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BIM Model as Construction Document

JAK-90825
Curious if anyone has worked with a contractor who has built from your BIM model. I have worked in projects where we would provide our model to the contractor for the subs to coordinate their equipment and check for collisions with structure and any MEP. We always provided the model for coordination but never as a contract doc.
We always held the contractor to our drawings and specs, that said, I have heard through the grape vine about some other contractors building from the BIM model...
You all have any experience with this? What is your takeaway? Lessons learned?
 
Dec 7, 20 8:57 pm
b3tadine[sutures]

Don't.

Dec 7, 20 8:59 pm  · 
8  · 
tduds

Correct answer.

Dec 7, 20 9:21 pm  · 
6  · 
Non Sequitur

never. Issued for construction pdf and spec book only. bIM as info only to be used at the contractors risk. Always. 

Dec 7, 20 9:13 pm  · 
3  · 
zonker

Sure, on large projects, the GC through BIM360 or BIM 360 Glue will take possession of the "football", control access, issue RFIs, create necessary construction docs from that 

Dec 7, 20 9:14 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

Can you give him "read-only" files?

Sometimes they just need a dimension from x to y, so instead of calling you every 10 minutes, they can check for themselves. We did that in the past with acad files - with appropriate legal clauses - and it worked out well. One of the keys, though, is to make sure your drawings are good and to scale.

Think about it; here is Autodesk coming out with Revit which is not really "drawing", but "modeling" where at a push of a button (almost) you can get all kinds of valuable info, and yet we constrain ourselves to giving the contractor a 2d print on paper. Doesn't make sense. We should all behave like grown-ups instead of like lawyers. Imagine a car designer modeling a car on some fancy 3D software, then giving the suppliers a print of it on paper. That would be totally ridiculous, and open to all kinds of errors and interferences, plus huge delays and enormous costs in production. Why can't architects use the technology to work for themselves as well as for everyone else involved? Simply because your association says you shouldn't?

Dec 8, 20 12:05 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Short answer is no. Long answer is a helllllllllllls no. BIM models are to be used by the contractor at their own risk. No one models everything in a model so you can't just give it to the GC and say: figure it out with this. Who knows where they will cut a section and take a dimensions from. Very bad idea and no client will want to spend x4 on the working drawings just in case the GC needs to use the model.

Dec 8, 20 12:10 pm  · 
6  · 
SneakyPete

Ever tried to model with complete fidelity? Doesn't work.

Dec 8, 20 12:13 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Correct Pete. Also, the drywall guys do not give a fuck that all 12 storeys have correctly detailed perimeter bulkheads in the model. They just need that one detail sheet with the X & Y dim and they are good for the day.

Dec 8, 20 12:17 pm  · 
3  · 
apscoradiales

NS,

Admittedly, I know very little about Revit, but while I was taught, it looked as if you had to do a perfect job on it or otherwise it wouldn't work or it would not show the model in a way that you thought it would as you flip through different views or cut sections/crate details.

You mean there is still a whole lot of fudging going on? Do you extract material quantities from the model? What do you do with that data? Not share it with anybody, not even the Quantity Surveyor?

Dec 8, 20 12:27 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

It depends what the goal of the model is. Very few people know enough about construction AND revit to make quality models so there is always some fudging. It also takes alot of time to model things that are not shown on drawing sheets... and it's very hard to verify accuracy of every part of a model compared to a few sanitized detail sheets. At the end of the day, you still want to control your exposure and producing sheets as the legal construction doc is the best option.

Dec 8, 20 12:30 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

We do give out the model for estimating tho, but again, garbage in, garbage out. If your staff can't be bothered to draw the walls with the right material IDs, then data the model throws up is not really good. It really comes down to how much time you want to spend doing someone else's job (GC, estimator, etc) and what is expected by your fee structure.

Dec 8, 20 12:35 pm  · 
2  · 
Almosthip

There is no fudging going on, just time management.

Dec 8, 20 1:02 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

Do some reading on BIM, LOD, and Contracts. The idea of a BIM model that is coordinated and updated from initial design through building maintenance and operations and therefore can be used as an as built manual is attractive and would seemingly be ideal. The amount of effort it would take is immense. Especially if you track changes through the construction process and then decide you just want the as-built at the end.

Dec 8, 20 1:15 pm  · 
3  · 
Non Sequitur

^ by fudge I usually mean the last 10% or so of the project that gets picked up with drafting views and or detail lines. Not ideal, but it happens. I'm not going to spend 2 to 3 hours making custom profiles for a ceiling trim when a simple note and cut-profile in a 1:5 section detail will do. for example. But that's my version of fudging. I know others who will put a wipeout over an entire wall section and re-draw the walls with detail lines & mat fills, even trace the wall tags and add a ref text... That's fudging to a whole other level.

