Thursday, October 28, 2010

MEP industry failing to take advantage of BIM

A new article found here on Construction Week Online briefly describes some of the advantages MEP firms can gain from using BIM models. One of the main points is the saving of prefabrication costs of ductwork. One major point I see not mentioned in the article, is the obvious  interference and clash detection of the above mentioned ductwork with other disciplines, namely structural.

The MEP industry is failing to take advantage of BIM modelling of projects to cut costs and improve efficiency, said buildingSMART ME president Tahir Sharif at the Construction Week Abu Dhabi conference.

“In this region, BIM has perhaps the greatest opportunities in the MEP industry, where 3D modelling is virtually zero, or it is outsourced.

“In the US, for example, even fabricators produce such models. The major benefit is that the MEP industry can introduce prefabrication, such as HVAC ductwork, which will have huge cost implications,” said Sharif.
“We must look to improve our ways. Professionals must work together and bring information together at an early enough stage. This can save up to 3% on the total project cost,” said Sharif.

“If the construction industry improves its way of doing things, which is actually easier to do rather than try to fast-track everything, component costs can be reduced significantly. This will also promote honesty and transparency, which is perhaps a challenge in such the claims-conscious construction industry.”
BIM with virtual modelling “will reduce wastage, increase efficiency, boost quality and improve delivery," said Sharif.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

3d Plumbing Visualization

I found this extraordinary video at a great resource. The video is a visualization of an innovative hot water recirculating system by Viega. They term it an "Internal Recirculation System" and definitely encompasses sustainability from the waste, energy and cost savings viewpoint. Check out this great 3d vid and see what I mean. It just reminded me of how important the visualization aspect of BIM is for being able to really illustrate points like these. I know that the "I" for Information in BIM is definitely the most important, but you can never deny the power of a great presentation.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Miami Building takes Sustainability to New Heights

I Came across this story on and although it's not necessarily about BIM or Revit I bet they sure used some aspect of BIM in the designing of it :) It seems that BIM is has not quite taken off in Miami and very  few people are even aware of what it is. Either that or some are just keeping it as their secret weapon! Regardless kudos to Spinnaker for this wondrous achievement of a structure.

Office Tower Saves 2.5 Million Gallons Annually

The 1450 Brickell office tower in Miami, Fla., has implemented a wide range of energy-efficient features and technologies that help save over 14 percent more energy and over 40 percent in water use than standard buildings built to code.
These savings helped the 35-story office tower earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for core and shell category for new construction. Rob Hink, a LEED Accredited Professional and Principal of the Spinnaker Group, the office tower’s environmental consulting firm, said 1450 Brickell is the only newly constructed LEED Gold certified office tower in Downtown Miami.
Other key features of the 582,817-square-foot office tower include low-flow water fixtures that are projected to save more than 2.5 million gallons of water per year, preferred parking spaces allocated for low emission, fuel-efficient vehicles, and pedestrian and cyclist-friendly amenities including 44 bike racks and shower and changing facilities.
However, the highlight of the building is its glass curtain wall system, which played a central role in attaining LEED Gold status, while setting a new standard for commercial building strength, according to the Spinnaker Group. The curtain wall system is said to improve impact resistance, solar performance, energy efficiency, sound attenuation and UV blocking.
The glass fa├žade, fabricated entirely of large-missile impact glass, was tested to withstand wind loads over 300 mph, which makes 1450 Brickell one of the nation’s most wind-resistant office buildings, according to Spinnaker. The tower also has two generators, one for use in emergencies and another that can power tenants’ basic electrical needs during outages.
During construction, the project recycled about 78 percent of construction waste and purchased 40 percent of all materials from sources within 500 miles of the construction site.
Other office towers that have recently earned LEED certification include Larimer Office TowerWells Fargo’s Duke Energy CenterMetro Park Towers, and Bank of America Tower.

Link to article here

How might contractors benefit from Building Information Modeling?

Here is a great article recently posted on in the business section. The article goes on to briefly describe some of the key benefits immediately available to the contractor and owner before RFI's even arise.

