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Frequently Asked Questions

Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. The resulting building information models become shared knowledge resources to support decision-making about a facility from earliest conceptual stages, through design and construction, through its operational life and eventual demolition.
• Design-to-market much sooner than traditional ways • Determine Clash detection • Reduction of Field change orders • Materials can be collected to generate Bill of Materials (BOM) • Fabrication Documents • Manufacturing line integration • Sales and Back office integration • Virtual Option Management • Marketing - generating renderings and marketing floor plans
The question really relies on what you want to get out of BIM and if you want to manage it internally or outsource the work. Every builder builds differently and some benefits are more gain to one builder than the next. When implementing BIM you need to determine which software would be best suited for your needs. Consultation might be the best route in determining the software of choice to implement BIM and once it has been chosen your system should be setup based on your building practices. With many implementations our customers find that the “apples-to-apples” comparison cost for CG Visions’ architectural services in BIM is comparatively aligned with their existing 2d services. With the most significant differences being in the superiority of the CD deliverables and the fringe benefits associated with BIM like early constructability validation & automated take-offs.
There are many BIM systems on the market today and which software is right is different for every organization. First start with evaluating your goals (both current and future), determine what you want to use the BIM for (plans, estimation, marketing, etc.), and then compare the different BIM systems to your needs and wants list to determine which software is best for your organization. CG Visions offers “Bake off Services” in which we can take one of your plans and put it into multiple BIM systems to show your organization the plan and deliverables from these systems to get a live comparison to help you in you in deciding which BIM system is right for you.
BIM produces intelligent, parametric 3D models and thus provides a lot of information regarding the construction project, unlike 2D CAD drafting. The construction documents from BIM are created much faster and more accurately than in 2D CAD drafting and contains information about materials, quantities and other data relevant for both construction and management of a building.
First hire a consultant or staff member with experience that has the knowledge of your organization and has the understanding of what technologies are out in the industry today, so all facets of your organization can gain from it. Secondly make sure your organization and suppliers are on board with this change so the transition goes smooth and quick. Your goal with BIM is to bond all of your organizations departments together by using one source of information so all can gain the efficiencies. Thirdly, determine who will manage and incorporate your BIM. Some builders outsource all aspects of it, part or none. Getting started at first can be a big undertaking with so much to learn and develop that most builders outsources the initial setup and plan development until internal staff is prepared for the transition.
Depending on the software(s) and what you are looking to gain from BIM you will be looking at a couple of weeks to couple of months, depending on the amount of software customization, plan conversions, training, etc. that has to be incorporated. The software(s) will need to be customized to your building standards for you to see the gained efficiencies in BIM.
Since BIM can have so many facets to it, ownership of the BIM can be a broad term. If all of the BIM is created in one organization without outside assistance, the BIM can be owned by one organization. On the other hand BIM can also have a lot of components coming together from multiple sources such as the home being designed by an outsourced architect or your MEP layout developed externally from your organization. The determination on who owns this intellectual property needs to be laid out contractually for future usage since residential homes are typically used multiple times.
Automatically converting existing 2D plans to 3D automatically sounds wonderful but as a quick “one click” and I am done, it is far-fetched. There are tools that can help convert your digital 2D line work to 3D walls quickly versus inputting them from scratch, but there still has to be oversight and validation during the conversion process.




