Now here’s a topic. Coordination. I think I’m supposed to be writing an article about software. Specifically, BIM 360. Yeah, I guess I’ll get to that. Coordination needs to start way before that though. Software isn’t going to coordinate anything for you. You need to at least have a project BIM kickoff meeting. Actually, software generally makes it worse. Why do I say that? Well look at BIM 360. If you use it in a traditional manner it’s great. My model is linked into your model, and your model is linked into mine. When you sync your model, I can see the changes the next time I reload your model. Simple. But now there’s model coordination. Some weird timeline where I need to consume your model only after you publish it. It actually goes into a folder called consumed. Or a folder called Shared. Or both. I have to do that for every model. I’m the MEP guy, so yeah, I have to coordinate every trade. We’re using BIM to make our lives easier. That’s not easier. The only reason I learned how to do it is because I’m afraid were going to be a sub for an architectural firm someday that’s going to make us work this way. Either I learn it or go to work at the local dump driving a Bobcat pushing garbage into a pit. That would be nice actually.

OK, I got that out of the way. Let’s talk about coordination. We should start with making sure the models are actually lined up. Linking Internal Origin-to-Internal Origin is my favorite. Can’t go wrong there. Here’s the steps.

  1. Go to any view that is an actual model view (not a sheet or drafting view).
  2. Link the architectural model Internal Origin-to-Internal Origin.
  3. Once it’s linked PIN IT.
  4. Go to Edit Type.
  5. Turn on Room Bounding.
  6. Look at the Phase Mapping. They might have some weird phase in their model that could screw everything up.
  7. Copy Monitor the levels.
  8. Link the structural model.
  9. Pin it.
  10. Copy/Monitor the grids.
  11. Link all of the other trades.
  12. Make a coordination view where all of the trades are turned on.

Congratulations you now have a chance to be coordinated. It seems simple though right? I know it’s a pain to model pipe when there’s ducts in the way. It’s tempting to just turn the HVAC model off. Now you have all kinds of room! Sweet. Those 10’ high ceilings? No problem if the other trades aren’t visible.

BIM 360 for coordination

OK, on to BIM 360. This becomes huge when you are consulting with an outside firm. The thought of having to grab a model from a file share site, and overwrite the current model on your server keeps me up at night. It is problematic on so many levels. I have personally screwed this up too. I put the architectural model in the wrong folder. I’m an idiot like that. So for me, I do need to rely on software to some degree. Using BIM 360 changes the game when it comes to that. It’s as if that architect at the other firm is sitting in the cube next to you. You still need to do steps 1-12 of course, and actually turn on the other trades, but gone are the days of overwriting models. I know I just trashed BIM 360, but when used correctly, it is a lifesaver. If you don’t have it, I strongly recommend getting it and using it.

Eric Wing lives in Syracuse NY where he is the Director of BIM Services for C&S Companies. Eric is a popular speaker at events around the country speaking on many BIM-related topics. Eric has authored several books including Autodesk’s official training guide for their BIM solution “Revit” called Revit for Architecture No Exp erience Required. Eric is also an author for LinkedIn Learning where he has authored around 60 full courses on BIM management, Revit, AutoCAD MEP, Navisworks and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC). Eric has truly been a leader in the architecture, engineering and construction industry since the conception of BIM and 3D design, and has specialty skills in BIM coordination, training and development of technical staff along with daily application of these tools on multi scale, multi-disciplinary projects. Eric is also currently a Professor at Syracuse University teaching BIM and Advanced BIM at the School of Architecture, and at the School of Engineering. Eric has also taught courses at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Clarkson University on the subjects of Analytical tools for Facility Management, BIM, and Integrated Project Delivery.

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