For BIM to work, sharing knowledge and expertise in order to empower collaborative thinking is paramount. The benefits of close collaboration between the architects and engineers or architects and contractors has been well explored but engineers Meinhardt and quantity surveyors Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) are now demonstrating to clients how the BIM approach can significantly improve the cost analysis of projects.
The team is currently working on an $80 million basement carpark and 15,000 square metre commercial office development. The complexities and potential risks around a project of this scale can be significant.
The Meinhardt and RLB team therefore wanted the ability to identify costly construction items at an early stage for the client so that they could allocate appropriate allowances against these risks or provide a platform to suggest alternative, more efficient design solutions.
They needed a faster, more efficient and more accurate way to confidently extract quantities, particularly on complex structure elements such as podiums and transfer floors.
Using BIM technology reduced the time spent doing manual measurements so that more time could be spent analysing data against benchmark information to provide valuable feedback to the design team regarding building efficiencies.
RLB was able to dynamically link models to the cost plan for more frequent updates allowing early notification to the team if the design is on budget at an earlier stage, rather than just after project milestones such as the schematic design or design development stages.
Meinhardt has worked closely with RLB to provide them with a detailed knowledge of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of REVIT modelling and its database to accurately map data to their costing software. By giving the QS intimate knowledge of their models and modelling techniques, including transparent, unbiased advice, the engineers have been able to highlight inaccuracies through software limitations or modelling exclusions and provide a robust, fully-zoned and managed model which accurately maps the building elements to the cost plan.
The detailed models, audited under a Meinhardt developed Model Management checking process, also contain additional parametric data, which maximises the amount of bulk quantification that can be processed by RLB on the project.
By Barry Orr, BIM Model Manager at Meinhardt & Allan Trotter Senior QS at Rider Levett Bucknall