“How long will it take for my Intern to set up a Revit project? I mean, now that we have a company template it will take minutes, right?” asked Mr. Ambitious A. Architect.
The fast-technological answer was, “as quickly as you can launch a new file using the correct project template.” This is correct.
However, the accurate-business-approach answer is more significant than just starting with the correct template.
It is critical to your Virtual Design practice and culture to understand that starting a model file without consideration to dominant project factors (digital, functional, and logistical) can lead to later duplication of efforts, iterative communications, and leave unforeseen challenges to lie in wait. Our CAD workflows are well set and known. VDC/BIM workflows will vary per project requirements, consultant abilities, and intended utilization of the BIM. All these are items that will cost time and budget if not thought out; time that could be applied to better, higher-value activities.
Having a clear process is the antidote for unforeseen challenges.
Just below we share our approach to starting a VDC project. It consists of 3 main steps to consider. It should be noted, however, that the Business Approach to a BIM project setup is still always at play. Meaning that sometimes it will be necessary to proceed with aspects of project setup before knowing or establishing all predominant project considerations.
The most successful BIM projects start off with these items considered before (and during) the technical file setup:
Digital project Kick-Off – Gather information: is there a BIM Execution plan to
adhere, what software is in use throughout the project, which consultant types are involved, what is the digital construction/structure of the model data, what aspects of BIM/VDC are expected, etc. There are more considerations.
Establish Digital Files – Which/where are template and content file located, establish and share common base point, fill common project information, configure common items prior to replication, etc. There are more considerations.
Collaborate with Consultants – Determine the author of the project base point, establish true north, set background views for consultants (both BIM and non-BIM). There are more considerations.
Within each of these steps are several requisites, items to verify, and information to gather. The above sample is similar and often incorporated into a ‘BIM Execution Plan.’ Our approach is to simplify that process.
Firms consistently successful with BIM project setup have these considerations and processes documented and make them easily referenceable.