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Mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection (MEPF) are the four major components in the design and construction phase of building. It is important for design decision-making, accurate documentation, performance and cost-estimation, construction planning and facilities management.

MEP drafting, design and documentation were traditionally done manually. Computer-aided design like 3D modeling has some advantages over this. Building information modeling provides holistic design and parametric change management of the MEP design. MEP consists of installing air conditioning systems, water supply and drainage systems, fire fighting systems, electrical power and lighting systems including transformer substations and emergency power generators, fire protection and alarm systems, voice and data systems, security access and surveillance systems, UPS, public address systems, mast antenna TV system, and building management systems. These need direct involvement and intervention of experts from the stage of design to execution and installation.

So do you have design and engineering experts who can handle project requirements from start to end?

We guess not!

Because finding the perfect suitable resource and retaining it for long termed projects is very difficult. Growing businesses do not want to invest their time and efforts in finding, training and retaining resources. Hence the best option here is to outsource.

eLogicTech offers the best MEP design and MEP modeling services with good infrastructure and staff to handle all your business requirements. We believe in long termed and profitable business relationships.

What are the major benefits for you by outsourcing the project?

Invest on resources appropriately:

MEP design projects require a team of experts who have good MEP engineering knowledge and can design the system well, prepare drafts, create 3D models such that there are no clashes. A successful project execution largely and majorly depends on the experience, problem solving acuity and expertise of the team.

But, when you outsource your project, you need not worry about recruiting the best people and training them. This reduces a lot of time and resources usage while recruiting or training people, which can be used productively in places where it is more required.

Best technology and tools used for your project:

Apart from Talent, you can use the best technology and tools for MEP design without actually investing in it. Successful businesses outsource MEP design to those companies which have a team of experts with good experience.

And these companies will undoubtedly have the best software and resources that you require for the project. Thus without particularly investing in tools and technology you can still use them for your project.

Control your project remotely:

Irrespective of which part of the world you are in, you can still gain complete control over your projects by sharing MEP BIM on cloud and enabling real time video conferences. Thus, all your architects, engineers, contractors and concerned authorities need not be in the same place to stay updated about the project

Intellectual Information Security:

Wherever outsourcing is done, one of the main components to be considered is security. Many people do not outsource their projects due to project Information and data security. However today due to the highly competitive landscapes, the companies have become more responsible to every concern of the client; securing data being on the top of the list.

When it comes to eLogicTech, they are governed by data security laws, and considered liable in case of security breach. Thus, they will take all possible measures to ensure that the intellectual information remains safe and every project detail is shared over a secure network.

Additionally, eLogicTech has shifted focus from individual projects to building long termed business relations making them deliver the best in order to take the association from a single project to several projects.

eLogicTech provides the best MEP drafting and documentation at highly competitive price, on-time delivery, and highly secure data transactions; the best of all packed into one.

BIM Ready is not just about acquiring latest software and training your internal team, it’s a journey and has to be looked at different aspects like people, process and outputs and align them together for meaningful output for all the stake holders involved in it.

While we have already mentioned about the four different phases in the earlier blog, in this article We have listed some of the best practices to guide you through planning stages and avoid pitfalls while implementing BIM.

Setting up the Team:

Senior Management:

Operational staff may be the first to experience BIM potential however it has to be backed by an efficient leader to make the transition successful and efficient. There would be numerous disruptions and challenges like financial, operational and process during transition. Hence you need support from senior leadership to implement the considerations and look at them in a realistic approach in long run. Consider your team members carefully people with existing knowledge on BIM processes and procedures would be added advantage

Establish Standards:

Collaboration lies in the heart of BIM so don’t stray to far in developing your own approach. There are a wide range of different approaches for Project management and you can adopt some of the most common framework like PRINCE2. There is no need to deviate too far to deliver a BIM implementation project.

Standards have to be set for creation of Models, Internal processes used for technical and representational standards. Documenting the processes required to deliver BIM is advisable and it will be useful checklist to measure and implement new processes by considering existing interconnected systems and procedures.

