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What is the price of BIM?

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Whenever we are discussing with a client the next BIM project, the same questions usually come up: “how much does the BIM cost?” Or “what are your hourly rates?” Or the famous “how much by square feet?” I assume, the same may also happen within in-house BIM teams, for an A/E firm or a Contractor to budget the BIM component of a job to be performed internally.

Let’s see the different ways we can approach this topic…

As we may know, defining a price for BIM services is not like a simple equation where all members are known, as in 2+2=4. First of all, each project has its own scale and complexity. However, there is a big variety of scopes and tasks that we, as consultants, can perform within the project, as well as -luckily- be in charge of a whole one.

Within design and construction phases, we can mention several scopes of work like BIM Modeling and trade coordination, Shop Drawings, Spooling, Scanning and Scan to BIM, Structural modeling and Detailing for Fabrication, BIM Management, As-Builts, among many others.

Although some organizations have their own metrics based on their expertise, there is no universal method to define or estimate all previous scopes. Nevertheless, there are some ways to address this subject, at least to give a rough order of magnitude. For instance using square feet metrics, % of construction costs, linear feet of piping, splitting the quote by level, by deliverable, by phase, by trade, and so on…

Many a time, if the project is at bidding stage, it is pretty common to only have a single project sketch for reference. To make things worse, sometimes there is not much time and we have to send rough numbers by risking potential profits, or losing money, or even outpricing ourselves, when pricing a rush request.

That being said, it is important to discover, describe and bring on the table as many attributes as possible in order to evaluate how they will be impacting in our numbers and this is what we will call: It’s not the same.

It’s not the same

  • Time is a fundamental constraint. It’s not the same to deliver the first floor in one week than three, like it’s not the same if we have to pay overtime to our team to deliver the model on time. Let’s be cautious and clarify these conditions with our clients and discuss how the schedule will be impacting on the project cost.
  • Scope. There are some tasks that can be estimated on an hourly basis. A good example would be 2D production, where we can approach by evaluating how much time each sheet will take. In the same way, we can easily determine (as long as we have proper information) how much time the team will need to model one level of a cold-water piping layout.
    If we are talking about coordination, we can definitely use some % of the modeling efforts, and building complexity. The goal at this point is to make sure that the RFP -request for proposal or budgeting request- is clear enough to ensure all the needed work and only the needed work is included in our proposals. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request clarifications.
  • Use of BIM. The purpose of BIM will definitely drive us to define the LOD -level of detail/development- that our model will require. It is very common that this LOD is requested by the client, while, sometimes, it has to be part of our recommendations.
    It’s not the same to have a LOD 200 concrete model for rough quantification, or one LOD 300 architectural model with different wall types, thicknesses, and materials. In the same way, it’s not the same a LOD 400 fabrication model where we will specify how ducts should be cut for installation purposes. Let’s make sure the client expectations are clear enough so we can suggest a reasonable LOD to make him save money and time.
  • Project type. It’s not the same to estimate the modeling efforts for an office building with large empty spaces than doing it for a healthcare project or an industrial facility. The type of project will help us understand the complexity of the model: It’s not the same to coordinate a 3 equal layout story office building than a single level mechanical room. Sometimes is not about square footage but building usage. As previously stated, it’s a must to clarify the scope, since this will help us make the quote as accurate as possible.
  • Type of contract: It’s not the same to have a lump sum contract than a time and material. Who will be absorbing the cost of rework in case revisions/redesigns come up? Who will absorb the cost of a poor design? Many times Lump Sum ends up been more expensive for the Client because, when estimating, the service provider had to estimate for potential issues that may never happen
  • Availability of information. As mentioned earlier on, it’s not the same to quote one fully documented project, where we have every detail, rather than estimating one where we have barely seen a floor plan or sketch. This point is about uncertainty, since we won’t be able to come up with a tailored proposal. Our suggestion would be to provide ranges. We can polish our numbers afterward, once the information is fully available.
  • Consider Quality as a “non-negotiable” variable. A good quality model with consistent data will let our customers take the maximum advantage of BIM. At our end, it will help us deliver better results. Let’s not underestimate quality, it’s a must to have some QA/QC % in our project’s budget.
  • Finally, our costs. Beside all fixed cost, do we need to constantly reinvest in hardware or software?

