Thursday, May 13, 2010


Ladies and gentlemen -

No post for a while, but that' because we've been doing great things!

To begin we have trained over 300 field staff. No small feat.

With some of the best questions I have ever been asked.

One of them was in regard to how to handle RFI's that have been coordinated through the BIM collaborative process. And of course there are a couple of answers to this question.

1.) The first answer is that if you are fortunate enough to work on a project that is IPD or has contract language integrated into the delivery method such as Design-Build or CM at Risk, that streamlines the approval process, many of these teams can approve changes to the model on the go, as they occur.

This is a dream scenario. Unfortunately it's often not the case that the engineer and subcontractor are one and the same. It's great though when you work on a job that as you are going through a series of clash reports, 4D clash reporting, sequencing simulations, etc..the mechanical team, electrical team and so on can approve the changes on the fly. It's amazing how much paperwork and communication time can be reduced.

This is really where the industry is headed for a number of reasons, the biggest of those being cost savings and time to coordinate a project.

Anyways, moving on to answer #2.

2.) In most cases, we are working with a setup that has the engineer and the subcontractor as two different entities with separate interests. While this is the most common way of doing things there are some real inefficiencies in this process, but there are ways to minimize the amount of legwork required to get model changes approved as fast as possible.

Example - you have 4,200 clashes on a CM at Risk job coming from the engineer that you need to coordinate with the subcontractor to fulfill their contract requirement of "fully coordinated shop drawings."

Do you issue 4,200 RFI's to the engineer? Hardly. Besides having a field engineer who you will probably drive to become an alcoholic, there is a better way of processing these changes.

Solution - begin coordinating the clashes via a GoTo Meeting or in house model coordination session. At the end of every week submit all of the changes to the engineer for approval as a BIM submittal to approve the changes you intend to make. This fulfils the requirement to have the engineer sign off on revisions to the design, while streamlining your effort to issue RFI's. Continue until zeroed out...and hopefully prior to construction. Har har.

Finally there WILL be issues that cannot seemingly be resolved via BIM coordination, because for some reason or another the systems just don't fit as designed or someone hasn't thought everything through. In this case, highlight the issue and forward on to the Project management team for resolution as an RFI so you aren't driving yourself crazy trying to be Superman(or girl) and jam everything into the space.

The basic idea here is to maximize the results, minimize the work everyone has to do and virtually coordinate before the shovel hits the dirt.

As always, comments welcome!