BIM vs 3rd Party Plan Check


I'm currently a part of a small firm that specializes in 3rd party plancheck. There is agrowing argument to see if BIM will put such companies out of business. Between access compliance, constructability, code revision, etc, will a program such as Revit ever take over for the ability of a human to go through a set of CD's and find discrepancies? A growing number of large construction management companies have been using (and failing) BIM as an excuse to cut us out of the process. So what do you guys think?

Mar 30, 10 5:16 pm

No, I don't think so, but I think you may be checking a BIM model, and utilizing other BIM software to aide in your plan checking.

Check out a software like Solibri. It's still in it's infancy in my opinion, but it is trying to do what you describe... Take this model, take this code, press button, print results... it'll never be that easy, but that's the thought...

also, things can be easily modeled that cannot be built...

and, there's always a place for a 3rd party review. The AE or DB firm that says they ran their model through a process like Solibri and having you run it through a process like Solibri are two different things in the mind of the client.

Mar 30, 10 5:54 pm

Not going to happen soon. With the advent of AI it will happen sooner or later.

I do constructability reviews daily and put BIM to shame. BIM is too subject to GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. if you don't know what you are drawing, it will not work. Besides, can BIM tell you if your waterproofing details are complete? Partition types correct for applications? Etc.?

May 16, 19 6:35 pm

totally agree... I've seen 3 page sets of hand drawings for complete buildings that put revit to shame...


this thread is almost 10 years old. And in that time has anything in BIM changed? This is an open question, I'm only a mid-level user and have been since about the time this was posted. Maybe there are advances happening outside the scope of my daily work.

But I actually don't think even self driving cars are within the foreseeable future, though Boeing has spent a lot of effort to develop self crashing planes.

May 17, 19 8:29 am

GIGO is the biggest challenge we see with BIM. In multiple firms, I have seen people generate sizable drawing sets using a flawed, junk model and convince management that the project is "finished". There is also a subset of people who can't or won't edit families, and so every door in a project is a 6'-8" paneled door, and kitchen sinks are 48" wide, 'cuz that's what comes with the software.


I do think there is a segment of the architectural industry in the USA where AI will replace human staff at some point.  How big a segment and when is the unknown.

atelier nobody

As the guy who does the "3rd party" checking, I certainly haven't seen much change in the amount of red ink I put on drawings. Some obvious things, like detail bubbles pointing to the correct detail, are better now (though still not perfect), but that's more than offset by all the basic graphic problems that would've gotten an "F" from my 7th grade drafting teacher.


that's kind of been my feeling too, trading easy mistakes for deeper problems. my office's work is limited in scope so it's unclear where to set the cutoff of modeling. And Revit has enough quirks that every project seems to end up with workarounds that either obscure the data or take a disproportionate amount of effort to model.


I drop the hammer on workarounds in Revit as often as possible. Too many people relying on old methods instead of putting the squishy grey bits to work finding new ways that work just as well.

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