Long story short, these points are the main aspects that may impact our project’s budget, but each project and client can take us to include several additional variables. If we are lucky and we have all the project documentation, it is essential to take the necessary time to fully understand the project in order to suggest the best strategy and approach. It will make the client save money, not to mention increasing his trust in us.

A deep understanding of the project, along with knowledge of BIM processes, and Construction practices will give us the ability to recommend to our clients some new possibilities and visualize new opportunities by leveraging their BIM models, and so when you unleash the possibilities, the actual price of BIM becomes irrelevant!.

 

Mariana Jimenez – BIM Project Manager – ENGworks

Call us: (949) 340-6924

LOD downgrade?

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Having to downgrade the LOD as you move into later stages on the project lifecycle, sounds very counterintuitive…

On the typical A-Z BIM project you go from a lower LODs 200 for early design, “upgrading” to LOD 300s when going from Design Development to Construction Drawings. Then you “upgrade” to LOD 350 to 400 for the Trade Contractors BIM Coordination and Fabrication…on this process its mostly about more constructability and so accuracy, adding hangers and supports, precise fittings, equipment’s according to submittals, pipes or ducts with its exact dimensions for fabrication, etc. …so at the end, during design and construction we are mainly talking about more elements been represented in the model with more accuracy, and of course some data aggregation…

…and then there is the theoretical “LOD 500” approach, where you maintain the LOD 400 precision on the geometry and the focus is on enriching the model with FM data…

However, this is what we are finding over and over again, when we implement BIM for Operations with most or all of our clients;

For Operators/Facilities Managers less is more. It’s about simplifying, about providing only the info the guy at the trenches needs, when he needs it, and in a format that makes sense to him…

We use YouBIM as BIM FM deliverable, so the interface is already exceptionally simple…But most of the times, especially on complex facilities such as industrial plants, labs, datacenters, etc…there is some work to be done on the models received from construction if you want to achieve a great user experience.

Even if in terms of data there is a significant amount of aggregating, when it comes to geometry it’s more about eliminating unnecessary geometry, focusing on maintainable assets, and of course organizing the systems aligned with how they operate versus how they are constructed/fabricated.

A new BIM scope of work has been born: “hey BIM FM expert, how long would it take you to downgrade this model?

Axel Kruger – President/Founder – ENGworks

Call us: (949) 340-6924

 

ENGworks NEW office – Nevada

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ENGworks, the nation’s leading BIM services and solutions provider announced today that as of July 1st 2018 is opening a new office location in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Today’s announcement reinforces the company’s ongoing commitment to providing the highest quality BIM support services to General and Trade Contractors, Owners and A/E firms. This new office allows ENGworks to be closer to our local clients as well as to continue  to grow the company’s team of experts in the areas of BIM Spatial Trade Coordination and BIM Lifecycle Asset Management.

“We selected the city of Las Vegas since one of our largest current projects, the Resorts World Las Vegas, is currently being built there and also Las Vegas has direct accessibility to all major city hubs in the country” said ENGworks co-founder and president, Axel Kruger. “Additionally, we are evaluating other geographic locations as we continue to enhance our local service offerings. This new office location represents a milestone for our company and our clients”

Las Vegas is also the home of Autodesk University, where like every year ENGworks we will be attending, exhibiting and conferring this coming November 13-15.

About ENGworks 

For over two decades, ENGworks has continuously developed new processes, tools and services for Architects, Engineers, General and Trade Contractors, Construction Managers, Manufacturers, as well as Owners and Operators. Today, ENGworks is an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) services and solutions provider.

Our Goal is to help our clients design and build better projects by saving construction costs and time through implementing the full potential of BIM; we have taken cutting edge technology, sharpened it, and then applied it to everything we know about BIM technology and the AECO Industry.

