BIM 360: When Does The Construction Site Resemble More Of An Assembly Plant

Since Autodesk introduced us the concept of the Future of Making Things (FOMT) which is now the Current of Making Things (COMT), the typical construction site is adapting to a new way of life.

Let me explain. I discuss BIM 360 products, workflows and integrations with many different types of companies. In the early days of BIM 360 you were predominantly either a General Contractor managing the project or you were a sub-contractor performing the building activities. Now it seems that manufacturing companies are getting more interested in BIM 360 also.

For example, there is not a lot of room on a construction site for a mechanical contractor to store ducting and equipment and then build the systems in place when the project phase called for it. Just in Time delivery brings to site what we need at any given time. Mechanical systems now get delivered to site as system of individual sub-assemblies. The subassembly fits together with another and they are fastened in place. All of the building of the sub-assemblies is done in a controlled environment where components can be checked and inspected well before they arrive on site.

future of building things

Rooms now arrive on site as individual sub-assemblies of the own. they just fit together as an assembly process rather than a build process. Facilities and buildings are now just entities made up of smaller entities, that are fitted, installed, snapped together or by other methods of assembly.

What challenges do these new processes create for us? There are probably quite a few but we are also getting rid of some other processes that use to be there. What hasn’t changed is the way BIM 360 Field (B3F) handles this entities and components, sub-assemblies and pre fabs. B3Fs Equipment module does not care what we designate as Equipment. Equipment to B3F is simply something that either needs to be monitored, measured, maintained or anything else you can think of that may happen to ‘something’ on the job site. B3F is the perfect tool to maintain delivery records, assembly records, installation inspections and anything else that may happen along the way.

Really, we are doing no more than we always have but we are using the data more effectively to give us efficiencies in construction and reduce risk. And, it is all about reducing the risk and no other product range reduces risk on a construction project better than BIM 360. It’s the same data, it just looks a little different.

So, the COMT now makes it possible for the specialty contractors to get involved in BIM 360 technologies to measure and maintain their own processes. They can use BIM 360 Field during their manufacturing process to measure quality and design and use Glue to ensure that their designs (modules) fit correctly with other structural and architectural models (clash avoidance).

The General Contractor becomes the keeper of all assembly phases and can measure all installations also with B3F. the GC can run snag or observation reports and keep track of all installation phases and sub-contractor performance.

Now, this is of course just an idea but it does seem reasonable because we already have the tools to make it happen.

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