One challenge the UHS Henderson Hospital team encountered at the outset of the project, an in-progress building that’s part of the Union Village health village in Henderson, Nev., was how to allocate optimal time for design in order to meet the customer’s vision, without compressing the scheduled time allotted for the field to complete construction.

During the design process, the UHS team decided to take a risk on a potential win-win solution that would meet both needs. Rather than engineering the job and producing design drawings that would later be used to create shop drawings and coordination models, engineers and detailers collaborated to produce design deliverables and shop drawings from the same 3-D BIM model.

To accomplish this task, the team produced a construction-level model without delaying the design schedule. High-quality documents were also produced that included all engineering and construction information without overwhelming the documents with vast granular detail. 

Here is an overview of that process:

  1. Engineers began collaborating with the designers to develop preliminary drawings and sketches used to coordinate the final model. Because the engineers were outlining a very low level of detail (LOD 100), they were able to be very agile in responding to design changes and quickly meeting the customer’s conditions of satisfaction. Additionally, because the detailers were laying out the systems during design instead of after, they were able to raise questions and get answers earlier without the need of a request-for-information process. They were also able to complete much of the coordination before clash detection began. 
  2. Several field general foremen conducted the modeling for the shop drawings before they mobilized on site. By the time Issued for Construction (IFC) sheets were issued, foremen already knew the job and didn’t have to spend weeks of discovery figuring out the project.
  3. The shop foremen created spool drawings for the assemblies that they were fabricating, which reduced rework because they were able to access the BIM model to answer their questions when needed.
  4. Engineers negotiated with the design team to use one-quarter scale design drawings so the same sheet layout and text size could be used. This allowed use of the same annotation, notes, and sheet setup for the detailing and engineering drawing deliverables.

The risk was large but the outcome was worth it. Approximately 12 months was permitted for the design of the hospital and still plenty of time was available for the field, all while producing high-quality documents with less rework and less miscommunication than a traditional workflow.

Danny Boh is a project executive with Southland Industries (Las Vegas). He can be reached at