Our areas of expertise include BIM processes and standards throughout the life cycle of projects: from BIM Implementation and Training, to BIM Content Creation,  BIM Modeling in multiple platforms (Revit, Bentley, CADmep, and many others), BIM Coordination and Fabrication, 4D Construction Scheduling, and through to Facilities Management.

We have extensive experience in the private sector producing work for Health Care, Commercial, Hospitality, Industrial, Infrastructure, Entertainment, Educational, and Institutional projects. We also collaborate with the public sector on projects for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Department of Defense (DoD), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), United States Postal Service (USPS), and General Services Administration (GSA).

Contact:

Valentin Noves
M. 747 220 2982
D. 702 793 4015

For proposals please email us at quotes@engworks.com

NV, Las Vegas – City Central Place
400 S. 4th Street
Suite 500
Las Vegas, NV
89101
United States of America

6 Tips for Successfully Applying the Agile/Scrum Methodology for BIM Spatial Coordination

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Congratulations if you are among the growing number of general contractors, trade contractors, architects, engineers, and project managers who have embraced BIM to guide your construction planning and execution efforts – congratulations because you know that BIM spatial coordination of your projects translates into substantial time and cost savings.

But now you will be happy to discover there is a project-management methodology that can be used in BIM 3D construction coordination even more beneficially to you and your clients.

The methodology is known as “Agile.” It’s also sometimes called “Scrum.” And it originated with the software industry, which drew inspiration for it from the “Lean” movement started by automobile manufacturer Toyota some years ago.

Agile/Scrum BIM Yields Excellent Results

The Lean movement has been gradually working its way into the construction industry (we at ENGworks are proponents of it). The idea behind Lean is that jobs run smoother, faster, and more cost-effectively when the layers of communication separating those who request work be performed and those who do the actual performing are sufficiently thinned.

Thinning those communication layers produces a more nimble decision-making culture. This nimbleness – or agility, if you will – means projects are more likely to complete on time and on budget. It also means clients are more likely to be delighted with the finished product.

Agile/Scrum is, then, basically a new way of project management that allows faster time to market and quicker feedback from users. The end result is the ability to pivot when needed or confirm direction with real market proof.

We can attest that Agile/Scrum is worthy of the praises it garners (especially from project owners). It has allowed us to solve conflicts much more speedily, find superior solutions by working in total sync, and save everybody many hours of work.

We have seen Agile’s/Scrum’s remarkable contributions to project success – so much so that it’s now part of our standard practice for every BIM 3D construction coordination job we handle.

Consider, for example, our recent BIM spatial coordination work on the Los Angeles City Fire Department’s state-of-the-art station in the San Fernando Valley district of Van Nuys.

Our client for this project was the general contractor. The company had not previously used BIM 3D construction as its project-management tool. However, the GC had heard about it and was willing to give BIM and Agile/Scrum a try, even though the company was skeptical that it would see the good results promised.

To the GC’s happy surprise, BIM coupled with Agile/Scrum proved successful. Now sold on it, the GC plans to use Agile/Scrum BIM on as many future projects as possible.

Try These 6 BIM Agile/Scrum Integration Tips

Whether you are a general contractor, a trade contractor, or an A/E firm, we highly recommend you implement Agile/Scrum for your BIM trade coordination. You can learn the ins and outs of Agile/Scrum online – many courses are available to teach you – but to get you started, we would like to share these six tips for successful implementation.

  1. Involve all your stakeholders.

Everyone in your company needs to be onboard with Agile/Scrum methodology. The commitment to it must start at the top with the CEO and extend down to the rank-and-file.

The way to begin instilling that commitment is by making sure your stakeholders understand that Agile/Scrum is designed to let you address the source of most problems encountered on a project: miscommunication or lack of communication.

Explain to your stakeholders that their acceptance of Agile/Scrum is justified because more than 30 percent of the time invested in any given project is rework. Tell them that, by using Agile/Scrum, they will be better able to detect and remove waste related to the productive process, develop processes more  efficiently and productively, achieve greater levels of competitiveness, develop working teams that are motivated and trained, and support a culture of continuous improvement.

