Optimal project communication for BIM Technologies with BIMcollab
BIM Technologies, a leading BIM consultancy in the United Kingdom, has been an active user of BIMcollab since 2020. They showcase a nice example of how to get the most out of BIMcollab. BIMcollab has proven to be a key tool in over 80% of their projects and has become their default issue management platform. Stephen King, Senior BIM Manager at BIM Technologies, reflects upon how BIMcollab has improved project communication, resulting in more efficient and structured projects.
BIM Technologies: digital support for design and construction projects
BIM Technologies works with a variety of clients who need digital support for their design and construction projects. They believe that data and analytics change the way we plan, design, deliver and manage buildings. As Stephen elaborates, the consultants within BIM Technologies assist with model coordination, issue management and information management. Their clients usually mandate the use of BIM and most projects are delivered to UK & ISO 19650 standards. Adopting BIM processes helps BIM Technologies’ clients reduce risk, save costs and improve efficiency which ultimately lead to better outcomes for their projects.
Examples of projects that Stephen works on are large construction projects based in central London, ranging from 500 million to one billion pound projects. The majority of these projects are residential projects in built up areas of central London. Due to London being so condensed, these projects are challenging as they often involve tightly constrained logistics, underground tunnels and are in close proximity to rail lines etc. BIMcollab supports these projects and allows issues to be highlighted and tracked in an efficient way.
BIMcollab is a tool that connects all
Before implementing BIMcollab in their workflow, BIM Technologies used an internally built piece of software for tracking and managing issues. They have since switched to BIMcollab and it has proven to be a more powerful and user-friendly solution. As a first-time user, Stephen emphasizes that BIMcollab Cloud is really easy to learn and understand.
For BIM Technologies, one of the key features of BIMcollab is that it integrates with many external software platforms, including Solibri, Revit, Tekla and Navisworks:
As our clients and their consultants work with different software tools, a solution that connects them all is key. BIMcollab is the optimal solution for this.
Another great feature, as Stephen mentions, are the viewpoints. Within BIMcollab Cloud, you can have multiple viewpoints for one issue. The viewpoints save a screenshot to the issue and directly take you to the corresponding view/issue in the authoring model. “We can easily group clashes by categories and levels and then report a whole clash group to an issue, containing a viewpoint of each clash if needed. The report is easy to digest and can be easily filtered. The issues refer to the location in the model, contain who is accountable and what the deadlines are. This enables accountability and helps us manage our clashes more efficiently.”
Structured project management with BIMcollab
BIM Technologies is using BIMcollab for over 80% of their projects. During the projects BIM Technologies executes for clients, many different stakeholders are invited to participate in BIMcollab for BCF coordination. BIMcollab is promoted as a communication tool to these stakeholders. As Stephen says: “What we see is that initially in a project, our stakeholders tend to communicate coordination issues via emails. However, once we show them a much more efficient way, they actively start using BIMcollab.”
To enable everyone involved in a project to work with BIMcollab, BIM Technologies has documented a BIMcollab workflow within their BIM protocol. This way, it is clear for every stakeholder how BIMcollab should be used efficiently.
With regards to delivering a project, it is our main communication tool.
Optimal communication for BIM Technologies
According to Stephen, the main benefit of BIMcollab is communication. Whether it’s to communicate missing model data, clashes, fire safety of elements, buildability issues, or general modelling errors, the features of BIMcollab enable efficient communication. “BIMcollab helps us to manage a project in a structured way. It helps to track not only coordination issues but also missing data in the models. It holds people accountable, is the planner for our projects and ensures no data gets lost. “
Additionally, issues can be communicated in a variety of different ways, e.g., via a report, via the interface itself, or via a link to the Cloud space. Communication can easily be tailored to the stakeholder involved. Whether it is a designer who wants to view an issue directly in their model in Revit, or a client who needs a report and can be pointed directly to an issue through ZOOM Viewer.
How BIM Technologies uses BIMcollab: a practical example
To further explore how BIM Technologies has implemented BIMcollab in their projects, Stephen has outlined a practical example. In this example, he dives into how BIMcollab is used for project coordination during the bi-weekly coordination meetings:
In the bi-weekly coordination meetings, the team goes through any new issues in BIMcollab. The new issues are identified and shared before the meeting using a combination of ‘date created’ and BIMcollab’s dashboards. Then, they are reviewed one by one, directly in Navisworks using BIMcollab’s BCF manager. For each issue, the corresponding deadlines, responsibilities, actions and comments are added to the issue during the meeting. Once all issues have been covered, a report is published containing the discussed issues and thereafter shared with all stakeholders involved. Basically, BIMcollab enables clear and traceable meeting notes.
When issuing a report, BIM Technologies ensures that the images connected to the issues are clear and contain the correct annotations. Of course, they want their stakeholders to jump directly into the model or into the Cloud space to view the issues. in reality, not everyone does. That is why a good report is so important for BIM technologies. With the clear reports extracted from BIMcollab, one can look at an image and really comprehend what the issue is about. Using the reports, BIM Technologies ensures everyone involved can view and understand the issues. And, of course, a great feature is that these issues are directly connected to the modelling software through the BCF Manager. This way, the modelers can directly tackle an issue in a structured way, allowing for quick and efficient model improvement! As Stephen concludes:
I love software such as BIMcollab. I like to do things as fast and efficiently as possible. BIMcollab enables me to do that.
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Zinzi van Bokhoven