Once your standards have been set you’ll also need to ensure that they’re followed with a range of control measures to ensure that staff across your company does the right thing.

Decide which tools you will use:

There are different tools available and it is important to carefully review them before making a final decision to adopt. It will always advisable to create the checklist and compare them and understand which tools would benefit you for your set requirements. Your projects team should research establish the extent to which your chosen tool(s) work well together – sharing information in an accurate and timely fashion without losing data as files travel between systems and partners.

Training and Development:

Creating communication plans and setting up trainings for teams is crucial for the success of implementation. As details of your implementation scheme become clearer you need to work out who you will involve and when and what you will tell different groups of stakeholders. Understanding of BIM is likely to be mixed so coming up with a communications plan will ensure that appropriate staff are approaching the challenges of the project from a standard level of understanding.

Set Realistic goals:

Reasonable targets are necessary to maintain the programme on track. Maintaining business as usual while steering a major change in operations would be challenging. Numerous challenges like training needs to hardware and software procurement, testing, and making decisions. Hence set realistic goals which are achievable.

Simplify and Plan for Contingency:

Ultimate objective for BIM should be to simplify the processes, without proper controls you end up developing complex processes which are inefficient and shoot the budget out of proportion. Lay down a clear strategy and be mindful of your BIM implementation, consider the cost and benefit of every process at every step to ensure you’re not doing unnecessary work and remain flexible. Considering the possible risks at every stage of the process and monitoring and mitigating these risks will be essential to keeping the project on track.

It is paramount to evaluate if the project is good for BIM Implementation or not,and you don’t necessarily need an algorithm to decide whether or not you should implement BIM on a project. You can arrive at a decision about BIM implementation based on the project information and some key factors listed below:

Nature of Construction:

BIM implementation is best suited for new projects, however renovation or maintenance projects can be benefited depending upon the scope and complexity of project.

Program Complexity:

BIM implementation is largely benefited and valued for complex projects like Labs and Healthcare. However BIM implementation would be immensely beneficial and adds value to residential projects where teams can replicate Layouts easily.

Budget:

Budget always indicates the scale of project and this is a major factor to consider for BIM implementation. BIM implementation can immensely benefit Large Scale Projects and improve efficiency.

Schedule/Timing:

Schedule of the project directly impacts the potential value because of the mobilization time required for BIM. The further along a project is, the lower the opportunity for using BIM.

Project Delivery Method:

This is another important factor to consider as projects with a more collaborative contract form will benefit slightly more from BIM than other projects.

Team BIM Capability:

Another important factor to consider is the proficiency of the team on BIM would impact the value of the project it gets from BIM. Better project partners would result in hassle free implementation.

Existing Building Documentation:

For maintenance and renovation projects form of existing building documentation is important. Existing BIM data would be helpful although CAD and laser scan data serve as meaningful baselines when used properly

Some of the factors mentioned above are rudimentary and easier to remember, however there are several factors to take into consideration before we come to a decision on BIM implementation.

Like any form of change management, implementation of BIM would require great planning & preparation. Change implementation has to be in a phased manner with proper planning and execution, let’s look at some the four key phases in BIM implementation.

The Four Phases of BIM Implementation
  • Evaluation/Assessment
  • Preparation for the Transition / Project Pre-Planning
  • Execution of the Plan / Design and Construction
  • Operations and Maintenance through Experience and Expertise
Evaluation or Assessment

Publish the implementation plan and intent for Building Information Modeling in your organization as part of an internal assessment procedure. The following steps are some of the best practises which would help you in the initial phase of BIM implementation.

  • BIM Ready Evaluation – Evaluate your teams capability in terms of technology and processes
  • Feedback – conduct feedback sessions on with internal team about adopting technology, processes and workflows
  • Due Diligence – Evaluate the legal contracts and deliverables expected from each party
  • Management take – Ensure that the higher management fully supports the decision to adopt BIM in the organization.
Preparation for the Transition / Project Pre-Planning

Project pre-planning is paramount for successful transition to BIM. A Standardisation in technology process and trained people is critical for success of technology implementation.