  1. Recognize that Agile/Scrum is a path, not the destination.

Agile/Scrum is a continuous improvement methodology, so you can never really reach the end of it. There will always be things you can do to make the project run smoother and faster.

However, this requires a change of mindset. With Agile/Scrum, individuals and their interactions become more important than processes and tools; BIM software that gives real-time information takes priority over comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration carries more weight than contract negotiations; and responding to change    is the ultimate virtue rather than allegiance to a rigid plan.

 

  1. Allow for a learning curve.

It takes time to develop the ability to fully utilize Agile/Scrum methodology for BIM spatial coordination, so don’t expect to throw everything on the table at once. Give yourself several months at a minimum to master it.

  1. Use BIM technology that allows you to show work progress in real time.

Real-time monitoring of progress is important because it empowers all your stakeholders to jointly, as a team, reflect on how to become more effective and then adjust behaviors accordingly. If you have good technology undergirding your Agile/Scrum methodology, everyone on your team will possess the ability to access from any location the 3D models and drawings you’ve rendered up to that very moment.

This will hold true regardless of whether your preferred autodesk platform is Revit, A360, C4R, or Navisworks.

  1. Designate someone to spearhead implementation and use of Agile/Scrum.

This methodology won’t implement itself. Consequently, someone needs to be in charge of the process.

However, you should avoid naming a person to function as a maximum boss who issues dictates. The designated individual should function instead as a coordinator or facilitator or perhaps even as a champion of Agile/Scrum.

Also, this person should not be permanently assigned the role of Agile/Scrum coordinator. It should be assigned on a regular rotating basis. For example, Joe might serve as Scrum master for the first quarter, with Mary stepping into that role for the second quarter, and so on.

  1. Remember that clear communication is key.

Good communication is essential to fulfilling the Agile/Scrum goal of collaboration. The best vehicle for this kind of communication is a 15-minute daily meeting. The daily meeting is a tool that gives cohesiveness to the team effort.

A daily meeting may sound overwhelming – “too many meetings.” However, if you make the effort to hold it to 15 minutes or less, it will ultimately save you a huge amount of time.

The daily meeting also keeps your client tight in the loop, such that, if anything is amiss at the worksite, seven days won’t pass before the client learns that corrective action must be taken.

We saw the truth of that during construction of the Van Nuys fire station. It so happened that a certain type of fitting was specified in the fire station plan. The subcontractor whose crew would be working with those fittings voiced objections and warned of problems if used.

At the daily BIM meeting we held, everyone including the client was able to comment on the situation and this led to a very prompt decision to use another, more suitable fitting.

The blueprint almost surely would not have been modified so easily and quickly but for this high level of communication and interaction made possible by the daily BIM meeting. And we would not have had the daily meeting but for the fact that Agile/Scrum methodology called for it.

The fast resolution of the fittings problem prevented what could have been a chain reaction of larger problems. Instead, the work proceeded smoothly and on time. Averted was the waste of later having to remove the originally specified fittings.

Bottom line: Agile/Scrum methodology is about changing a project’s “time to market” by means of faster review cycles, promotion of greater flexibility in releasing features, an embrace of continuous improvement goals, the fostering of deeper involvement among stakeholders, and the maximization of ROI.

The Agile/Scrum methodology for BIM spatial coordination harnesses change for your clients’ competitive advantage, which means it also works to your own competitive advantage.

For more information about the Lean movement and Agile/Scrum for BIM 3D construction coordination, please contact us at info@engworks.com or call toll-free (888) 556-6246.

ENGworks Deals Resorts World a Winning Hand; BIM Firm Says Its Models Will Help Huge Vegas Hotel-Casino Open on Time

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Resorts World is building a spectacular 18.6-million square foot, Chinese-themed hotel-casino complex on the Las Vegas strip. The first phase is set to open in 2020 at a cost of about $2.44 billion. Staying on time and on budget will be daunting challenges; to overcome them, Resorts World has chosen ENGworks, one of the world’s top providers of BIM.

