What are the primary goals of creating a building model? Who are the key stakeholders?
- What do they need?
- What do they care about most?
Creating a building model serves several goals involving different key stakeholders, each with specific needs and priorities. The goals range from visualization, coordination, documentation, and additional analysis and simulations. These goals involve different stakeholders, like owners and clients, architects and designers, engineers, contractors, BIM managers, facility managers and operators, suppliers and manufacturers, and anyone who produces information relevant to the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a building. Then, creating building models can primarily:
- Help architects and designers visualize their design ideas at the earliest stage. This can help them explore different ideas and make informed decisions about the building’s aesthetics and functionality.
- Help different stakeholders coordinate among various disciplines (for example, when designing and laying out the different components of a Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) model). This is crucial to provide a shared digital platform where design changes and conflicts can be identified and resolved before the beginning of the construction phase.
- Generate construction documentation that includes detailed drawings, schedules, and specifications. This is important to cut costs and improve the quality of the work (from the design stage to the latest stage of operation). Additionally, documentation is linked with the point above, meaning, that it helps ensure that all the stakeholders are aligned (coordination) in terms of technical details and responsibilities.
- Enable various analyses, such as structural analysis, energy efficiency analysis, daylighting studies, and HVAC simulations.
Each stakeholder has different needs and priorities. I listed here the main ones:
- Owners and clients care about the cost of the project, the time needed to finish it, as well as its high quality. To match their priorities, they would need a clear understanding of the design, cost estimates and project deadlines. This will allow them to make informed decisions and secure funding.
- Architects and designers will prioritize the design aesthetics and functionality. To achieve that, they need visualization tools for design exploration and evaluation, as well as for communicating effectively their design ideas.
- Engineers (structural, mechanical, electrical, etc.) will prioritize factors like system performance, structural integrity, energy efficiency, safety, and compliance. They need accurate data and models for carrying out their analysis and simulations. They also need tools for clash detection to avoid conflicts in systems.
- General Contractors will prioritize cost estimation, resource allocation, progress tracking, and risk management. They need detailed construction documentation (including accurate dimensions and quantities for materials and labor estimates).
- BIM Managers and coordinators will prioritize the collaboration and coordination among stakeholders while making sure that data is consistent, of quality, and interoperable. They need effective communication and collaboration tools and a technical background in BIMs and engineering (and not only management skills).
Many door and window manufacturers provide Revit families for doors and windows that you can specify for your building design.
- What is the advantage to manufacturers for providing these families? (it's not free to create and provide them...)
- What is the benefit to you as the designer of using these manufacturer-provided families? Is there an advantage to using them versus the families provided in the Revit library?
Manufacturers have many advantages for providing Revit families to designers (and engineers). Firstly, manufacturers can increase their product sales. In fact, they can upload Revit families to their websites and provide download links, enabling designers to use downloaded 3D models in their Revit projects, analyze textures and materials, check the structure's quality, and test out several possibilities before settling on the best one. When the project enters the implementation phase, the goods used in the design phase are consequently purchased for real. Manufacturers can then increase product sales in this manner, while at the same time allowing clients to evaluate and purchase the products online, without the need to visit physical stores. Note that designers are more likely to select products that can seamlessly integrate into their BIM workflows, streamlining the design process.
At the same time, designers benefit greatly from the availability of the mentioned manufacturer-provided families. These families offer a greater range of details, like product information (performance data, materials, finishes, compliance with building codes and standards, etc.), as well as customizable parameters (dimensions, materials, and finishes). This makes the life of a designer much easier, in terms of time spent on the design, and the accuracy of the designed model. The designer gains also more clarity in terms of product selection for his design, as they can choose the 3D product model that is best for their project (functionality, aesthetic, etc.).
What are the advantages of getting the Revit component families (for furniture, equipment, and fittings) directly from the manufacturer versus from an online sharing website like RevitCity.com?
There are many advantages of getting Revit component families directly from the manufacturer versus from an online sharing website. The main point is the accuracy and authenticity of the Revit component families: manufacturers will design these components with a high level of accuracy, and they will try to precisely match them with their real-world products. Additionally, the provided families are usually rich in data, as they include detailed product information and specifications. Such families are also more likely to adhere to BIM standards and to be compatible with the industry's best practices. Finally, a designer can reach out to the manufacturer for support or technical assistance.
What happens when a designer tries to get Revit component families from online sharing websites instead? Models are usually outdated and may not adhere to industry standards. Additionally, these models are not always easily customizable, limiting the project quality and accuracy. I can confirm this statement from experience while downloading different models of doors, windows, and other furniture from www.bimobject.com for the Module 2 Assignment.