WEBBER/SMITH recognized years ago the importance of embracing Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the benefits it provides our clients, as well as our firm.
Following our Project BIM (Building Information Modeling) design methodology to develop data-rich, multi-dimensional models that not only contain physical properties but also functional data, we create true virtual models that can be leveraged throughout the design process.
Our design team starts leveraging BIM processes and concept modeling as early as possible, allowing them to validate and communicate designs much earlier in the design process than ever before. This shift allows for better design decisions to be made at the time they will have the greatest impact on design. We discovered early on that virtual models are the ideal tool for enabling our internal design teams to communicate not only design intent but actuality without sidetracking from the main design process. The model utilized in the concept design to generate visual images, renderings, and walkthroughs, is the same model used to create construction documents later in the design process. This is one of the main advantages of virtual modeling as the natural maturing of the design and model allows the design team to leverage information in the model phase to phase. A door placed in schematic design matures into the same door on the construction documents, a wall placed in a concept model, matures into a scheduled wall type on a construction document, and so on. This continuous maturity and early validation of objects and components in the virtual model ultimately leads to greater value as the project progresses through each design phase.
Our Goals with BIM
In a highly summarized form, our corporate goals with BIM are;
- Enhance multi-discipline design collaboration
- Develop our projects in the manner in which designers think (focus on design)
- Develop project implementation documentation that owners clearly understand
- Develop project implementation documentation that contractors truly want and need
- Achieve thorough project coordination of the implementation document set
- Lowered costs, controlled costs, and reduced project durations
At the heart of our virtual modeling is the strength of parametric modeling; changes are constantly and automatically coordinated and validated throughout the design and also the implementation documents. All views, dimensions and design data are immediately updated when a change is made. This improves the efficiency of our designs through visualization, clash detection and team communication.
BIM benefits don’t stop at the Construction documentation phase. Quantity take-offs are a natural by-product of our design process. For example, our structural virtual model, which is made up of individual structural components, not lines flattened into 2D designs, contains all of the design information, not only analytical data but counts, weights and volumes.
Our MEP design team isn’t limited by “commands” or “drawing lines on screens”. BIM and virtual modeling allows them to create supply returns and exhaust systems, perform energy analysis, create single and multi-circuit wiring for devices, perform lighting analysis, and create multiple plumbing systems including process, sanitary, grey water, and domestic hot and cold water. The parametric change management allows modifications to be coordinated more consistently by leveraging one central model for all design, development, cross-discipline coordination, and implementation documents.