ENGworks, a leading provider of BIM (building information modeling) services, today announced it has been awarded a major contract to manage the BIM process for the $2.44-billion first phase of the Chinese-themed Resorts World hotel-casino mega-complex now being built in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company said the contract calls for ENGworks to Model and Pre-Coordinate all Architecture and Engineering disciplines as well as map out a coordination-and-clash detection plan for the Trade Contractors to achieve on-time, on-budget completion of the ambitiously massive facility, which began rising earlier this year.

With some 7.9-million square feet of planned construction over the next three years, Phase 1 of Resorts World Las Vegas will involve building a trio of hotels, numerous restaurants, a bevy of retail shops, multiple nightlife venues, and approximately 100,000 square feet of gaming space.

“There is a lot riding on Phase 1 being completed on schedule,” said ENGworks President Axel Kruger. “Our task is to find and map-out a clear pathway for on-budget, on-time completion.”

ENGworks will Meet Challenge Head-On

A major challenge facing Resorts World Las Vegas is that many different components of the project will be built concurrently, with up to 1,000 construction workers representing a multitude of trades on site at any one time.

Consequently, there exists the potential for knotty sequencing and scheduling conflicts. These can be avoided with the help of top-of-the-line BIM modeling and related services.

“This is why the owners decided to mandate BIM throughout the project’s lifecycle,” said Kruger, who added that “more than 75% of the commercial projects currently being built in the U.S. employ BIM.”

According to a Resorts World Las Vegas representative, “the larger and more complex the project, the greater the need for BIM pre-construction coordination – and, right now, there are very few commercial projects larger and more complex anywhere in the world than Resorts World Las Vegas. So the decision to utilize BIM was really a no-brainer.”

ENGworks won the Resorts World Las Vegas contract in September after the project owners – Malaysia-based Genting Group – included Kruger’s firm on a candidate shortlist of top BIM providers.

“ENGworks is one of the very few BIM services companies on the planet with the size and experience to handle a job as enormous as Resorts World Las Vegas,” said Kruger. “We offered exactly what Resorts World needed – advanced and robust technology plus superior expertise. Resorts World liked what it saw in our portfolio of high-caliber projects, which includes Disney Springs, a futuristic headquarters complex for a leading consumer electronics company, and many others which can be viewed at our website.”

ENGworks BIM Modeling will be Key

Kruger, who expressed great pride at being part of this construction project, characterized the work his firm will perform as a multi-faceted bespoke solution. One of the most vital pieces of that solution is BIM modeling all aspects of the project, he insisted.

“The design- and construction-efficiency of this project is tied in no small measure to the success of the job we do in producing BIM models,” Kruger said. “They are essential to helping the builders avoid bottlenecks and other surprises that could potentially slow down the pace of construction or run up costs, or both.

“Resorts World Las Vegas is an incredible endeavor. We at ENGworks are fully confident that our contributions – including BIM Modeling of all disciplines, BIM Trade Coordination, Overall BIM Management performed with our scrum/agile project-management methodologies – will be invaluable in realizing the client’s vision of Resorts World Las Vegas being a truly awesome place where people will flock for fun and excitement.” said Valentin Noves, ENGworks BIM Manager On Site.

About The Genting Group

The Genting Group comprises the holding company Genting Berhad, its listed subsidiaries Genting Malaysia Berhad, Genting Plantations Berhad and Genting Singapore PLC, as well as its wholly owned subsidiary Genting Energy Limited. The Group is involved in leisure and hospitality, oil palm plantations, power generation, oil and gas, property development, life sciences and biotechnology activities, with operations spanning across the globe, including in Malaysia (our country of origin), Singapore, Indonesia, India, China, the United States of America, Bahamas and the United Kingdom. In the core leisure and hospitality business, the Genting Group and Genting Hong Kong Limited, an affiliate which is similarly controlled by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, market and offer a suite of products under a number of premier brands including Genting, Resorts World, Genting Grand, Genting Club, Crockfords, Maxims, Crystal Cruises, Dream Cruises and Star Cruises. Genting companies also have tie ups with established names such as Universal Studios®, Twentieth Century Fox, Premium Outlets®, Hard Rock Hotel and other renowned international brand partners.

