Beyond the call of duty – The 5D BIM Estimating Competition 2018 winners
“15 seconds! That all it took to do a complete measure off the model,” 5D BIM competitor. [See for yourself]
The BIM Institute has run several competitions this year.
“It’s time to put up or shut up!” says Vaughan Harris, Baron of BIM and Director of the BIM Institute. “We have spent years preaching about BIM, but BIM is a verb, not a manifesto. We have set out – with our partners and sponsors – to incentivise professionals from different sectors to sit down, dust off their software licenses and do their jobs digitally. The results have been enlightening, the challenges real and the winners … a class of their own.”
This time the BIM Institute, in collaboration with ASAQS, set out the challenge to our Quantity Surveyor colleagues in the 5D BIM Estimating Competition 2018. The results were announced at the 4th ASAQS Conference 2018.
Technological and societal developments have changed the construction sector, these changes have sparked new materials classifications and the introduction of new software as well as new concepts and communication solutions. Traditional methods and organisations find themselves under increasing pressure. The two central sectors involved in both the architectural and estimating competitions are continually faced by these developments, interpreting and adapting to changes according to their interests and horizons.
The truth is that the skills needed in today’s construction marketplace are dramatically different to even a few years ago. Tenders are won and lost in record time. The old days of tweaking the last tender to suite the next one is over – and a dangerous game to play. Time is the scarcest resource of them all, and in this transformative era, precision and attention to detail are the name of the game. Mistakes cost.
The success of any BIM enabled project delivery process is highly dependent upon the level at which the entire Design / Construction Team can collaboratively produce and manage information for the duration of the project.
Harris explained in a recent interview that if you want to see the true underbelly of the industry, run a competition. “People are competitive … very … and the same people we have spoken to for various surveys who have talked the talk, suddenly find it really hard to walk the walk. It’s fascinating.”
“Throughout the competition we received numerous support emails and calls from entrants.” These were illuminating to the BIM team, and offered insights as valuable as the feedback from the winning projects.
Harris shared some of the responses from his harshest critics:
“… Please can I download the PDF plans rather, it will be far easier to measure ….”
“… The Revit model is corrupt, please check it again …”
“… Who designed this garage, there are no foundations?”
“We have tried 3 different architects, they can’t open the Revit file.”
“Measuring off the drawing is far easier … This 3D model is good for checking only.”
“… The architect has not modelled correctly …”
“… All quantities have been rounded off in the model.”
“DIMX can’t open Revit, please can you convert to DWFX.”
“There is not enough detail for this competition for me consider applying my valuable time.”
“I can’t seem to upload my files into the cloud, can I please email my submission to you?”
“How are we going to educate these Architects? BIM will never work!”
This is the same file that the many intrepid entrants – and finalists – successfully opened, used and modified to produce their final projects.
“I don’t share these to be harsh to the senders,” continues Harris, “but this is the truth of how many – the majority in fact – of professionals in South Africa view digital construction and highlight the severe skills shortage we are dealing with.”
Fall at the gates
It shows how just opening the file was enough to exclude many who work in our sector (most highly respected professionals with exemplary records.) It is that easy to be left behind. If this was the model a client supplied for a tender, how many specialists will fail to even open the plans?
We can also see the work that must be done to address file version incompatibility between different software suites and versions of the same software. To ensure a smooth collaboration, QS input is essential, right from the initial stages of a project when the BIM Execution Plan is being negotiated.
These negotiations are where the Common Data Environment (CDE) is outlined, defined and Best Practice must be agreed on. “Can I email the file?” undermines the “one source of truth.” This is where collaboration cracks and crumbles.
To simulate real working conditions, we had Cape Surveys, 3D scan the house and fiddled with the model a little and included some mistakes. These were picked up and corrected by our finalists, showing the vital part that QSs play in assisting the modellers to create precise, usable 5D data in a format that can be shared.
We were pleased to once again prove the value of the ASAQS Classification system, while also showing the importance of ongoing development and flexibility. The codes can and should continually be refined and changed to suit the changing trends of the industry. This library has to be truly, deeply and proudly South African. “
Feedback from our finalists showed that the key to successfully exploiting these codes is early collaboration between responsible parties to identify the key areas which may be out of the ordinary in an elemental cost estimate.
