As an AEC professional, you can’t make change go away, but you are not helpless to deal with it, either. BIM is known to significantly reduce the number and severity of needed changes during design and construction. BIM requires precise geometry and specifications from the start, so problems can be identified and resolved during design rather than in the field. When the inevitable change order does arise, BIM again delivers benefits that provides key insight into model quantities and their pre and post change variances. Armed with this level of information, project teams can more effectively manage changes.
In review of this month’s webinar, “Techniques & Processes to Improve How You Manage Changes,” below are some tips project teams can implement to improve tackling changes.
Establish Effective Communication and Collaboration:
In a typical change order process, the designer sends General Contractor the changes, the General Contractor turns around and distributes the updated documents to the Subcontractors. Both teams independently quantify the changes in the documents. Often times, when the Subs submit a change order request to the General Contractors the quantities do not align. This is where negotiation begins and Assemble can help.
Assemble’s cloud-based platform facilitates collaboration among all stakeholders (GCs and Subs included), which is critical to communicating changes and ensuring that all parties fully understand and can execute changes properly. During a review session between GC and Subs, the GC can easily compare the multiple iterations of the model to quickly identify what has been changed, added, or deleted. By quickly filtering down to specific changes and deriving the quantities, the GC can quickly verify the Subcontractor bids to evaluate accuracy and create a constructive dialogue that is data driven.
Eliminate Ambiguity and Embrace BIM:
Even today, we have some project teams using paper plans to evaluate the changes being proposed. Usually, the plans are laid side by side to see where the changes have been clouded. This is a time consuming and error prone method. In an ideal world, all changes would be clouded and easily identified, but unfortunately that is not always the case. Missing a significant change can be the difference between making or losing money on a job. A significant number of estimating teams are using traditional 2D takeoff programs to manage change orders. 2D programs come with challenges of their own including the inability to intelligently identify the additions, subtractions and modifications on the project. The 2D programs compare changes by overlaying two different images, which can result in false results due to scale modifications or image alignment. Another challenge is the inability to identify any material type changes, which can have a significant impact on costs.
Needless to say, BIM can provide key insight into the changes and help you overcome the challenges with paper plans and 2D programs. Assemble’s model data management solution can display design changes visually, along with associated quantities, to provide better insight into required changes than you can get with a traditional 2D program. Estimating teams can easily highlight or isolate the components in the model that have been added, deleted, or changed. In construction, change is constant and the opportunities for projects to get off track are endless, so project teams must be constantly vigilant. Relying on the traditional, manual approach to change-order management doesn’t cut it; today’s complex building environment demands much greater insight and control than ever before.
For a more detailed account of how best to manage changes, check out the full webinar available here