For more information, visit The Genting Group at www.genting.com

Learn from our BIM experts @Autodesk University – Las Vegas 2017!

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Turn Revit Data into Useful Information with Visualization Techniques & Workflows
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2:15 PM to 3:15 PM – Marcello 4505, Level 4 – Click Here to Read More!

 

BIM technology has been improving and its use is spreading in the construction industry more and more every year, reaching a point that we can make sure that it here to stay, but even today most of the BIM processes and workflows are clear and established for the geometric and visualization tools of the technology but not for the Data management. We all agree that the parametrization and the data provided by the BIM Software is the key of the everything, but even today is not really clear which are the best practices to obtain data and process it to understand patterns or get conclusions that can lead us into better designs on every project.

That is why the main objective of this course is to dig on the better practices to go from raw Revit Data to great visualizations that will lead us into better decisions and workflows on our construction projects.

 


Valentin Noves
is a BIM Manager at ENGworks, where he leads teams on medium and large scale international projects and provides support on geometric rationalization, programmatic solutions, development of computational workflows for interoperability and MEP analysis.  He has continued to push the boundaries of technology focusing on computational design and BIM to deliver buildings in ways that improves current working methods; from rationalizing geometrically complex buildings to workflow automation.  He is a Revit certified professional and a Lean Manager Certified Professional by the AGC

 

AEC+ENG – Middle East Joint Venture

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Los Angeles, CA–(Press Release)–Today, ENGworks (www.engworks.com ) and AEC Resource (www.aecres.com) announced the establishment of AEC+ENG Middle East, a joint venture with the purpose of providing Building Information Modeling and related services in the Middle East market.

“ENG is very pleased to partner with AEC, which is a highly respected leader in BIM consultancy, but also adds Laser Scanning and high end 3D visualization services to our portfolio of offerings,” said Axel Kruger, President of ENGworks. “AEC will help us increase competitiveness in the region and bring years of Laser Scanning experience to the table, which is a service that is in high demand. ENG will continue to look for new ways to build global partnerships that drive growth and success for the company, our partners, and our clients.”

Diego Cotsifis, Director of AEC Resource, commented: “We view our new joint venture as a natural evolution of the working relationship that has existed between us and ENG for more than 10 years. In the Middle East, we began working together in Saudi Arabia on a large Hospital project two years ago and we always viewed ourselves operating in a real spirit of partnership. This new JV will allow us to provide further help to our clients in the region and is truly a win-win proposition for all involved”.

The joint venture entity will be formed and the new operating structure implemented in the second quarter of 2017.  In Qatar, AEC+ENG Middle East will operate in partnership with NCS, who is our local office in Doha [Mohamed Sallam, mohamed.sallam@ncs-me.com,   Mobile: +974 55231467. For the rest of the countries of the Region Tariq Abu-Laila, [tariq.abulaila@engworks.com , Mobile: +965 – 99085485], will continue be our Region al Director, based in our Kuwait office and covering among other countries the UAE where we will be opening an office soon.

The joint venture allows ENG, AEC and NCS Qatar to achieve greater scale, become more competitive and improve support to our clients across these countries.


Contacts

Diego Cotsifis
Global Director AEC+ENG MIDDLE EAST, LLC
Email: dcotsifis@aecres.com

Contact AEC+ENG MIDDLE EAST – Kuwait, UAE, …completar

Tariq Abu-Laila
Business Development Manager
Mobile: +965.9908.5485
Email: tariq.abulaila@engworks.com

Contact AEC+ENG MIDDLE EAST – QATAR

Mohamed Sallam
Sales Manager IT/BIM
Mobile: + 974 55231467
Email: mohamed.sallam@ncs-me.com

ENGworks at the 2017 AHR Expo®

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ENGworks at the 2017 AHR EXPO®

ENGworks will be exhibiting at the 2017 AHR Expo Las Vegas, January 30 through February 1st.

ENGworks will be one of the few BIM Services providers exhibiting and we look forward to see our clients/partners and colleagues, meet new people and form new partnerships.

AHR Expo, The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition, has grown into the HVACR event of the year and is held in major cities across the U.S.

