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Thread: From Revit modeler to BIM Manager

  1. #1
    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    From Revit modeler to BIM Manager

    Hi there people, got a question for all the BIM managers and Revit Modelers out there.

    The situation:
    I have been doing Revit modeling for a few years now (at an architects office) and I dare to say I'm pretty good at that, still learning new stuff sometimes, but overall I think I know what I'm doing. This however does not mean I know BIM in the sense that I know ifc and clash control etc. We have so far not done any 'real' BIM, we did work together with a few structural companies and received their models and added that to my model to end up with a model that was correct, but no clash detection other then visual and no rules about what kind of info should be in the model so other people are able to use that.

    The question:
    For a project (and more to come) we are asked to act as BIM coordinator for multiple parties. Meaning we have to coordinate the process and provide clash detection reports etc.

    The problem:
    Being the lead Revit guy at this company the boss obviously turned to me to do all this. He probably thought that becasue I know Revit I know BIM and am able to do all the stuff needed. I told him I can not and basically don't want to either. I'm not project manager material and don't want to go to meetings.

    My questions to you guys:
    Do you think that it is possible (and smart) to be a BIM manager (as a company) for a pretty large project when you have never done a real BIM project?

    DO you think that the BIM manager should be someone from the architect, or is it better to have a contractor do that, or should it be a independent 3th party?

    Have any of you made the transition from Revit Modeler to BIM Manager and what were your findings, Do's and Don't, have you done BIM before you made the switch?

    What kind of training did you do (Navisworks, Solibri, more)?

    Anything else you can think of and want to share about this, please feel free.
    cganiere likes this.

  2. #2
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    we are asked to act as BIM coordinator for multiple parties. Meaning we have to coordinate the process and provide clash detection reports etc.
    The definitions for "that" role still vary considerably - and those commissioning said instructions often (in my experience at least) have little or no comprehension of the work in hand. Be very careful about accepting such a role - as it could (read: should?) be the "Information Manager" role, which is a whole other kettle of fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    Being the lead Revit guy at this company the boss obviously turned to me to do all this. He probably thought that becasue I know Revit I know BIM and am able to do all the stuff needed. I told him I can not and basically don't want to either. I'm not project manager material and don't want to go to meetings.
    Sound move.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    Do you think that it is possible (and smart) to be a BIM manager (as a company) for a pretty large project when you have never done a real BIM project?

    DO you think that the BIM manager should be someone from the architect, or is it better to have a contractor do that, or should it be a independent 3th party?
    In short, no. Longer version? No, not even when you've done a "real BIM" project. As in, I do not believe design team parties can act sufficiently indifferent enough to their own team's wants to act effectively, and honestly, for the project entire (since we all have our own agendas) and strongly recommend the role is client/contractor-appointed in addition to the design team.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    Have any of you made the transition from Revit Modeler to BIM Manager and what were your findings, Do's and Don't, have you done BIM before you made the switch?
    Kind of. I was an Architectural Assistant with an interest in delivering better buildings - not "Architecture", not "BIM", or anything like that. In truth, "BIM" is a complete turn off - and I'd say my day to day actually leans more toward LEAN more than it does "BIM".

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    What kind of training did you do (Navisworks, Solibri, more)?
    To act as a BIM Manager? None. At least, I wouldn't call any of it (role-specific) training, per say. I have spent countless hours in Navisworks and I'm (fairly) confident) with it - but I hold my hands up to a limited understanding, let alone application in use, of .ifc - so my Solibri time has so far been limited to SMV only (no SMC). But I genuinely don't believe (any of) that matters - seeing as you can have all the (software) skills in the book - and still be an utter charlatan (of a BIM Manager) when it comes to actually managing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    Anything else you can think of and want to share about this, please feel free.
    Personally I think the question as-posed is problematic.

    Instead of posing "Revit Modeller to BIM Manager" perhaps it should be quizzed "What qualities are required to be a BIM Manager?"...

    Firstly, don't read too much into what the worst (BIM Manager job) adverts would have you believe; you do not need to be L33T in ALL things... But an understanding/comprehension of the following sure helps: Contract Law.

    And that's it.

    Sure; as a "BIM Manager" your (potential new) employer might explicitly require you to be au fait with multiple coding languages (why? did they just lose someone who was who didn't leave them any breadcrumbs?), expertly conversant in every 'BIM' authoring software (why? did they buy every toy in the shop?) and be able to recite protocols and standards all by rote (seriously, why?!?) - but in the end, if a BIM Manager doesn't understand people, the constraints (and opportunities) imposed by resourcing, nor has the ability - or inclination - to programme and delegate, with an ever-attendant-mind toward the trappings of insurance & financial risk, then they'll never "manage" anything.


    "Revit Modeller to BIM Coordinator"
    ? Is by far an easier question to answer, "Yes, totally plausible, providing candidates are sticklers for protocol" - but even then, caveats abound (they will need to be able to accurately critique building construction, more than 'just' run a clash report - so how fresh-faced uni-leavers are taking these roles I do not know).
    cganiere likes this.

  3. #3
    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    Great, thanx for the reply snowyweston.
    You are pretty much saying what I was thinking, so very good to have somebody confirm my thoughts.

