The method on steroids to control the quality of your BIM models.
Quickly. 🌠 Simply. 👌 For everyone. 👷♀️👷♂️
The BIM process is a collaborative process to model a set of data on construction projects.
Companies in the construction industry use the BIM process to facilitate a multitude of uses. To give you an example, surface control has been done for decades. But, what used to be done manually and was time-consuming is now automated with the BIM process.
The digital model is the common and central database on which the data are modeled. A multitude of actors takes part in its creation and its enrichment.
However, collaborative modeling of the model is not an end in itself. The end goal is the exploitation of the data with the implementation of precise and relevant uses. Without these uses, BIM cannot fulfill all its promises.
For the model to be used to its full potential, it must be ensured that it is correctly modeled and that the rules for using the data are respected. In other words, the quality of the BIM model must be assured.
If the modeling does not comply with the rules, all the resulting uses, and therefore the benefits, will be flawed.
Checking the quality of the BIM model at each version is therefore the first step to enjoying the benefits of BIM.
Your data is a wonderful source of information, let’s make it talk.
Why is it imperative to verify the conformity and quality of your BIM models?
Checking the quality of your models is essential to ensure that they are usable. 🚧
We don’t check a model just to check it. The sole purpose is to check its compliance with the BIM charter. To be able to implement the intended uses.
And, the database must be perfect if we want to implement these uses.
To be perfect, it must meet all the common rules defined beforehand for the entire project. These rules are common to all BIM contributors who participate in the data enrichment.
The control of the model is therefore the essential step before implementing these uses.
Two types of data are modeled and verified in a BIM model.
The alphanumeric data are easily controllable, the codification for example.
And, there are graphic data that are more complex to control by computer. The process is more manual for this type of data.
Which elements should be checked to verify the quality of my BIM model?
Once the model has been modeled, various control points need to be checked.
Therefore, the coding, the presence, and the filling of the parameters are the three main elements to be checked automatically.
If there is no codification of the data and therefore no precise rule to follow., it is impossible to automate the control process. For example, DOORS and DOOR will be accepted but then it is impossible to automatically have the total number of doors in the building. 🚪
If there is a codification, all objects that enter the list of allowed values must be checked. Then the data is well structured but is not valid. If a door is for example named WALL or WINDOW in the model then the codification is good but not on the right object, which is detectable only manually.
When modeling the model, it is essential to correctly name the elements. If elements and data are well codified, we can then automate precise and efficient uses.
Concerning the geometrical rules, 📐 if there is a codification set up we will be able to detect the conflicts, called clashes. Then, sort them manually.
The list of clashes comes out automatically according to the predefined rules. It will be necessary to check it by hand to define if they are really clashes or not.
For example, if there is an element in front of a door, it will appear in the list of clashes. But, it may not be a clash but a specific and planned arrangement in the project.
To summarize, if the coding is defined upstream with precise rules and if they are perfectly respected during the modeling, then the implementation of uses can be automated. Manual actions will be necessary if there are no specific rules or if they are not respected.
The presence of parameters:
A parameter is a piece of information. A box created and filled in the BIM model.
The modeling software creates the main parameters, such as location or material. We can create more according to the level of precision of the BIM charter.
The first step is to check that the parameters requested in the BIM charter are present in the model.
The presence rate must be equal to 100% and it will be necessary to update the model to reach this rate and thus gain in quality.
In this example, the rate of presence of the parameters is only 17.19% which is very insufficient.
The filling of the parameters:
First, we check the presence rate of the parameters. Then we make sure that they are well filled.
In this example, 77.13% of the 17.19% of the parameters present are filled.
Link to this dashboard created by SeveUp.
Classification verification is more difficult to automate.
buildingSmart International defines the standardized categories, the IFC classes.
The IfcDoor class applies to all doors.
So it can be a landing door as well as a distribution door inside an apartment. And, in the attributes of the object, you have to give a more precise codification if you want to distinguish the two elements.
Classification requires object names to be clear and understandable.
The name of an object cannot be X or Y. However, the name of a toilet can be WC, SANITARY, or TOILET.
These three names are therefore understandable by everyone and there is no need to go into the 3D model to identify the object. All three could be accepted but if there is no unique name for the object, the uses cannot be automated afterward.
This is why the classification of objects is difficult to control automatically.
How to check the models when you are not a BIM specialist?
In a construction project using the BIM process, all the people involved in the production of the model have the task to ensure the quality of the model. And thus it’s good modeling to allow the owner and maintainer to use it later.
The quality control of BIM models can be done in different ways, manually or by automating the process, depending on the defined BIM rules.
The manual version. 🤙
We have to check each item to make sure it is well coded. For clashes, we make cuts to analyze each item.
If there is no data codification, then there is no clear rule. Sanitary, Toilet, or WC can be accepted for toilets but requires a manual check.
The technical version. 👨💻
This way of controlling the quality of a BIM model requires some knowledge to set up the checking tool.
You have to describe the BIM rules and then check with the data present in the BIM model.
The result is a list of objects to check with a 3D viewer to identify each object.
The Analytics version. 🧘
Another way to control is to use Analytics to ensure the quality of the model thanks to a BI (Business Intelligence) dashboard.
The monitoring process is similar to the technical version’s process described above. However, the result is very different.
Analytics provides a dashboard that we can share with all stakeholders.
It makes information on the status of the model accessible and saves a lot of time because the process is completely automated.
A single dashboard can report on the quality status of the BIM model based on various customizable elements. The main ones are those mentioned above:
- the presence of parameters,
- and parameter filling.
We have made this method our specialty at SeveUp.
We provide the tools to create ready-to-use dashboards that let you know at a glance if your BIM model is of high quality and meets the requirements of the BIM charter. 📊
Example of a dashboard created and customized for the EDF account. We know in a few seconds that 90% of the parameters present in the mockup are filled.
BIM compliance is everyone’s business.
All BIM modelers – those involved in the modeling process – must ensure that the model is compliant so that everyone can benefit from the potential it brings to the construction project.
With a dashboard such as the one below, BIM managers and others are also able to check the quality of a model in a few seconds, without having to download any software.
With information on the presence and completion rate of parameters as well as their evolution with new versions of the model. 📈
Link to this SeveUp dashboard.
The conformity of the models benefits everyone: builders, project managers, design offices, control offices, BIM management consultants, such as our partner IM-PACT, and building operators.
But also to those who never work in BIM but still benefit from BIM data, I am thinking in particular of people in charge of maintenance contracts, IT services, electricians, installers, etc.
SeveUp creates specific dashboards for these business needs, if you want to discuss your current needs, please contact us here.
What to do after the quality control of BIM models?
Controlling the quality of the BIM models allows you to have a healthy database to be able to set up relevant uses corresponding to your real needs.
Main uses of our customers:
- Program control,
- Project’s key indicators – KPIs.
- Versioning and evolution of data over time,
- Clash detection.
Other BIM uses we work on :
- BIM requirements control,
- Quantity analysis,
- DMS (Document Management System) monitoring,
- Internet of Things,
- BMS (Building Management System) data integration.
Are you now convinced that the control of BIM models can be automated and allows you to enhance your BIM data?
Do you want to put in place practices that allow you to control costs, deadlines, and risks in your operations?
Want to know more about the dashboards created from SeveUp App? 👉 Let’s discuss this together.
Thanks to Maxime Sagnier, BIM manager and head of operations at IM-PACT for his advice and expertise which helped me to write this article.