Time to stop the BIM madness

I received an email last week asking me for some advice on BIM Requirements in a contract. I guess I should say lack of BIM Requirements in a contract. This is a prime example of what we face today, MISINFORMATION. When a client says they require BIM on a job you need to know what goals, and development they are talking about. BIM is a big umbrella so what exactly are you required to provide. Usually when someone comes to me and says the client requires BIM my first question is “did they tell us the goals and the development they want?” Usually the answer is no, so the we simply model in 3D, which after all is the basis of BIM. moving forward

To me the biggest reason BIM is so difficult to implement in most firms is the misunderstanding of what is required form the client. Personally I would love to have a BIM conference for Owners, Operators, and AEC Management. There needs to be something that can help with this kind of misinformation.

  • Is it required to submit the Revit models for the client if it is not stated in the contract?

No it is not, we did not submit AutoCAD dwg’s until they put them in the contract, in fact most companies still charge to disperse the dwg’s. The Revit model is used to produce the required documentation for the project: 2D flat drawings, be it CAD or Paper. If they client wanted the Revit model they should have stated the LOD of the model elements and the requirement in the begining. BIM is a process not a file, therefor you delivered per the contract using a BIM process.


  • Even if the client requested to have a BIM model what wouldbe the submitted format (.rvt, .ifc or any other format)

If the client requested a 3D model at the end of the job, and since BIM requirements weren’t laid out at the beginning I would have given them a dxf. This is a 3D model, it’s just not editable, it still has the information but a little cleaner.

  • If the contract does not state the LOD requested, what shall be done at this stage where we have finished the project

If no LOD requirement was put in the contract, or there was not a BEP developed for the job you would model the project using your office standard LOD. My office standard LOD is between 100-350. No model can be fully 300+, it is not possible to make all elements in the model to that Level. I would argue with the client that the LOD, and the BIM goals were not stated in the contract, therefor you cannot be held to his “idea” of BIM requirements.

  • What is the common protocol regarding the clash detection report, and is it required to submit a Design Model having a clash report with Zero clashes at (0”) tolerance. When I checked some blogs, they all mention that clashes to be highlighted but couldn’t find what our client requested, a clash free model at 0” tolerance when running the clash detection.

It is impossible to develop a model with a tolerance of 0”, you can’t even do that in the real world. The standard clash tolerance is set out at the beginning of the project by all consultants. Correcting clashes can end up costing the team a lot of money. There needs to be a list of clashes and requirements for each in the BEP. Most Engineers will only work to certain clashes, for example pips and columns, and depending on the pipe diameter the clash tolerance is set.

It’s time to move forward, and stop throwing around BIM Requirements without understanding what we are asking for.