“In short, a “good model” is primarily a model that locks in good collaboration between the professional team. It must be appropriately accessible to all involved, always. Every sector has their charge, and much of the data is translated by the QS and checked for precision. This is what we should be aiming for from the outset of every project.”
38 registered contestants
This competition was not just about quantifying the models provided, it tested the candidate’s understanding of the principles of the Common Data Environment and to identify and correct some of the errors within the architect’s model geometry. Some of the properties in the model were also incorrect and these had to be identified. Entrants stated their chosen estimating software, allowing them to produce an elemental estimate.
This year AECOM were appointed as the judges (represented by Graham Harding, who heads up – Program, Cost, Consultancy for AECOM) and Viewpoint was the choice of Common Data Environment.
The competition came down to five excellent submissions from professionals who truly grasped the ASAQS classification code and understood it was key in the development of 5D data. These finalists found Innovative solutions to present the model data.
• Privilege Mpofu – Asatico Civil & Construction
• Ismail Bhyat – QualConsul (QCQS)
• Andre Stenberg – CostNet
• Zane Muller – Private
• Nick Tenner – Basil Read
Going beyond the call of duty
Congratulations to the 5D BIM Estimating Competition 2018 winners!
“As a profession we need to work closely with the various designers to ensure that they understand the importance of providing models as user friendly to us as possible. From the designers side to get a model to be friendly to the quantity surveyor is not difficult, all that is required is for the designer to have a clear understanding of what is required for us to use the model optimally.“
Ismail Bhyat – QCQS
Ismail was head and shoulders above the balance of the competition
Importantly he identified the errors and accounted for in a full breakdown quantification using DIMx, all of the errors that were built into the model were then highlighted in terms of classification, all modelled components were then identified, and poor modelling practice solutions and corrections were provided.
Ismail applied the classification in an acceptable way on both models to achieve the required outcome. He immediately identified that the 3D Model was saved in Revit 17 and had it converted into a DWFX and made suggestions as to how these could be overcome.
Ismail used the CDE upload correctly and applied best practice while uploading his submission into Viewpoint.
It was the attention to detail of task 1, achieving the requirements of task 2 and the highest level of professionalism in the presentation and format of the documents provided using WINQS provided the submission that placed QualConsul QS in the top spot.
” This competition has been an interesting learning curve. It has forced me to look at alternative ways to do 3D model-based quantification and estimation.” [Working] with models, the time was reduced to a matter of minutes, given that you know what you are doing. (Keep in mind this is not hard, I could do more if I understood the 30-day trial software I downloaded.)”
Nick Tenner – Basil Read
In a very short space of time, Nick download and trialled a new software application, took and applied his skill to meet the requirements of the tasks. Nick immersed himself into the possible and went well beyond the call of duty and proved that technology is a tool, while applying his in-depth experience as a quantity Surveyor and innovative solutions to the presentation of the model data.
He embodied the true sense of “Going beyond the call of duty.” He Classified the Revit model using the ASAQS classification code set as a Shared Parameter. This is key in the development of 5D data within the live Revit file. He identified and attempted to correct some of the errors within the model’s geometry and in the properties applied incorrectly to object properties after downloading Navisworks.
The isolated data was applied and corrected in the model, then extracted and imported into Bluebeam software allowing him to produce a detailed quantification and checking process. Nick chose Vico Software to compile an estimate with Bill of Quantity link on both models.
Note: Although this competition was done in isolation, real-life BIM is a team sport where corrections to the project would be co-ordinated and actioned across the team.
BIM Institute thanks you
The BIM Institute thanks all entrants to the competition, each project showed the level of commitment and professionality of our BIM champions in the QS sector. It is heartening to see the innovators embracing the tools at hand – this is the future of the industry.
The Institute also thanks the judges and the team whose support, commitment and facilitation made this competition possible from:
• Cape Surveys
“Your presence and support adds value to our industry and demonstrates your willingness to help us transform our industry by sharing your hard earned knowledge and insight. For this we are most grateful,” said Harris at the prizegiving.
He also expressed his sincere gratitude to the generous sponsors:
• BIM Academy Africa
Watch this space for the next BIM competition!