    As I said I did make clear that I don't want to do the BIM manager thing and as we are a small company the current project manager does not have the skills or time to do it either. For some reason my boss thinks that we should do it (and said so during a meeting with all parties involved), so it is now the question of who is going to be the BIM manager.

    Would it be an idea for us to hire a 3th party as BIM manager?
    Last edited by Robin Deurloo; August 30th, 2016 at 04:42 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    Would it be an idea for us to hire a 3th party as BIM manager?
    As a sub-consultant? You'd still inherit the risk.

    Do your partnering consultants do what you tell them (to do, BIM-wise) now? Because if they don't they sure as **** won't listen to your appointed sub-consultant.

    And this is before you've asked yourself how would your company presently vet applicants?

    No, push back. Tell your boss(es), in no uncertain terms, whatever (mis)conception they might have about what constitutes "BIManagment", two things are a given:

    1. IT IS NOT EASY MONEY
    &
    2. IT IS A RISK-RUN BUSINESS

    (this is 'Information Management' BTW, not 'BIM Management', & I eye with suspicion anyone protesting otherwise)

    If that doesn't scare them off, get scared.

    But continue to refuse the role.

    Let them go fetch. There are plenty of folk looking for this kind of work. Your bosses/recruitment will quickly discover not all (applicants) are created equal.
    Last edited by snowyweston; August 30th, 2016 at 04:20 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    Again thanx!

    To be honest I don't care to much what kind of trouble comes from 'us' being BIM manager (or whatever term you stick to it) as long as it is not me that has the trouble. I warned him enough already for the holes in the road as I did the project manager, who now sees the same trouble as I do. So, he'll talk to the boss again and after that we are done.

    I'm happy to do the BIM modeling, actually looking forward to finally do a 'real' BIM project, but that's my role in it, nothing more.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Charles Karl's Avatar
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    Since the model is actually a virtual construction site, here is the perfect scenario that includes two positions to manage:
    A construction superintendent with 10 years field experience should be the BIM manager to direct consultants on design model constructability.
    Plus a software coordinator with min 5 years experience modeling and trouble shooting software issues.

  7. #7
    Forum Addict tzframpton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    The question:
    For a project (and more to come) we are asked to act as BIM coordinator for multiple parties. Meaning we have to coordinate the process and provide clash detection reports etc.

    The problem:
    Being the lead Revit guy at this company the boss obviously turned to me to do all this. He probably thought that becasue I know Revit I know BIM and am able to do all the stuff needed. I told him I can not and basically don't want to either. I'm not project manager material and don't want to go to meetings.

    My questions to you guys:
    Do you think that it is possible (and smart) to be a BIM manager (as a company) for a pretty large project when you have never done a real BIM project?

    DO you think that the BIM manager should be someone from the architect, or is it better to have a contractor do that, or should it be a independent 3th party?
    This all depends on how one defines "BIM Coordination". This can mean a coordination of information between the design team, or coordination of what is to be the physical materials installed on site that will make up the final constructed building. If you mean the ladder, then this should always be done by someone who has field experience, preferably in MEP since architectural and structural is static, while MEP systems are dynamic, in terms of installation and final placement.

    If this is a design/build type of scenario, the GC usually takes the BIM Coordination role. I'm not sold on it entirely landing on the GC. I've been thinking lately about opportunities for a 3rd party to accept the design and virtually "build it" that then gets passed on to the GC. Reasons include GC's have yet to really reform their approach in schedule to truly fit BIM modeling and coordination and puts a terrible strain on the sub-contractors, among several other factors.

    If BIM Coordination means an internal individual that coordinates all of the models, schedules and so forth between the design team only, then I would not be the spokesperson for that scenario since my years in the consulting design realm were short lived at only three years, and we never got full Revit/BIM processes in place during my time there.

    -TZ
    cganiere likes this.

  8. #8
    New Member ROakwood's Avatar
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    You can do it.

    I think you can do it. Basically you'll be pushing others to create something you can build - to actually put the right equipment and pieces in their drawings (you know this). Do some clash checking and coordination of others models. Navisworks Manage (not cheap) an-at. If you have a good grasp of REVIT, it might be time to take it the next level? Managing a bunch of subs and combining their files into one that everyone can review at a meeting - its not rocket science. You sound smart, maybe you can sqeeze some more money out of your boss man for upping you game?

    I think the hardest thing to do is keep it going until you really don't need coordination anymore. The last time I was involved in this (with BIMGLUE) they rushed to create a coordination drawing and then.. that was it. But it was enough to add some significant value to the project progression. The field guys loved the model, and let tell you what - they loved that everything fit together right, the first time - very few surprises.
    Last edited by ROakwood; October 12th, 2016 at 08:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    You know what is funny?

    I will be starting a new job at the beginning of next month
    A company much more BIM minded with pretty good BIM people (and a Professional nitpicker), where I can learn stuff like this from other people, instead of figuring out stuff by myself.
    uaifestival likes this.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    "I am NOT a Revit tutor!"
    Dave Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Deurloo View Post
    (and a Professional nitpicker)
    You're going to work with Ekkonap??
    Robin Deurloo likes this.

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