Building Information Modeling, or BIM, has long been used by architects and engineers to design buildings virtually. The technology is now turning up in construction-site trailers, where general contractors have begun using it to make sure work schedules and material orders are accurate.
BIM is useful in coordinating a project and resolving design issues. For example, general contractors and subconsultants use BIM to see exactly how plumbing and mechanical systems are routed through a building that is under construction.
General contractors can put their construction schedules into the model to see a project's progress and make changes, if necessary. This functionality helps the general contractor phase a project by determining more accurately when to, for example, open a section of a remodeled building or close a corridor to allow work to proceed.
By having a virtual presentation of the project available on a laptop, the general contractor can share BIM information with the project's owner and make any necessary changes on the spot.
Revisions take place in the computer — not on the job site — and help eliminate costly downtime and material reorders in the field. General contractors are also able to retrieve BIM information quickly to resolve issues that arise with other contractors at the project site.
Rest of article here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Older Document but Timeless Information on BIM

Although now in it's second edition, the Original Contractor's Guide To BIM in it's first edition published in 2006, was an incredibly forward thinking document by the Associated General Contractors of America. Here is another definition of BIM from the text:

Building Information Modeling is the development and use of a computer software 
model to simulate the construction and operation of a facility. The resulting model, a 
Building Information Model, is a data rich, object-oriented, intelligent and parametric 
digital representation of the facility, from which views and data appropriate to various 
users’ needs can be extracted and analyzed to generate information that can be used to 
make decisions and improve the process of delivering the facility.

The article goes on to explain all the basic functions and advantages of BIM and misconceptions...

Setting aside a couple of myths already spreading…
Myth #1: BIM is only for large projects with complex geometries
Fact: The benefi ts of using BIM on all projects, regardless of size and
shape, are being proven by contractors using BIM today.
Myth #2: BIM is only for large contractors who can afford the investment.
Fact: The benefi ts of using BIM are being seen by contractor

Here is a comparative chart of Traditional CAD based drawing as opposed to BIM.

This Guide is actually a very quick read yet very informative and serves as a great introduction to the world of BIM for those unfamiliar. Among the topics are:

The Competitive Marketing Advantage of BIM
Partial BIM Uses such as Visualization
Different Methods of arriving at a BIM Model
Risk Management and Legal Implications
Clarification of Responsibilities
What is 3d, 4d, 5d?

Just don't venture into the Hardware/Software Section unless you want to have a giggle or too, remember how fast Computers have progressed even in the last 4 years.

Here is the complete 1st Edition available for free. If you would like the 2nd updated Edition, you could purchase it here for around $50 for AGC members.  This Guide goes into finer detail on points such as how to incorporate BIM into your company and joint stakeholder collaboration.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's start Basic. Keystrokes!

Sometimes, if migrating from AutoCAD or any other CAD program for that matter you'll find yourself unknowingly typing a keystroke that just doesn't exist in Revit. Well thankfully, in Revit 2011, there is no need to open and edit a Text Document to edit keystrokes like previous Revit versions. May I present to you... the new Keyboard Shortcuts menu!

You can access this menu from the "View" tab:

Go to the "User Interface" dropdown > Keyboard Shortcuts or just type KS.

Some of the common ones from CAD can be found in the "Modify" Tab in the Filter Dropdown.

Offset (OF),  Copy within project (CO), Copy to Clipboard (CC),  Mirror (MM), Rotate (RO) are all very basic commands extensively used in CAD so familiarize yourself with the default keystrokes or create your own just select the command, then type the keystroke in "Press New Keys" then Assign and you're done.

For users of previous versions of Revit you can just import your XML file using the Import tab from within the Keyboard Shortcuts menu.

So give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome to our new Blog!

Hi Everybody. My name is Armando and I have started a new company, Miami BIM. Our website is which we encourage you to visit. We have a team of very enthused professionals excited about the Building Information Modeling revolution. I have started this blog to publish news relating to BIM, Integrated Project Delivery or IPD and possibly our new projects.