Thursday, September 16, 2010

Report on BIM & the Bottom Line Event

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Interactive Workshop Demonstrates Money Saving Integration

by Michael Bordenaro

Advanced and documented profitability of integrated Building Information Models (BIM) used to improve decision making was clearly demonstrated in a recent working session presented by the American Institute of Architects Southern Arizona Chapter this summer

Owners’ representatives, designers, contractors and building managers interested in financial benefits from available tools and processes attended the event. The benefits and challenges of web-based Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) productivity gains and were shared with attendees by an integrated team of IPD and BIM professionals.

The workshop, titled “BIM & The Bottom Line: How integrated solutions can add value for you and your clients,” was based on modeling the school library for a Tanque Verde School District middle school in Tucson, Arizona. The publicly available real project data was provided by aba Architects in Archicad software. The public data was then used to model structure, architectural geometry, the civil layout, fire suppression systems, Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing systems and validate their alignment in multiple software programs.

Collaborative Construction utilized a collaborative workshop format to engage the audience and highlighted the use of advanced legal instruments to support IPD with available building industry Cloud Computing processes.

In the morning session James Salmon, Esq., founder of Collaborative Construction, explained how Integrated Project Delivery, Building Information Models and lean business processes reduce costs of building design, construction and operations. Collaborative teams were created with professionals from different disciplines at multiple tables. In the afternoon session a team of experts demonstrated the interoperable capabilities of more than half a dozen software programs that had been used by the team on the library for six weeks prior to the presentation.

For the collaborative workshop session participants broke into integrated teams similar to the team of experts who worked together every Wednesday morning for six weeks to model the Tanque Verde Middle School library. A spokesperson at each table reported the substance of each integrated team’s conversation and the expert presenters and attendees discussed the issues raised in those discussions.

Salmon says, “Using actual data from an existing project and making sure owners, designers, contractors, building operators and specialty contractors were dispersed around the room on different integrated teams provided a meaningful learning experience that drove home the need to collaborate and cooperate in order to achieve IPD.”

Sherry Whetten, the owner of Collaborative Consultants, LLC served as the local manager for the conference. She organized the in-person interaction and hosted the web-based Tanque Verde Library model on her firm’s website. The cross disciplinary use of disparate BIM platforms demonstrated the viability of Cloud Computing by integrated BIM teams.

A separate Integrated Project Delivery case study was presented by Vectorworks to start the afternoon session by demonstrating there are numerous paths to improved productivity. Then members of the Tanque Verde Library modeling team shared their experience in overcoming the inevitable challenges that arise when using software tools during any project. BIM software platforms used by team members included REVIT Civil, REVIT MEP, Archicad, Rhino/BIM, Solibiri, CATIA, Tekla Structure, and FM Systems’ facilities management software.

The Tanque Verde modeling team explained the work flow they used to create the models.

Graphisoft's Monte Chapin loaded the Archicad model created by aba Architects into Solibri where he verified the data complied with internationally accepted formatting. Chapin noted the open standards of Industry Foundation Classes were utilized by the team to share data across disparate software platforms, a process that allows the transparent exchange of critical data and enables significant productivity gains by increasing the interoperability of various software programs

Shannon Corgan, who assisted Whetten in managing the event, lead the Cadsoft Consulting team which provided models in REVIT Civil and REVIT MEP. Cadsoft’s Chris Perry lead the REVIT modeling team. Once the REVIT models were completed Chapin loaded those into the Solibri viewer and additional adjustments were made.

E-STEEL GROUP and E-STEEL STUDIO executives Przemek Olisinski and Radim Kurek took a spatial Rhino BIM model of the structural steel provided by the president of Rhino BIM, Rick Smith, and converted that design intent model into a Tekla Steel model containing fabrication level details that would enable constructibility analysis and fabrication of steel components.

Hector Camps, president of Phi Cubed, took data from all the software programs and transferred it to Dassault System’s CATIA program where he modeled the library's fire suppression system. With assistance from his firm's web-based PLM server and International Foundation Class data he converted each model to CATIA and produced a single integrated BIM model on a CATIA platform. Camps, based in Miami, worked and presented remotely, demonstrating the ease with which expert knowledge can be tapped over the web.

Another remote presenter, James Sziksai, Regional Manager with FM Systems, accessed data from the disparate models to populate the FM Systems’ software program. Even though FM Systems is designed to work with Autodesk products the team worked together to convert incompatible software programs into an Autodesk REVIT format so that the data could be poured over into the FM Systems program. Again, International Foundation Classes were used to convert that data, enabling the necessary flow of data from one software system to the next.

Sponsors of the unique event included Precision 3D, The CAD Store, Collaborative Consultants, CAD Soft Consulting, Nemetschek and Collaborative Construction Resources.

Interaction by the workshop leaders and participants is continuing after the event and a plans for a repeat event in Tucson next September are in the works.


For more information Visit or contact James Salmon, Esq through his Collaborative BIM Advocates Linked In Group ( search Collaborative BIM Advocates). Michael Bordenaro is the co-founder of the BIM Education Co-op and writes frequently about BIM from Chicago. He can be contacted through Linked In.

The image above is a screen capture of the library of Tanque Verde School District middle school in Tucson, Arizona. The image is of a federated Building Information Model in CATIA, which was used to bring meaningful data from many models into a single model. PHI Cubed founder Professor Hector Camps incorporated information from REVIT MEP, Archicad, Rhino/BIM, Solibiri, CATIA, and Tekla Structure to create the model.

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Of Counsel Beatty Bangle Strama, p.c.
400 West 15th Street Suite 1450
Austin, Texas 78701
(o) 512-879-5050
(f) 512-879-5040
(c) 512-630-4446
(s) 859-912-7747

Collaborative Construction Resources, LLC
Jsalmon AT bbsfirm DOT com
JamesLsalmon AT gmail DOT com
James.Salmon AT collaborativeCR DOT com

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