Dec 8, 20 1:16 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

I turn the model off because Revit doesn't show line weights well in the model cuts, and sweeps and reveals and layers don't transition well.

Dec 8, 20 1:19 pm  · 
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Almosthip

There is a lineweight button. Never turn off model, make it the line weight you want. Also cut profile tool. Can always make the model look that way you want it too

Dec 8, 20 1:25 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

I put a roll of (canary yellow) trace on my screen and redraw the model sections like I want them using an assortment of graphite leads. I then scan the trace and insert it in the view, then freeze the rest.

Dec 8, 20 1:25 pm  · 
4  · 
SneakyPete

The lineweight tool is unreliable, and requires me to check every view every print. If it did not drop its override and also didnt require me to drag every end point so it looks correct I might consider using it.


Dec 8, 20 3:11 pm  · 
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Almosthip

My sections are damn sexy.....*said in my Best Fat Bastard voice.

Dec 8, 20 3:37 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

You realize you can set up what line weights you want your model to have when you cut sections and details? There really is no excuse for hiding the model. Proper templates will allow the user to prepare CD efficiently.

Dec 8, 20 3:46 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Hip, I've made numerous view templates to do just that. Cuts out at least 75% of the graphic work. I've got view templates for working views too that highlight fire rating, M&E&S, material types, etc... I use material filters for most of my line weights... not because it's better than the typical way but because it forces others to use correct material and wall types or else it's damn obvious during review. Oh, da fuck is this weak-ass plan? Oh, you incorrectly put in steel studs as a structural layer and put in pre-cast concrete for the block walls. That type of stuff. (narrator, the "other" in this story is me, I do all my own stunts)

Dec 8, 20 4:11 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Trim, waterproofing, reveals, flashing, and anything that is continuous yet turns a corner won't look right regardless of the line weights. Y'all spend hours and hours clicking lines to make them look better, I draw them once, then move them when the architecture moves. It's not "right vs wrong", it's deciding where you want to spend your time. If the design changes you're going to need to update all of the details anyhow, drawing them over the 3d geometry is one legit way to do it.


Let me upset you further: anyone who draws the mullion extrusion innards is wasting time.

Dec 8, 20 4:29 pm  · 
1  · 
Almosthip

Totally agree about the mullions....no need for such detail

Dec 8, 20 4:41 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

by innards you're referring to the AL tube clips, thermal break and snap caps? If so, yeah, with you on that one. CW type can change so easily and it's a bitch to change the details if another manufacturer is chosen... or you have inexperience staff that thinks more is better and turns on the bomb-blast reinforcement option in the kawneer family (happens all the time). I rebuilt our mullion families early during C19 shut down to avoid this in further projects.

But I model trims, flashings and reveals in full 3D and already have custom robust families, so it's easy now and does not take much time.  I also model corrugated steel cladding when it's used as a feature finish... but that's just me showing off. 8-) 

Dec 8, 20 4:43 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

Must be nice, in my experience things go thusly:

Standards are great because when you can't agree, you can just make your own!

Dec 8, 20 5:00 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

curtain wall profiles are a good example of the kind of information that an unwitting contractor could go looking for in the architecture model. what BIM actually needs is information control, something to make sure outside parties only "see" what you did in fact design. there is inevitably a medium or large amount of default settings and generic filler pieces in any large project.

Dec 8, 20 11:04 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

"Let me upset you further: anyone who draws the mullion extrusion innards is wasting time."

Abso-fuckin'-lutely!

Dec 9, 20 1:28 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

Right now, the body of contract law and case law just isn't there. Until enough of these projects have been litigated for me to have a good idea of what my real liability is, the paper (or PDF) documents will continue to be the Contract Documents and any sharing of BIM, CAD, or other files in native format will be for convenience, with all the disclaimers and signed releases.

Dec 8, 20 1:40 pm  · 
2  · 
apscoradiales

I know. If you think about it, the industry as a whole hasn't actually made a lot of progress since the pencil and paper days. We still hand out paper prints!

continued...

Dec 8, 20 2:33 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

...continued,

and I recall meany times Autodesk guys coming over to peddle their new release of Acad (Revit now, I assume) with a spiel that they will save a tonne of time and money for everyone (Owners will get their drawings faster with much less errors, you'll be able to make changes in a minimum of time, you can share drawings with others, etc., etc., etc...).

The management would rub their hands in glee at the prospect of being able to turn out a sheet of drawings in 30 minutes, Owners would salivate at the opportunity to reduce their expenses, "Why are you charging me the same money for your drawings now that you have a computer?", Shop drawings could be done in 15 minutes as long as we get your cad files - we just have to remember to change the Title Block....blah, blah, blah...