  • Standardisation: Make provisions for uniform standards for software implementation ensure to lay down a process flow for information exchange, archiving and updating data on a real-time basis so that no crucial information is lost
  • Training: Internal Team has to be equipped with the new software so plan for numerous Training and Development sessions to increase their expertise in using BIM.
Execution of Plan/Design and Construction

The execution of the plan must be decided collaboratively in accordance with every stakeholder in the project. This phase defines the social interactions of the project team throughout the BIM construction life cycle. A BIM execution plan includes:

  • Portfolio management
  • Test case based planning and implementation
  • Spatial planning
  • Team restructuring
  • Information handover
  • Defining new roles and responsibilities
  • Measuring performance>
Operations and Maintenance

The high level digital model built in the design phase can be taken as a base for operations and maintenance phase as well. The best practise is to use building data from this model and rework on it, to incorporate operations and maintenance for the facility,

Here are some the factors that determine if the high levels design model can be used for used for operations and maintenance:

  • Which elements were integrated into the model in its design phase?
  • Was the digital model regularly updated to include the most recent and accurate information?
  • Were all stakeholders who are authorized to access the digital model able to retrieve data with ease?
  • Every organisation requirement and structure is different and activities performed in these phases might differ as per their requirement

    Different phases of BIM implementation and proposes standard procedures that can ensure smooth transition to BIM technology however the success on BIM implementation would largely depend on willingness and capability of current organisation. Hence it’s advisable to lay down step by step process and the execute diligently for successful implementation.

Numerous Contractors and Projects teams are creating 3D walk through & 3D VR modelling to simulate the functionality of residential, commercial projects & architectural projects. Let’s look how Virtual Reality might impact the construction industry in long run.

Feasibility

With extensive adaptation of 3D and BIM in the industry Virtual buildings and environments has become natural. There is major boost to gaming and entertainment VR investments. This will push the technology forward and make it affordable to consumers

Initiating change

There are numerous potential uses for VR in construction. Drawings and renderings are statics images and can never capture the three dimensional, spatial nature of building. life-sized physical models are also quite time consuming and often costly to build. Hence, Transition to Virtual reality would be seamless as architects and designers already create digital models of their designs.

Scope to Experience design

Virtual reality could be used to experience design and take the experience to next level and create a lasting impact. VR-enhanced experience design could be used in any type of project: residential, retail, hospitality, healthcare, and offices, to name a few.

Enhances Project collaboration

VR allows new ways to visualize and simulate systems, phenomena, and their functions. Project stakeholders can experience the realistic view and conduct meetings in virtual environment which is being designed Instead of conducting physical or video meetings

Helps in Decision-making

Virtual Reality offers scope for simulation where people can see how the project would look like after the construction. Visualisation makes decision making process easy and it provides valuable feedback for property developers and designers in the early stages of planning.

Most Impacted in Residential development and sales

Virtual reality plays a crucial role in the residential business. Simulation provides scope to buyers to experience their future home, moving around, and changing materials, fixtures, and furniture, is exceptional.A very important factor is what you can see outside the windows of the home. A nice view would not only justify the premium price but also speed up the buying decision.

Virtual Reality for professional training

VR can be used in educating Architects and most designers who have never worked on visited the construction site before they get graduated. A virtual simulated construction would give them practical experience. Safety is an age-old problem in construction. Safety training using VR could possibly prevent many human tragedies and can identify issues and incorporate required changes before construction begins. A simulated construction site could also be used to ensure safety in construction site, it could simulate the real environment and show how and where to use safety precautions and will show the site’s progress at any given date.

The Augmented Technology used for Pokemon Go is driving the mobile game lovers crazy. Augmented reality, the technology behind the widely popular phone app Pokémon Go, can be used to highlight landmines or relay information from a drone flying above about enemies hiding behind a wall to soldiers on the battlefield.Read-More..

How AR related to BIM ?

Communication of design intent is enabled with Augmented Reality for Architects and designers which is a major challenge earlier.The strength of using augmented reality is delivering and understanding the vision of the project. Through Augmented reality BIM has taken virtual model to the reality.