BIM Pipeline

BIM Pipeline is a web based, rules driven, Material Management system which utilizes Building Information Modeling (BIM) data to directly drive detailed take offs. Builders now have a solution which efficiently and accurately bridges the historical gap between design and estimation while allowing each group to focus on their core competencies. Pipeline enables builders to leverage BIM data to create full master plan estimates with delta BOM reports for options, lot specific as built reports to directly cut purchase orders and even capture customer specific changes to track client customizations, all independent of the source of the BIM data.
• Ability to utilize BIM material data to create accurate, up-to-date material take-offs. • Powerful estimation rules engine that can translate general raw quantities into detail material take-offs. • Ability to simplify your option list by providing a cleaner way to handle option interactions • A more robust set of tools to allow multiple levels of subassemblies to manage detail takeoffs….no longer limited to Group_Assembly/Assembly/Assembly_Detail structure. • Scalable solution as once logic is defined it is replicated across entire product portfolio and each instance into the future. • Secure & Consistent...estimation logic is defined and standardized, not just "in someone's head. • Efficiently manages Delta BOM reports at both structural and finish levels.
Lump sum costing is not a problem for Pipeline. By categorizing an item as a bid or lump sum item, Pipeline will automatically map it to WMS appropriately. Pipeline takes the hassle out of the creation and maintenance of lump sum items by maximizing the power of object connections...map it once and let dynamic assemblies handle the rest. Example: Timberline-WMS 1) Create a roof truss bid cost item for the base house 2) Create a roof truss bid cost item for the bonus option 3) Create a roof truss bid cost item for the sunroom 4) Repeat steps 1-3 for 2nd house 5) Repeat steps 1-3 for 3rd house 6) Repeat steps 1-3 for each additional house Pipeline-WMS 1) Create one roof truss bid cost item 2) Connect it to the base, bonus room, and sunroom options 3) Connect these options to the houses that support it Pipeline will automatically create the individual WMS Bid Cost items during the synchronization process.
Pipeline has an integration interface that allows BIM data from various BIM authoring tools to be imported and utilized. However, Pipeline offers much more. Pipeline is a standalone material management system. The system has all of the tools necessary to allow for the generation of detail take-offs with or without a feed from a BIM authoring tool. This gives builders the flexibility to slowly integrate BIM data into their estimation process.
Pipeline has an integration interface that allows BIM data from various BIM authoring tools to be imported and utilized. However, Pipeline offers much more. Pipeline is a standalone material management system. The system has all of the tools necessary to allow for the generation of detail take-offs with or without a feed from a BIM authoring tool. This gives builders the flexibility to slowly integrate BIM data into their estimation process or to utilize the power of the estimation rules within Pipeline to simplify hand take-offs.
Pipeline is a standalone material management system. The system has all of the tools necessary to allow for the generation of detail take-offs. For those using hand take-offs, Pipeline can be used to generate detailed take-offs from basic hand calculations using estimation rules.
Instinct isn't software—it's a BIM-based system that integrates information and functions through a single, interchangeable file format utilized by the entire supply chain.
Pipeline is capable of integrating directly into WMS through a web-services connection, but it is not a requirement. Detail take-offs from Pipeline can be exported to excel for easy transfer to vendors and other interested parties.
Pipeline can be configured to work with a variety of BIM authoring tools through the use of a standard xml exchange format. VisionRez, Vertex BD, and Revit have all been tested and are capable of producing this exchange format. Pipeline can accept data from any other BIM authoring tool that is capable of generating the exchange format. In fact, any data source, including Excel could be programmed to generate this exchange format and therefore feed material quantity data into Pipeline. ***We cannot write programs that will generate the exchange format from other data sources. We can provide straight forward .xml specifications to software vendors, database administrators, or excel programmers that detail the requirements and format of the exchange format.
This is a common predicament which many production builders face...how to manage the exponential number of options. Although Pipeline can support a flat database structure to accommodate this, additional tools are available to simplify the process. These options are called "Conditional Options" which automatically propagate based upon how they are defined. For example...a kitchen has a hardwood flooring upgrade, but the kitchen is also affected by optional kitchen layouts, optional kitchen islands, optional bumps, optional stretches, optional bays, etc...all of which affect the SF of kitchen flooring. In typical systems, if there were 5 hardwood options, and 6 options which adjust SF, 5x6=30 combinations would be required. Pipeline understands this relationship between SF and optional covering and allows for the choice of which option SF should be associated w/ the single HW Opt. The builder can then utilize the "worst case scenario" when performing a cost forecast, knowing that the Purchase orders will be accurate at the Job Start level. When profitability analysis is performed on the hardwood option, it is greater for Buyer A who purchased the std. kitchen w/ the hardwood option, but less for Buyer B who purchased the bumped kitchen w/ the hardwood option.




BIM Pipeline - Current Timberline / WMS Users

Pipeline can read your custom options coming from the sales center. Using this information, the drafter will apply the custom changes to the job start model and then the materials collected from that model are sent to Pipeline. This ensures that the job estimate in WMS, and therefore you POs contain accurate material data based on what will actually be built in the field.
Absolutely. Pipeline has the capability to distinguish between global options and house specific options and send them over to WMS accordingly.
The integration requires either Pipeline or Timberline are used for the estimation tool, but not both. The workflow utilizing Timberline can continue to be used while Pipeline is being populated and the estimation rules are being defined. Once you are happy with the material lists being generated in Pipeline, you can flip the switch from Timberline to Pipeline.
If you are using a BIM as a source of material quantities, you will have no need to bring over the Assemblies from Timberline. The quantities for each option will be derived from the model providing a more accurate and up-to-date snapshot of the materials needed.
Yes, but you may not want to. Pipeline will give you the flexibility to focus your option logic on how you want to sell your options. You will no longer have to maintain options that represent complex interactions just to make sure all of the parts and pieces are captured on the final POs. The Pipeline Option Structure allows you to sell in a way that makes the most sense for your market while at the same time ensuring that all of the necessary parts and pieces necessary to build a specific job are accounted for in the POs.




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BIM Pipeline - Constructech Top Products 2015

BIM Pipeline is a web-based materials-management system that uses the BIM data in order to directly drive detailed takeoffs in a rules-driven manner.

Constructech editors like the way the product helps capture customer-specific changes in order to track customizations made by the client. It is the takeoff that holds great promise for bridging that BIM gap for homebuilders, and CG Visions is delivering a tool to assist.

BIM Pipeline - Constructech Top Products 2015