Kinda worked alright more-or-less, except lawyers stepped in and fucked-up everything...in addition to architects who instructed their staff to change some dimensions without actually modifying the drawings..."forget that, takes too long, just change the dims".

Seems to me the more "progress" we have made in how drawings are done, the more we have gone backwards. And more often than not drawings are done by cad geeks who have no clue how buildings get built...but, they can whip out a parapet detail in 30 seconds, it would leak live a sieve...who cares, lets just send that invoice out, the accountant would come out crying...

Fuck this!

I'm very glad I retired from this BS.

Rant over....for now!

Dec 8, 20 2:49 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

At least buy us a round to go with the rant.

Dec 8, 20 3:03 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

Blame the fucking lawyers and the system in which profit is the only goal, above quality, legacy, or humanity.

Dec 8, 20 3:12 pm  · 
2  · 
apscoradiales

We shouldn't actually blame the lawyers as much on second thought. Sometimes they protect your ass. More blame needs to be assigned to accountants. Many times I was assigned a job on which there was no more time or we don't have any more money or we're losing money. Don't think lawyers had much to do with that.

Dec 8, 20 3:23 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

It's great when you make money no matter what happens, but more when shit goes sideways.

Dec 8, 20 3:25 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

We had a client that would hand us new projects at the same time as they would serve us legal papers. For some, it's all business.

Dec 8, 20 4:39 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

"For some, it's all business."

And this is why it sucks to be a human most days.

Dec 8, 20 5:01 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

I’ve worked on award winning projects where we shared the BIM model with our contractor and consultants early on in the process...no need to get all territorial when there’s mutual trust and clarity about each person’s role and responsibilities (which was put in a contract obviously!)

Dec 9, 20 2:50 am  · 
1  · 

Which jurisdictions are doing permit intakes with the BIM these days? 

^^ that's rhetorical, but if anyone has an actual answer, feel free to share. 

More seriously, I've heard from many project teams over the years that this is where the industry is headed ... and I'm still waiting. The closest I've seen it come was a hard conversation with some prominent GCs to discuss how an architecture firm can better model so the BIM will be useful for them and their subs. They politely said, and I'm paraphrasing, "We never use your model anyway ... we can't trust it. We pay our own people to remodel what is shown in the contract documents because that is what we are being held to." Basically, garbage in, garbage out. They recognize the advantages a BIM gives them, but they won't take the risk on what our people produce. At least not on the big projects with lots of money on the line anyway.

Since then, I know of at least three architects who have left architectural firms to go work for GCs as modelers and drafters. In my estimation, that's more evidence that the industry is not doing what the architects are claiming (i.e. using the BIM as CDs) and instead are doing their own thing independently of us and taking our talent in the process.

Does this mean we won't get there? No, but I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, if you have someone telling you that the BIM will be a contract document, ask to see where it's written into the agreement.

Dec 9, 20 12:34 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

"Please provide me with more information that I can ignore." -No Plan Checker Ever

Dec 9, 20 1:12 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

wait... you hear that some planning departments want BIM as part of the permit submission/review? We already have a hard time getting them to read drawings as they are today... can't imagine them moving beyond paper.

Dec 9, 20 1:17 pm  · 
2  · 

Ha ha, no, I've not heard of planning departments wanting BIM. That's kind of my point; we make drawings in 2d space (physical paper or electronic paper) and it will be a long time before we can get away from that. Last I checked the IBC required submittal of the "construction documents" to the permitting authority. The concept that BIM will take over and replace "construction documents" is interesting, but far from reality I think. The planning department might be the last to (reluctantly) sign onto the concept.

Dec 9, 20 4:21 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

"...if you have someone telling you that the BIM will be a contract document, ask to see where it's written into the agreement..."

I cannot speak for US or even all the contracts in Canada, but I can speak for Ontario Ministry of Health, Corrections Canada, and National Defence - Canada. They required all their Construction Documents to be done in the latest version of ACAD, with their own customisation (layers, text styles, hatching, etc.). At the end, one had to turn over CAD files in dwg format to them, and the General Contractor had to provide them with a set of "as-builts" also in dwg format. Of course, the GC would need a set of architects and all the other consultants dwg files in order to do the "as-builts". Their reasoning was that in case they wanted to do some renovations or additions to the building, they could provide the new architect and the consultants with "as-builts".

If you didn't co-operate, you would not get a job from them, simple as that.

No reason to think they do not now require such documents to be in Revit, since Revit is supposed to be the latest-and-the-greatest.

