Top 5 FAQ about model validation answered

Top 5 FAQ about model validation answered

BIM is an integrated process based on building digital models. It is not only about the geometry, but also about the information contained in every element within these models. To have confidence in your models’ outputs, you must ensure you are delivering high-quality models from both a geometrical and an information perspective. That is why model validation is key.

Manually reviewing the model is just impossible as there are too many elements to check. To automate that task, you can run model validation tests. Through automated model validation, you can locate geometrical incompatibilities within and between your models, as well as check if the necessary information is present and correctly placed. To help you on this path to delivering high-quality models, this article answers 5 frequently asked questions about BIM model validation.

1. What is BIM model validation?

BIM model validation is the process of checking if your models contain the required geometry and information. This means models should be without duplicates or clashing elements and contain sufficient and correct information. The main goal of model validation is to ensure that the models meet all the necessary requirements for their intended use.

2. Why is BIM model validation important?

BIM model validation is an important process to ensure your models have the required quality. With high-quality models, you can perform the necessary simulations and extract information with the confidence that you are working with accurate and reliable data. You can validate your model for different purposes and check for different aspects.

Checking geometrical conflicts is one of the most fundamental model validations. If you find clashing elements in your federated model (different models from different disciplines brought together into a single complete model of the building), there is an incompatibility that needs to be corrected during the design phase. It will help you save valuable time and costs. After all, the costs of resolving conflicts in the design phase are much lower than the costs of resolving these issues at the construction site, where a waste of materials and rework will come at a much greater cost.

Another important geometrical validation is checking if there are duplicate elements within the model. If that is the case, you will have a double count of elements and materials when extracting quantity take-offs. You want the information you extract to be accurate, otherwise it can result in a logistic disaster.

Any model data that will be used in any kind of analysis should be validated. Let us consider an example where you need to check the fire rating of the elements in your model. First, you must check if this information is available. Then, you have to check if it is correctly assigned. Next, you can run the performance simulations with confidence that you are working with accurate data. The same applies to any other simulation you may need to run, such as energy, thermal, or lighting analyses.

3. When should model validation be performed?

Model validation checks should be performed throughout the entire design process. At the early stage of the process, you can check for simple parameters in individual models. As the design gets more detailed and complex, you can start checking the more in-depth parameters of your model. By continuously checking the quality of your models and making the necessary corrections, you can prevent errors from being unaddressed throughout project development.

If model validation is performed only at a late stage of the design process, correcting the problems that arise will likely lead to more significant changes, resulting in more labor-intensive, time-consuming, and costly corrections. The benefit of continuous model validation is that errors are eliminated from the process as early as possible, so that the consequences of corrections are minimal.

4. Who must perform model validation?

Everyone must perform model validations. As a designer, you want to make sure you deliver a high-quality model to your customer and teams from other disciplines. As a BIM manager, coordinator or any stakeholder that is receiving the model to perform your own analyses, you must run a quality check to verify if the parameters are meeting the requirements, contain all the necessary data, and that the data is precise.

5. How to choose the best model validation software for your situation?

First, you need to ask yourself: “What information do I need to check? To do that, what features are necessary?”. With that in mind, look for the software that offers the necessary features, has a high-speed performance for visualization and validation analyses, is easy to use, and of course, offers it all for the best price.

Another important aspect to consider is that your model validation tool is rule-based, so you can create your own customizable set of rules to check specific parameters or clashing components. It empowers you to organize check rules per phase, discipline, or per type of check, and use them as a regular part of your validation process. You can re-run rules whenever you need, re-use them on other projects, and even share them with other team members.

As the main goal is to not only find the issues in your model, but to actually resolve them, your validation tool must offer integrated communication with your issue management platform. This way, issues raised from validation tests can immediately be communicated to the your team members. In this regard, another important feature that will help you manage the reported issues is a clash tracking system that provides feedback about the status of each clash when new model versions are available. This feature helps you save a lot of time understanding the clash status, including which clashes are still active, resolved or are a new issue.

Discover the best model validation software

Now that you know more about model validation and how important it is to have a quality checking process in place, we assume you are ready to take your BIM workflow to the next level. You can start testing the most efficient and user-friendly model validation software in the market. If you want to know more about BIMcollab Zoom possibilities, feel free to schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with one of our BIM experts.