A new challenge faced by collaborative design teams – how to work concurrently, yet not do the same thing four times?

Consider these comments from Glenn Jowett:
“If you look at the process of designing a steel framed building there is the potential for at least four steel frame models to exist within one design team, four models that have been built from scratch by different people within that design team.

The design team should sit down at the start of a project and map out who owns what elements at what stage of the project

The copy monitor tools within Revit are far from perfect, but this seems to be the only option for walls at the moment.

In traditional 2D, drawings would be issued and revisions clouded; in the 3D model revisions can’t be clouded and drawing issues between the design teams are becoming less and less frequent.”

Finally, some great ideas of what to discuss at a pre-project BIM meeting from the same post:
“An initial BIM or Revit meeting should take place at the start of every major project, purely from a Revit and collaboration point of view items for discussion should be:

· File format for data exchange

· How often are files exchanged

· Clearly define what the model is to be used for at what stage in the design process

· Who models what and when

· Who owns what and when does element ownership go from one discipline to another

· Level of development (LOD) – what level of model information should I expect to receive at what stage? And does that meet my expectations

· How often should clash detection take place

· Project coordinates and project north position.

It is important that the above items (at least) are discussed before a project really starts to evolve, and the decisions on each item should be documented and set out in a BIM Execution Plan. Collaboration will be much easier to manage if every member of the design team has the same set of core principles to follow from start to finish.”

To the above list, I would add at least the following:

  • common list of Phases
  • common set of Worksets (or at least exchange Workset lists)
  • how many models will a multi-disciplinary consultant firm be providing?  One combined?  Or multiple?
  • discuss if any particular Copy/Monitor Revit Categories will be key to the project 

I think that every BIM decision, for standards, LOD, deliverables etc will always be project based, and while you can have a preferred company standard and champion it, different requirements will mean it’s all about the BIM Execution Plan.
– Cyus

Coordinating amongst just the design teams is cute, but it’s not the real world.
– Aaron Maller

when I first started using Revit 3.1, BIM was all about production with a capital P. It seemed that Revit’s development was heavily focused on how to help me do my work faster & better.

Now you’ve got a lot of people online, in articles, and at conferences talking about BIM who haven’t actually delivered a project in BIM, and saying things like “everything has to be modeled down to the hinges otherwise it’s not BIM”.
– JeffreyMcGrew

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This interesting article appeared on AUGI recently.  It likens building procurement with what it takes to raise a child … an allegory that, while seeming a little far-fetched, it does seem to carry through quite consistently.  Here are a few quotes:

We are doing this collaboration trick together on multi-gazillion dollar projects, based on the rudimentary idea that we all, to some degree, use the same definition. To me that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. BIM was supposed to make all this more easy. We were supposed to make the entire design and build process less prone to errors. Yet, while we were doing our thing for a few hundred years with those awful “traditional” methods, at least it was clear who did what, how, and when.

When we look at the design process from first conceptual design (birth) to being construction-ready (graduation), we, the professionals in the AEC industry, need to teach our buildings.

The BIM philosophy states that we should do this as a continuous process with a regular addition of skills without gaps or dropoffs.

To do that, we need an educational plan, called a BIM Execution Plan, which defines who does what, when, where and how; and perhaps most importantly, illustrates the ways in which all these elements are tied together.

IPD is a logical next step, where we get one team of teachers to work the educational plan throughout the entire process of growing up. When you use IPD to nurture a building, the BIM-E/BEP is called an IPDP.

Parenting Your Design – BIM & IPD | AUGI