BIM Voice – David Mitchell: OpenBIM for 5D: Working Collaboratively is a Catalyst for Software Changes

Credit: Mitchell Brandtman
Credit: Mitchell Brandtman

BIMcrunch has become a platform for a plethora of elite industry names to become guest writers on the site and share their thoughts and opinions with the #GlobalBIMCrew. Today, Partner and 5D Quantity Surveyor at Mitchell Brandtman, David Mitchell discusses Open BIM for 5D and how the process was utilised for a historic hospital project in Australia.

The $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital (SCPUH) project is a State Government initiative to address the growing health service needs of the Sunshine Coast community. The public hospital will open with approximately 450 beds in 2016, growing to a 738 bed facility by 2021. At construction peak it is expected to have created 1800 jobs created across all facets of the building and construction industry.

Out of a project of this magnitude, opportunity to innovate and instigate process improvements can resonate quickly within project teams and when taken a step further can have a significant impact not just industry wide but globally.

The project, like others of its scale and nature, contracts with more than one design team and often consultants to the project are required to be across the range of 3D authoring tools. Part of Mitchell Brandtman‘s work on the project involved 5D quantities for the ceilings and partitions package authored by HDR Rice Daubney in joint venture with Architectus, known as Sunshine Coast Architects (SCA).

Reliability of IFC

One of the key industry issues associated with BIM is the accurate data transfer relating to Industry Foundation Class (IFC) exports. This is a facility that allows information to transfer across software platforms so that designers, programmers, quantity surveyors, project managers and ultimately the sub-contractors can utilise the data for their part of the job.

A key focus of the collaborative work between Mitchell Brandtman’s 5D QS team and Lendlease’s cost planning team was to revision all of the quantities against the latest design. The reason for this was so that subcontract letting could be completed on the latest designs.

When CostX is the 5D platform this is a relatively simple task for Revit but it can be more difficult with ArchiCAD – simply because the interface between CostX and ArchiCAD is less common. The prototype workflow developed through the MB and Lendlease collaborative work was smooth for most objects with the exception of ceilings. Ceilings required special attention and a number of manual copy paste steps which were prone to errors if not manually checked and rechecked with every revision.

HDR Rice Daubney (part of the SCA joint venture) authored the ceilings and partitions package in ArchiCAD, Graphisoft’s globally utilised BIM software. Once exported to IFC, it became apparent that only a selection of the depth of information created in ArchiCAD was available within the exported IFC file and so was insufficient for transferring into CostX, the 5D authoring tool that facilitates estimating for the total trade package in its default form.

Scott Beazley, Mitchell Brandtman’s Digital Technologies Manager said that upon receiving the file the standard settings for the IFC export from ArchiCAD provided the right information but not the detail needed to support a fully measured, accurate estimate that could be revised quickly as the design models developed. “The information was visible within the IFC file and could be accessed for estimating use but was in a form that it could be retrieved only in a very manual and tedious way that would certainly also slow down revisioning,” said Scott.

Due to the nature of the way this project in particular is managed and the collaborative culture across the project consultants, Mitchell Brandtman and HDR Rice Daubney (part of the SCA joint venture) teams met to…

To read the entire article from David, click here. Make sure to also follow Mitchell Brandtman on Twitter, and connect with David on LinkedIn.

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