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Author's profile photo Carson Diltz

The Intersection of BIM and Business Data in Preconstruction

This is part 2 in a series of blog posts on how the intersection of 3D and business data can be leveraged throughout the lifecycle of a facility.  Part 1 can be found here.

In my experience, many construction companies are using BIM models in preconstruction and construction to perform clash detection. Some, but far fewer, are using 3D design data to drive material requirements and quantities in their estimating or job cost systems.  This process eliminates duplicate entry and, more importantly, can establish a link between objects and the model and business data.

What I have noticed, though, is that this link between BIM models and data in financial systems is not frequently leveraged past the material/quantity takeoff.  I believe contractors, subcontractors, and owners are missing a huge opportunity here!  Consider some of these use cases that I have discussed with various colleagues and customers.

  • Assembling Bid Packages – you pull up a model, select elements on it, and click once to assemble a bid package in your procurement system.  Since your systems are fully integrated, all of the pertinent information from the model is brought into the bid package and published to a bidder’s portal.  All you have to do is add your bid instructions and watch the bids come in!
  • Visual Bid Analysis – when those bids come in, you pull that model back up (on your iPad or tablet this time) and see it painted it red/yellow/green based on how the bids came in compared to estimates.  As you move your mouse over the model, you can see summary info from the bids and click to drill in and see details.  Once you’ve selected the bid to award, one click starts the contract or purchase order in your financial application.
  • Visual Buyout Analysis – as you buy out the job, that same model can be painted based on buyout status and savings, similar to during the bid process.

Visual Buyout.jpg

As I mentioned in my previous post, similar things are being done in other industries such as Oil & Gas and Aerospace & Defense.  We here at SAP are excited to be co-innovating with our customers to deliver use cases like this to them, no matter what they’re building!

What issues do you think the industry needs to overcome to see greater adoption of these use cases?

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      Author's profile photo Johnny Clemmons
      Johnny Clemmons

      Many companies aren't ready to take the step of connecting the model directly to business data but those that are will see significant competitive advantages. 

      Author's profile photo Carson Diltz
      Carson Diltz
      Blog Post Author

      True, the devil is in the details and the mapping exercise between business data and objects in the 3D model is not an easy one - especially when the model is frequently changing and often controlled by a third party architect or engineer.  However, don't you think the right toolset, applications, and user interface could simplify the process?  I also think that starting the integration early in the building process, such as here in preconstruction, will make things a lot easier during the construction and facilities maintenance phases.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Dear All.

      I suggest you all to have look at RIB iTWO Enterprise solution. It does the same thing you have explained.

      In RIB iTWO ,one can use the 3D Model to take out exact quantities( Structural, MEP, Arch, Electrical etc)  from any BIM Model ( IFC standard Model) and generate the quantities against BOQ.

      Ones quantities generates , you can do whole estimation in RIB iTWO to arrive at Selling Price. Now most important , one can use same model for doing Project Planning and Loading actual cost. So that model becomes 5D ( 3D + Time + Cost) and one can see planned vs actual on 3D Model and see what is lagging visually. The same can be extended to Site team to see what's there daily work also.

      I hope you are trying to similar thing here... Also would like to mentioned it has integration to SAP in almost every phase ( Pre Contact , Contract Phase and Construction Phase ) in both Ways...

      Now  coming back to issue of Why industry is not fully using this 3D.... there are many issues  like..

      1. All Owners doesn't understand importance of making 3D Intelligent model ( BIM)  at Pre construction stage .  Here I am not talking @  3D AutoCAD or other  good looking 3D model for marketing ( In case of real estate only ) . Project Owners don't want to waste there time since they feel it not there headache.. It has to be done by Consultant / Contractor as it is useful to them.

      2. Why Consultant and Contractor dint use 3D Model ..??

      Answer:  If client is not interested , or its not contractual requirement  why should they waste there time in doing lot of changes in model to keep model up to date as per client requirement. Consultant might be using 3D model , but don't always gives model to contractor ( As a Bidding input)...

      The Way out..

      If Project owners forces to generate and maintain all data  3D Model as a bidding requirement ( like UK Govt which is planning to use from 2016) , then thing may change. Everyone including Owners , Consultant , Contractor , Facility maintenance will  surely get benefited from it.

      Suhas  Sahebrao Jadhal.

      PMP ® , ITIL® , PGD-ACM (NICMAR) , B.E-Civil.
      Sr. ERP Consultant