Augmented reality is a live, copied view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input. Virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one, whereas augmented reality takes the real world and adds to it with—in the case of architecture—a 3D model of your design.


With the help of advanced augmented-reality technology such as computer vision and object recognition, the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and able to be digitally manipulated. In augmented reality, computer software must derive real-world coordinates, independent from the camera or from camera images.


Augmented reality is used in architecture and construction by placing a 3D model of a proposed design onto an existing space using mobile devices and 3D models. AR has been used in the video gaming and media entertainment for a much longer period of time to show a real image interacting with one created from computer graphics.


‘Pokemon Go’ is an entertainment augmented reality game. But BIM augmented reality will give you the professional look and feel of virtual world.


eLogictech solutions is an architectural design and production firm that provides quality and cost effective BIM solutions to the AEC community.

Why Indian Market

Though BIM software has been around since 1970s, how many AEC professionals in India use the software to its full potential?Read-More..

Indian Architects regard BIM as a tool that requires high level of understanding from the user to operate it. While CAD and SketchUp have been serving small to mid level firms meet their drawing and 3D needs, offices that handle large and complex designs are bound to switch to BIM due to clients’ demand. Leading builders are now appointing BIM consultants for better coordination between all disciplines.

 

I have worked in small to large firms. During a regular office meeting in a firm, a colleague requested for REVIT in office and my boss’s reply was

 

How can you write a poem when you don’t know the grammar?

 

What could be the possible reasons BIM has not caught on in India?

 

Cost

 

ArchiCAD and REVIT are the widely used BIM softwares in India. While Autodesk offers 3DS Max,AutoCAD and REVIT as a package,ARCHICAD also offers a suite of different applications in a single purchase. Cost does not seem like a constraint to switch from CAD to BIM.

 

Training

 

Yes, Training and experience in BIM application is a must. Companies which want to use BIM over CAD have to take the initiative to train its employees in REVIT from a result oriented approach. On-project training would be highly beneficial for the company on a long term basis.

 

Time

 

At the floor plan stage , BIM and CAD will take the same time to complete, but rest of the drawings, i.e. elevations, sections and 3D view will take lesser time to generate. The layer of information that can be added and extracted from BIM is immense. Many free plugins are also available for calculating material quantities and estimates.

 

Bentley’s AECOsim has several features packed into a single software. BIM definitely is not time consuming but yes we have to be patient when it comes to producing details. Indian Architects expect BIM to do all the work. Blown up details have to be drafted partly with 2D line-work and partly with detail components , hence drafting time required is the same, but modeling and documentation in BIM definitely reduces the coordination time.

 

Customization

 

General feedback from Architects who attempted to switch to BIM is that while some of the tools have been created to meet International standards, they need to be customized to Indian design standards. For example, the families available in BIM library are suitable for UK or American designers. While American manufacturers of Architectural products are providing BIM families free of cost, Indian product families are not readily available.

 

Design Process

 

The sequence of an Architectural project, if followed in the concept-schematic-design development-construction drawing-as built stages, using BIM, can produce exceptionally good results. Design changes would be reflected uniformly in all drawings when the model is changed . In the Indian context, the design approach is different from an International approach, so BIM has limitations.

 

Is it time for Architectural Institutions to include BIM in the curriculum?

 

It would be a good idea to introduce BIM in the curriculum at an undergraduate level to familiarize students with its advantages. Established designers are of the opinion that design schools are training their students in software rather than in analysis and creative thinking. While that is true to a certain extent, it is equally important to keep up with the technological innovations in every field. We as Architects have come a long way from the days of hand drafting to 2D CAD, 3D CAD and now we are at BIM. In my opinion, introducing BIM as an elective in the pre-final year in college gives a choice to interested students to get trained in BIM and work on a project from design to construction drawing stage.

 

BIM’s capability to combine model, drawings, details, material quantities, cost and time in one file saves AEC professionals a lot of time, money and trouble. Indian AEC professionals have to be ready to embrace new technologies that will improve their business and at the same time improve the quality of output.

