Thursday, October 19, 2006

(bim)X and LOD

Word is quickly spreading about Laura Handler's blog (bim)X - a contractor's BIM blog. In a recent post, she comments on the level of detail (LOD) professed by Paul Aubin during his latest Revit seminar. I'd like to share a few tidbits of wisdom in this area I hold so dear.

Over here at my firm, we're working on about 9 million square feet of building in Revit - which is only THREE projects! We are very familiar with the scalability issues using any fully 3D BIM solution. I completely sympathize with Laura who states, "2D drafting components are 'unintelligent' components; there is no way to incorporate them in the BIM-derived schedule, cost analysis or interference check." However, there's no need to despair.

In the current release of Revit, more attention has been given to the 'hidden' data in such elements as 2D Detail Components. Now, even these elements can be mapped to keynotes and assigned the all-powerful Assembly Code and Description. [Note: Revit utilizes the Uniformat Classifications]. What this means to people like me and Laura is that even 2D details can be scheduled and connected to intelligent specifications via eSpecs. While true, the lowly Detail Component cannot contribute to a clash detection report or cost estimate, it can advance your overall Building Information Model. An example of this concept in action might be bracing angles at the tops of masonry walls where they meet slabs above. This is a condition which you might model to detect any slight clashes with duct penetrations, but these angles are usually cut to lengths not usually exceeding 3 foot (1 m) segments at some regular spacing. It's certainly not outside the realm of having someone model it - but that's alot of work for an entire building! Now imagine I can create typical wall head details with a steel angle Detail Component - not just lines or a filled region. Because the component can carry information such as the size of the angle and the strength of the steel, the Architect's specification can most accurately reflect that small, but important piece of the building and maybe help the GC and/or steel fabricator to expedite the correct size material to the job site.

Hope to hear more great discussions from (bim)X!

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