Building Information Modeling (BIM)
A Model for Change
One of the most important advances in building design and construction, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is changing the way project teams work together and projects are delivered exceeding client's expectations.
JE Dunn employs nearly 20 Building Information Modeling (BIM) specialists across the country, many holding degrees in either architecture or structural engineering.
Using the most current technology, we are able to generate multi-dimensional models to assist design, determine constructability and ease of operation of a building project by linking model-based technology with a database of project information. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is capable of producing a single model from which any drawing or detail can be extracted and to which data can be linked.
What are the benefits?
Budget control and constructability input during pre-construction phases
Clash detection and mechanical/electrical/plumbing coordination
Efficient communication of design intent
Determining the most cost effective methods of construction
Owner/Operator ease of maintenance allows database access to equipment information after commissioning
Enhanced project team member collaboration and unification
One of our principal beliefs at JE Dunn is to only market to our customers the services we can deliver, and only those services that will add value. For that reason, we have focused our Building Information Modeling (BIM) scope in the following areas:
Building Envelope Analysis
By using the BIM model in preconstruction, we can offer real-time cost impacts due to design changes and better quantity verification than traditional take-off methods.
JE Dunn's use of BIM as a preconstruction tool allows us to make decisions with more information available to us than we have ever had before. More accurate budgets can be developed earlier, thus aiding and enhancing the owner's decision process.
Everyone knows that information gaps or assumptions made during preconstruction can become expensive contingencies. 4D planning is a tool used during preconstruction to simulate the construction process before we break ground. By using this digital prototype, we are able to better predict field conditions and work to mitigate them long before they become a project expense.
Combining all of the architectural, structural, and fabrication information into a single model gives us the ability to specifically control the documents being used in the field.
The use of self-perform documents instead of traditional construction documents allows us to filter the information that is used in the field. For example, if a crew is constructing concrete form work for a foundation pour, information about a door schedule or a room finish schedule are not pertinent pieces of information. By stripping away unnecessary information from the drawings and providing only necessary information, productivity and quality increases. Historically we have seen concrete productivity increase on the order of 50% over historical production rates.
Sequencing the model to simulate construction activities allows us to foresee difficult conditions that could potentially delay the schedule.
4D planning is a tool used during preconstruction to simulate the construction process before we break ground. By using this digital prototype, we are able to better predict field conditions and work to mitigate them long before they become a project expense.
By automating the process of clash detection, preplanning for mechanical installation is much more effective than in the past.
MEP coordination has historically been performed with 2D sheets overlaid on a light table. This process, at its peak, only identifies about 70% of the conflicts, the rest are sorted out with field changes. Changes made in the field are expensive because original pieces must be discarded, and work becomes delayed while waiting for a new piece to be fabricated. BIM automates the detection of clashes and presents the conflicts in a 3D format that everyone can understand. This level of accuracy greatly increases the effectiveness of preplanning, reduces waste, and shortens schedule durations for install. Under this process we have historically averaged only one RFI per 100,000 SF of mechanical installation.
Using model information, we can communicate directly with our survey equipment to layout geometry faster and with greater accuracy.
After we have collected all of the building information in 3D, we can load that data directly into our survey equipment and replicate the geometry with a high degree of accuracy. The production of layout data has historically been a redundant process. Now, we can take the data created during preconstruction, MEP coordination, self-perform modeling, and 4D schedule and load that data into our layout equipment. This reduces layout prep time and increases the accuracy of the layout.
Building Envelope Analysis
Converting 2D details to 3D models increases the amount of information being conveyed to the field. This increased information mitigates the chances of errors and omissions.
Building envelope analysis is a process in which JE Dunn converts the 2D architectural details into a 3D model. Whereas in the past a contractor only had detail information in locations where the architect chose to draw a section, today we have information about every square inch of a given condition.
This information allows us to verify the intention of the design team, incorporate the means and methods necessary to execute the work, as well as to incorporate any information needed to fabricate the materials.
The purpose of this exercise is to become an expert on the enclosure we are building before we put work in place. The 3D nature of the information allows us to engage all of our team members, not just those that are experts at reading blueprints. The level of communication afforded by this process insures that a building's exterior skin performs at the highest level over the life of the building.
The value of a Building Information Model extends beyond the design and construction phases of a project in the form of as-built drawings. As-built drawings represent the reconciliation of the design documents to reflect the conditions that were actually built. Because we use fabricaiton models to coordinate systems instead of design drawings, our models more accurately reflect the as-built condition.
This information is of great value to an owner that is interested in future expansion, automated facilities management, or standardizing a building prototype for replication. All of the information developed during the design and construction phases can be handed over to an owner to leverage throughout the building's life cycle.