The 2017 Show will be in Las Vegas, hosting more than 2,000 exhibitors and attracting crowds of 60,000 industry professionals from every state in America and 150 countries worldwide. It provides a unique forum designed expressly for the HVACR community, allowing professionals to get together to share new products, technologies, and ideas.

The AHR Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

We look forward to meet you!

January 30th – February 1st 
Las Vegas Convention Center

Booth #C6931

http://www.ENGworks.com

Phone: 949.340.6924

 

 

5 Tips on how to choose your BIM Partner

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A high demand for BIM services is creating the entry for many new and young BIM providers. Although these new BIM providers are highly motivated they lack experience and know-how. We spoke with several of our clients and came up with five quick tips on how to choose a BIM provider.  If you decide to outsource BIM work we recommend following the tips below to avoid serious problems.

1. Check specific experience
It is not only recommendable to find out how long the potential BIM provider has been in business, but also how long they have been providing the specific services you are requiring.

First check their portfolio and go into detail on what type of services they have provided for those projects and its claims. For example, if you are a subcontractor looking for someone to help you with BIM co-ordination requirements, a provider that only possesses “BIM design” experience is not appropriate. It is necessary to have a provider possessing “BIM construction” experience.

Everybody will probably claim 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D….XD. The reality is very few possess real lifecycle experience. So, ask for a specific scope of works on those past experiences your prospect providers have had.

2. Ask for references
Everyone can claim “we focus on quality” and “we provide the best service”, but just like when you hire an employee where their experience can always look fantastic, you need to check the facts. There is nothing like talking with someone that has already gone through the experience of working with such firm or individual.

When referring to such references, question specifically about “weaknesses”. One thing is producing a quality As-Built Model, another very different skill is producing BIM coordination for a sub-contractor, and another is providing a FM data-rich BIM model etc. It is also recommendable to raise the question of work quality, and how knowledgeable and how responsive the provider is.

3. Don’t confuse “low hourly rate” with your real cost
A low hourly rate is most of the times irrelevant when comparing bottom line cost. Obviously extremes are relevant; a really high hourly rate will affect total cost. There are three main aspects, first of all the quantity of hours a BIM consultant will take to complete a project. This can affect the total cost more than the actual cost per hour. Secondly, how much your own staff takes to complete the project. Finally, what would be the cost if the BIM work is not accepted by the client, or if you are missing deadlines and subsequently not receiving invoice payments.

Ultimately, a lump sum fee is the most suitable payment solution understanding “consultant’s direct cost”. Whereby, perhaps you can allow the “coordination” portion of the proposal to be T&M (Time and Material), because it can be unforeseeable, and you do not want the provider to inflate the quote just in case. However, it is critical to trust your provider of course.

If you have to babysit your provider, and your own staff due to a lack of BIM knowledge, this is where cheap can become expensive. For instance, if BIM deliverables are not on time, and not of acceptable quality, this is probably the main source of project deliverables pain. Alas, payments as contractor can be held and those are typically much bigger numbers than “BIM services fees”. When you hire someone that either is not experienced or does not have enough staff to deliver, this can be a risk.

4. Accessibility is critical
Expect for those rare cases where timing is not an issue, it is highly recommendable to hire a BIM consultant that is accessible, someone who responds to e-mails or calls within a couple of hours. This is specifically important for fast track projects. Accessibility depends mainly on a couple of things:

a) Company Culture to respond imminently or quickly. The provider can be in an adjacent building, but if they are not experienced in responding quickly, that can create a lot of stress during project performance.

b) Time zone is important to have a good time overlap, especially during a BIM co-ordination project.

5. Size…sometimes does matter
Company size particularly matters when a project is of a certain size, because a team with several BIM resources may be required. But even on smaller projects, if a modeler is sick and subsequently unavailable, it is essential to avoid an impact on deliverables. Furthermore, this is where defined company structure is imperative.

Finally, of course these are not the only important highlights; nonetheless these points serve as a basis when making the right decision for successful project delivery.

If you like to know more about how we can help you with your BIM needs, call us at 949-340-6924 or email: quotes@engworks.com

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