Top 5 FAQ about model validation answered
BIM is an integrated process based on building digital models, and it is not only about the geometry, but also about the information contained in every element inside these models. To be confident in your models’ outputs, you must ensure you are delivering high-quality models from both a geometrical and an information perspective.
To manually review all of the model geometry and information is just impossible, as there are too many elements to be checked! To automate that task, you can run model validation tests to locate geometrical incompatibilities within and between your models, as well as check if the necessary information is present and correctly placed.
In this article, you will find the answers to the 5 most 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 without duplicates or clashing elements, and with sufficient and correct information. Its main goal 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 that provides certainty that your models have the required quality. This way you can perform the necessary simulations and have the needed information extracted, with the confidence that you are working with accurate and reliable data. It is also possible to validate your models for different purposes, and to check their different aspects.
Checking geometrical conflicts is one of the most fundamental 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), then there is an incompatibility that needs to be corrected during the design phase. Systems that clash cannot be physically executed, and resolving them before the construction phase guarantees that they will be resolved by responsible professionals, the specialist designers. The costs of resolving conflicts in the design phase, where everything is still virtual, are much lower than the costs of resolving these issues at the construction site, where everything is already tangible and the waste of materials and rework will come at a much greater cost.
Another important geometrical validation is verifying if there are any duplicated elements. If that is the case, when extracting quantity take-offs you will have a double count of elements and materials. And from the information perspective, to extract the material listing per building story, you need this information to be accurate in your models’ components, otherwise you will get a logistic disaster.
All data that will be used in any kind of analysis should also be validated. For example, you need to check the Fire Rating of the elements in your project. First, you must check if this information is available, and then 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 during the entire design process. At the early stage of the process, you can check for more simple parameters in individual models. As the design gets more detailed and complex, you can start checking for more in-depth parameters of your model. This way you can run a continuous quality check of the models, and can make the necessary corrections at the appropriate stage, preventing errors from being unaddressed throughout project development.
If model validation is performed only at a late stage of the design process, correcting the found problems 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 possible consequences of corrections are as low as possible.
4. Who must perform model validation?
Everyone must perform model validations. As a designer, you must make sure you are delivering a high-quality model to your customer and teams from other disciplines. And as a BIM manager, coordinator or any stakeholder that is receiving the model to perform your own analyses, you also 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, that has a high-performance speed for visualization and validation analyses, that is easy to use, and of course, that 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. Then you can 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.
And since 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 right 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.
Now that you know more about model validation and how important it is to have a quality checking process in place, we assume you want to take your BIM workflow to the next level and start testing the most efficient and user-friendly model validation software in the market. If you want to know more about BIMcollab ZOOM possibilities, you can schedule a 1-on-1 meeting with us or check our recorded webinars.