We regularly receive proposals requesting the use of BIM (Building Informational Modeling). This immediately presents us with two questions: 1) Will the design team be designing within and providing a model?, and 2) How does the team intend to utilize the tool? Over my next two posts I will discuss both questions.

Most healthcare projects generally involve 3-D modeling by the mechanical and electrical trades to just get their work in place. But in recent years, through the use of clash detection, this process has advanced significantly and is a standard BIM delivery.

Taking the model from 3-D and advancing it into 4-D for visual coordination has advanced beyond just logistics planning. 4-D models have the ability to link the design model to the construction schedule. To achieve this level of 4-D visualization and construction simulation requires that, at least, the structure has been designed and developed using modeling software. If the structure has not been modeled, a significant amount of work is required to fully leverage the visual coordination. On many of our projects we have used this 4-D visualization/simulation successfully to aid the design team in understanding our phases, the owner to visualize and communicate our tie-in work, and our subcontractors to see and understand the work flow and timing to make sure the parts and materials are ready to install.It is important to discuss what level of BIM is going to be used at the beginning of a project. Once determined, it can be decided if the design team will design the project within BIM and provide a model for others to use.

We will continue this discussion by looking at the team’s intended use for BIM in my next post.