Blog Published: 24/07/2020

Blogger - Nick Simpson

Using BIM 360 Build to make your site paperless


BIM 360 Build has come a long way since Autodesk originally acquired Vela, and forward-thinking contractors have been capitalizing on the advantages that it gives them on site ever since.

By transposing their paper-based quality processes and Health and Safety inspections to digital workflows, they gain insight into how well each of their trade sub-contractors are doing, and the ability to identify behaviour trends which can then be pinpointed and addressed, ultimately making them more efficient and profitable.

Similarly, by barcoding equipment, which is linked from BIM models, each managed asset can be tracked through off site manufacture, delivery, pre-start checks, commissioning and handover. All of this achieved using a paperless workflow, tablets on site, and a web interface that gives a real time view of all the project data.

Autodesk correctly identified that a key area where digitalisation can have the most impact is on site where the work is actually done, and some of the most important information has traditionally resided in silos. Connecting this information through a common platform (Forge) and then making it more useful using predictive insights, were key drivers for the creation of BIM 360 Build, which forms part of the BIM 360 suite, a unified platform which connects project teams and data in real time from design through construction. 

Having all project data in one place and available from any device brings considerable advantages, some obvious, and some not quite so. Not needing specialised software to interact with the latest version of models and plans is clearly useful, and the ability to compare changes between iterations of 3D models and 2D pdf’s in a web browser has been described as “a game changer” by one of our clients. Possibly more powerful but not so obvious is the ability to discretely analyse the collected project data, across the entire platform using machine learning and AI functionality and present that information in a persona-based project dashboard within the Insight section of BIM 360. This allows the project team a deeper understanding of project performance, risk items, prioritised daily activities, and visibility of root causes.

In addition, the information contained within the platform is accessible via open APIs for data integration and simplified connectivity to integration partner platforms. Building on the connected nature of BIM 360, other products have been integrated into the Autodesk Construction Cloud to provide more functionality, namely Assemble (take-offs, estimating, change management), Building connected (bid and risk management), and PlanGrid (field collaboration).

BIM 360 Build can import checklist templates from BIM 360 Field Classic, providing a connected upgrade path for existing users, and has been enhanced in a number of ways.  It is available on android devices as well as all apple (phones and tablets) which covers most mobile devices currently used in the UK. It also contains Project Management for RFI’s and Submittals, with configurable workflows, providing a robust system for handling requests for information and Technical Submittal approvals. From a QA deployment perspective checklist templates can be deployed at a project level, or across a series of projects which makes revision to standard company forms much easier, and better controlled. Checklist templates can have section assignees, meaning different sections can be completed by different participants.

BIM 360 Build can be purchased as a stand-alone module of BIM 360 which includes BIM 360 Document Management, BIM 360 insight, BIM 360 Field Management, BIM 360 Project Management and BIM 360 Field Classic. Other modules can be added to the suite, i.e. BIM 360 Design (collaborative BIM authoring), and BIM 360 Coord (clash review and resolution). All modules work seamlessly together to provide a connected end to end solution for your next project.

For more information on Autodesk BIM 360 Build, take a look at our product page: https://www.excitech.co.uk/Products/BIM-360-Build or get in touch with us.

About the author

  • Nick Simpson

Nick Simpson

Consultant

With over 42 years in the industry Nick’s primary expertise is centred around MEP design, detailing, design management, on-site construction management and O&M handover. Other specialist skills include CAD, BIM, digital fabrication, office to field instrumentation, DFMA, lean and many emerging digital formats and data schemas. In addition, he has previously managed a CAD team within a Civil Engineering Consultancy and set up a remote intelligent 3D modelling capability in the subcontinent. 

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