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Introducing BIM into a Small-Firm Work Environment:


The Revit platform is Autodesks rendition of BIM, Building Information Modelling.

From conceptual studies through the most detailed design and construction
documentation, applications built on Revit provides immediate competitive
advantage, better coordination and quality, and help reduce clashes and
resulting construction delays. Building Information Modeling gives the possibility
to see the design developed in front of you before it is built. You can change
orientation when necessary. You can change parts of the building. You can make
and change any types of walls, floors, etc. at any time and get budget
One of the biggest advantages of Revit is the Revit parametric change engine
which automatically coordinates changes made anywhere, in model views or
drawing sheets, schedules, sections, plans, elevations etc. This alone is a huge
advantage over traditional CAD where any changes in need to be manually
duplicated in different sections, plans, details etc.
BIM is a proven approach for building design, and is increasingly becoming a
necessity rather than a luxury due to requirements from clients, contractors,
authorities, consultants and others. Small practices can quickly transition to BIM
by following the practices outlined below.

Preparing for BIM

Switching from CAD to BIM is not just a technology change, its a culture change
as well. Things that will be done differently include
o Workflow between team members: one of BIMs strong features is the
possibility of collaborative work between engineers and draftsmen on the
same model (shared workspace). This collaboration is both within each
department (Architectural, Structural, and Mechanical, Electrical etc.) and
between departments.

o Project deliverables: the 3D model becomes part of the project

deliverables, and may be subject to specific standards for annotation and
indexing of project components. Level of detail of the model may vary
according to design stage (schematic, preliminary, detail etc.)
As such and to minimize disruption during the transition stage, all team
members should be involved in the transition including drafters.

Planning the transition

A well-considered roll-out and implementation plan needs to be prepared to

address questions such as:
o How will staff respond to the transition?
o Will we need to upgrade our hardware for Revit?
o How long will it take to complete the transition?
o What's the required level of detail (LOD)

A well-considered implementation strategy will answer these question and

others. Such a strategy is a necessary component of a successful BIM
deployment and must go beyond a simple training and roll-out schedule. Moving
to BIM requires careful planning and execution of such a strategy, along with
methods to measure success of the plan.

Implementing the transition Pilot Project

As part of the implementation plan, a pilot project can be conducted in BIM,

preferably a project which is typical for the firm so there is only a single
dimension of learning. Its best to begin staff training with just a pilot team who
will take on this project and go through the growing pains of the transition.
From this experience, the pilot project will inform best practices in adopting BIM
for incoming projects and set up a starting point for achieving the required
company's unique library and template , and the pilot team will lead the
encouragement of the entire teams transition.
Some people will be more excited about BIM than othersmaybe they already
have experience, or learned about BIM as part of their education. These people
should definitely be part of your firms pilot team. Consider giving these team
members additional training so that they can support the rest of their
teammates in adopting BIM.

Implementation Checklist

Many smaller engineering practices do not have a dedicated CAD manager or

network administrator. Switching to BIM needs a person to spearhead the
implantation of the new system. Some offices make the assumption that this
resource should take most of the conversion burden by shouldering the upgrades
and training. A better approach is for this person to coordinate the upgrades with
a reseller, outsource the training and support other staff in the long run, acting
as a BIM coordinator.
Smaller offices dont always have the budget for aggressive upgrades in
hardware. With new software, the workstations and server may need to be
improved. Workstation should range close to the recommended specifications
set forth by the solution provider.
Typical hardware requirements include:
o Microsoft Windows 7,8,8.1 or 10
o 8 GB RAM
o 5 GB free disk space
o Client computers should be bound to network
Rollout, Post implementation and beyond

Besides hardware and software, a critical commitment is the time needed to

move the team to the new system. However, training on the new system is
essential. The productivity resulting from implementing BIM will quickly offset
the time required to train staff and phase in the new system.
Training is a leading indicator of a successful transition to BIM, formal training is
therefore necessary for a smooth conversion to BIM. The best strategy for BIM
implementation is to train the team using an actual project as a pilot. Pilot team
will attend the basic training (around 30 hours) ,meanwhile one or two main
engineers gets the advanced training(around 50 hours).
At the end of the pilot, time should be set aside to evaluate how the new process
worked so that adjustments can be made. The entire process should be
evaluated based on criteria predetermined in the planning stage.