Sub-Contractors & BIM; How to Mitigate Risk

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Phil Puccio

The advent of BIM in the construction industry has triggered a wave of procurement and contract changes that have fundamentally rebalanced who bears the risk of project uncertainty. We will delve into the origins of this problem and find risk mitigation solutions that can benefit everyone.

The BIM coordination process is typically divided into three parts:

1.) Modeling. Subcontractors produce their individual 3D models according to the contractual 2D construction drawings.

2.) coordination. Subcontractors meet regularly to work out conflicts between the models.

3.) Unsubscribe. Subcontractors sign a binding document on behalf of the JV stating that the model is collision free and that the subcontractor bears all resulting costs in connection with problems in the field.

In the past, before BIM was widespread, GUs were primarily at risk of construction problems, having to pay flat-rate damages for late deliveries and change requests for subcontract changes. But now GCs could use BIM to shift that risk on to subs. The problem is that subcontractors cannot simply charge 5% more because the risk is often not small but catastrophic, which leads to bankruptcy. So what can a MEPF sub do when faced with this hurdle?

The best approach is diverse:

A.) Put together a team of experienced BIM experts! The software is a challenge, but so is the knowledge database for retailers. You need someone who has both experience navigating BIM software and understanding of local US regulations and best practices. Our team is 100% US based and trained.

B.) Have your team review the design models. The GC usually provides the architectural and structural design models, but does not guarantee them. By performing a design model review, you can be confident that the model is truly collision free.

C.) Make sure you are working with precision models. Get the Right LOD! Get the right dimensions! Get the existing conditions just right!

Call us today and we can offer a free consultation to understand how best to approach your scope and ensure that project risk is minimized.

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