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If you are interested in knowing more about elogictech, please check out our website here. Do you want to discuss more about our BIM approach? Let us talk.

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About the author

 

Resmi is a project manager at eLogicTech Solutions?—?a company that provides drafting services to the Architectural/Engineering/Construction community worldwide. The company specializes in Building Information Modelling,Technical Design and CAD solutions to every market segment which demands quality construction design and drafting services. Prior to joining eLogicTech, Resmi worked as a project manager in SMG DESIGN INC, Hyderabad and holds an M.Sc degree in Building Sciences from National University of Singapore with a Bachelors in Architecture from M.S.Ramaiah Institute Of Technology, Bangalore, India

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Pooja resumed office after her maternity leave and what she had in store for her was a ‘Point cloud to BIM’ project.The process of converting 3D Laser scans of buildings to a BIM model is termed as ‘Point cloud to BIM’.Her company got their first ‘Point Cloud to BIM’ project from a long standing client who recently switched to laser scanning from manual survey.Read-More..


The client had sent 300 odd images of a famous museum in USA which they had to restore. They wanted the BIM model in one weeks time.She had a team and a deadline but had no idea how to go about the task.


All the ‘BIM’ and ‘Point cloud’ experts who gave a demo in the office were themselves uninformed and were of no help. It seemed like one week would be required to research and learn how to do the project and another one week to complete the task. The company could not turn down the client.


This project was the stepping stone to the next level of BIM model and in completing the project, they could become part of a prestigious restoration project of international importance.


There was limited information available on the internet. Pooja had to take up the project and complete it. She lost her sleep over it. She was torn between her wailing 5 month old baby on one side and her nightmarish project on the other. Being a long serving employee who has also earned the reputation of being the most reliable and efficient,Pooja could not give up. She was determined to complete the task.


These were the many questions that were on the teams mind.


What is point cloud?


In Architecture, point cloud is the raw scan of a building exterior or interior created by 3D scanners. The scan would be a set of points on X,Y and Z axis.


What is RCS and RCP file?


Point cloud data file cannot be directly used in a 2D or 3D application.


Autodesk ReCap converts raw scan data to scan files (RCS files), and project files (RCP files) that reference multiple RCS files. Both these formats can be attached to an AutoCAD drawing or REVIT application.


What is the best point cloud to BIM software?


The process for creating a point cloud to BIM model is 3D SCAN?PROJECT FILES?AS BUILT BIM MODEL. There are many point cloud to BIM applications like REVIT, Trimble VDC Services to name a few.


REVIT application was already in use, so there was no searching needed for a new BIM application to model. But once the painstaking process of modeling in REVIT started, by measuring point to point distance on the point cloud file, some areas were not clearly captured by the scanner.


It started taking a toll on the health of the REVIT modelers. Some complained of watery eyes and headache. By the end of each working day, they were fatigued and unhappy with the results.


Meanwhile, the client was getting impatient. He had to commence work at his end with the finished as-built-model.


Then Pooja chanced upon the application called Scan to BIM™. This application automatically recognizes and places Architectural and MEP elements which eliminates the laborious task of measuring and modeling each and every element. Trial version of Scan to BIM helped Pooja and her team to model the as built museum model faster. They completed the project with minor errors which were fixed eventually. They missed the deadline by few days but the client accepted the work and was happy with the outcome.


Pooja and her team accomplished what they thought was impossible and that evening they went back home with a smile on their face and a sense of fulfillment.


.    .    .

If you are interested in knowing more about us, please check out our website here. Do you want to discuss more about our BIM approach? Let us talk.

.    .    .

About the author


Resmi is a project manager at eLogicTech Solutions?—?a company that provides drafting services to the Architectural/Engineering/Construction community worldwide. The company specializes in Building Information Modelling,Technical Design and CAD solutions to every market segment which demands quality construction design and drafting services. Prior to joining eLogicTech, Resmi worked as a project manager in SMG DESIGN INC, Hyderabad and holds an M.Sc degree in Building Sciences from National University of Singapore with a Bachelors in Architecture from M.S.Ramaiah Institute Of Technology, Bangalore, India

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