I assure you a military General doesn't give a shit what application you use to draw his HQ in, but Autodesk does; they did such a fantastic job of selling their programmes.

Dec 9, 20 1:01 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Any architecture firm that agrees to provide "as-builts" is fucking dumb. We do not build, and we do not provide "as-builts". If you want a "Record Set" we can talk.

Dec 9, 20 1:11 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Aps, final files must be compliant with AutoCAD, not done with.

Dec 9, 20 1:15 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

"I assure you a military General doesn't give a shit what application you use to draw his HQ in..."

I am currently working on a military project and can tell you this is absolutely false. It is in our contract that we must use Revit 2020, and that the Revit native files must be delivered to the Government (our models are actually audited by USACE for quality and compliance with standards). The fact that they are deliverables to the Government does not make them part of the Contract Documents - those will still be paper/PDF as always.

Dec 9, 20 1:24 pm  · 
3  · 
apscoradiales

SneakyPete,

As architects, we never did any as-builts. We never built a damn thing; we're only "architects".

The GC, otoh, is required to provide "as-builts" Now, you don't expect him to draw the whole building right down to the last nail do you? He uses documents that are given to him for construction. Many times, a marked-up set of those drawings is sufficient to meet the Owner/GC contract, but sometimes the contract calls for a set of dwg files to be issued by the GC to the Owner.

When his contract requires him to do the dwg files, then we are also obliged by our contract with the Owner to provide him with a set of cad files, but we remove our names, and the stamp from them.

Your jurisdiction/clients may be different.

Dec 9, 20 2:46 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

"When his contract requires him to do the dwg files, then we are also obliged by our contract with the Owner to provide him with a set of cad files, but we remove our names, and the stamp from them."

Can you rephrase this so I can understand which 'him' is the owner and which 'him' is the GC?

Dec 9, 20 4:04 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

Sorry, too many "him", I guess.

Our contract with the Owner required us to supply him with dwg files. It also required us to provide his GC with a set of dwgs - same ones as "Issued for Construction" set of prints.

The GC was under contract to the Owner to pride a set of "as-builts" based on the set of dwgs we game to him (the GC).

Does that make sense or have I confused it even more?

Dec 9, 20 4:28 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Sounds like the owner should have been charged extra for the set he gave to the contractor, then the contractor should have been given a flattened and fully cropped and purged set with no xrefs. As it is the contractor's starting with your entire work product...

Dec 9, 20 5:18 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

Well, a client comes to you and says, "I have this big job, and if you want it, you will have to do this, this, and this. Do you want it?" You gotta put food on the table...!

Dec 9, 20 5:21 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Gotta love the Tiny Tim model of Architecture. "Please, sir; I want some more."

Dec 9, 20 5:25 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

Ever tried translating some apps' drawings into dwg files?

Not pretty!

And many become un-editable or are gibberish to the future architect to do additions or renovations.

So, by default they make you use Acad. Or at least they used to - maybe now they make you give them Revit files, not sure.

Dec 9, 20 2:55 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

atelier nobody,

"I am currently working on a military project and can tell you this is absolutely false"

So, you're telling me that what we did with dozens of military bases' projects across Canada is "absolutely wrong"?

Ummm, I wish I knew that at the time; would have told the generals and the Minister of Defence to fuck off right there and then!

You did notice "...I cannot speak for US or even all the contracts in Canada...", did you?

"...The fact that they are deliverables to the Government does not make them part of the Contract Documents - those will still be paper/PDF as always..."

Evidently, I didn't make myself clear enough here. I meant the Contract we, as architects, had with our government client, NOT the "Contract Documents" used by the General Contractor. Two different things.

Prints (or pdf's) were given to our client, but they insisted, as per our contract with them, that we give them a set of dwg files - "Issued for Construction".


Dec 9, 20 3:07 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

Non Sequitur,

Have you done any work for TTC recently?

Do they still require that all work be done in Intergraph?

Dec 9, 20 3:42 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

I avoid Toronto like the plague, general rule, so no. But I’ll take your word for it.

Dec 9, 20 4:52 pm  · 
 · 
apscoradiales

Well, consider yourself lucky.

Dec 9, 20 4:57 pm  · 
1  · 

I think it would be helpful for the discussion if apscoradiales would preface his posts about the state of the industry with the date of his retirement.

Dec 9, 20 4:26 pm  · 
2  · 
apscoradiales

Retired in Spring of 2013. Started working part time in 1973, full time in 1975. Last firm was undergoing a major overhaul including changes to project managers, accounting and directors including overseas operations. Work was picking up when I left (thanks largely to federal and provincial governments), but not the clients I wanted to do work for. Does this help?

Dec 9, 20 4:54 pm  · 
 · 

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