.  There’s no longer the hard-and-fast divide between architects and contractors, engineers and subcontractors and outsource service providers. BIM plays a significant role in promoting collaboration between all project stakeholders, improving efficiency and profitability for all concerned – including clients. However, not every contractor and subcontractor feels yet inclined to assume the responsibility for promoting and championing BIM.

Outsource BIM

It’s even more true that not many CAD service providers are not brave enough to jump into the design-build foray known as BIM.  That may be because no one person on the team takes charge of the responsibility for BIM.  But, what we’ve learned is that as an outsource service, we’re in a unique position to interact with all the stakeholders.  Especially when we’re generating the 3D models, it’s imperative that we dive in feet-first and take responsibility for the BIM.

Outsource BIM to Aide the Architect and Owner

The Architect

Many, if not most Design/Build projects today include BIM.  Often, this is a requirement of the original RFP, so by the time the funding is in place and the design phase has begun, all stakeholders know that s decided that BIM will play a significant role at every stage of design and construction.

As the architect begins working on their design model, we may be called upon to draft various design versions based on the initial architect concept.  This reduces the time the architect spends in minor revisions while enabling her to focus fully on the design.

When complete, the architectural model is presented to the owner, who does a virtual walkthrough of the model, and often suggests changes and offers their thoughts on the architect’s vision of the finished project.  If we’ve been involved at the beginning, it’s quite fast and easy for us to do make the changes, which can be presented, sometimes the same day, back to the owner.

NOTE:   4D BIM involves time-related data, such as information about scheduling (including lead times, installation and build phases) being added to the model and 5D BIM is, principally, about the inclusion of information that helps facilitate accurate cost estimates.  As a rule, we, as a CAD outsource provider do not get involved in these issues.  Our area of expertise is in the CAD work related to the generation of the BIM model and any 3D animation required for walk-throughs.

The success the BIM process relies heavily on how well BIM models are set up from the get-go. That’s where we, in collaboration with the architect, excel.

The Owner

When an owner commissions a building, he is primarily concerned with how it will serve his needs after the project’s completion. Although the owner and his Facilities Management (FM) teams are likely to be the biggest users of BIM models and the data they contain, they usually aren’t BIM experts.  While this is changing, primarily because of the U.S. Government’s push toward BIM in government-funded construction, it’s still an area where we’re frequently called upon for expertise in maintaining their FM data.

The overall purpose of utilizing BIM for FM is to enable building owners to leverage facility data throughout the building’s lifecycle to provide safe, healthy, effective, and efficient work environments for their tenants. Ask yourself, “How long does it take to recreate a new tenant phone list or an employee space allocation guide?” BIM for FM makes these everyday tasks easy and helps to prolong the life of the building by monitoring building and building systems maintenance, repair, replacement, and alterations.

Who Else Benefits from Using BIM for FM

Outsource services such as CAD CAM Services BIM Modeling and FM strike a balance between design, construction, and building management. The cohesive information within the BIM can be used and displayed in a variety of different methods, from a simple spreadsheet to a fully integrated relational database containing an efficient graphic representation of the structure(s).

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