#BIMfor Mechanical Engineers

In today’s world of engineering, structures and buildings have become more complex than ever before, with the idea of a structure being able to perform more than one function or solve more than one challenge. This has resulted in the need for greater collaboration and interdependency of more than one discipline of engineering in seeing a structure to completion.

The #BIMfor series highlights how several disciplines can use BIM tools in efficiently providing information that will allow the structures to be built, operated and maintained.

Here, we highlight seven (7) benefits of BIM to Mechanical Engineers.

1. More Testing

With BIM, more configurations of plumbing systems, pipe connections and equipment setups can be tried (not just drawn as in 2D) to give the best results in terms of efficiency, sustainability and cost. This testing can either be done with the main BIM software like Autodesk Revit MEP* for example, when the model is created inside, or done on other 3rd party software (that is BIM compatible) and the data transferred back to the main BIM software.

2. Intelligent 3D Models

The 3D models are not just isometric drawings but are objects which contain information. With 3D models such as those of the plumbing layout of a building, HVAC systems or plant arrangements, design intent can be easily communicated to other project team members through better visualisation. Also, design is done with real, intelligent (respond to change in information) objects, complete with manufacturer’s details and specifications.

3. Clash Detection

Clashes such as ductwork and structural steel being designed to pass through the same point are avoided with the use of BIM simulations. Or even in cases where they happen, they are detected during the design stage of the project and corrected (using the model), rather than carrying out costly rework on the site after much of the work has been done.

4. Accurate schedules and reports

The BIM model contains data needed for generating schedule and material take-off. The schedule can easily be generated directly from the model after specifying the kind of data required such as costs, material type, heat transfer coefficient, fire rating, etc.

5. Cost savings

This happens due to reduced amount of rework, better cost estimating and increased productivity. Also, the design firm has no need for employing CAD operators as drawings such as duct layout drawings, plant room layout designs, section drawings of pipes, etc, come directly from the model. Also, during cost estimation, uncertainty margins could be reduced as the models estimate costs more accurately using rates and quantities in the model to develop BOQs of ducts, grills, diffusers, mechanical equipment, etc.

6. Faster change Implementation

With BIM, it is far easier and faster to implement and track changes on the design (everything from the design to drawings and schedules) than traditional 2D-based design and drafting. For example, if it was discovered that flow used in pipe sizing was wrong, the traditional method requires the designer to choose a new pipe size using the new data, then redraft all the previously drafted drawings in the new pipe size as well as update data on the schedules, which may take hours or days. But with BIM, the pipe size in the model is changed and new drawings and schedules can be printed out from the model immediately. Rerouting and redesigning in BIM is easier, along with its attendant documentation.

7. Calculations

Calculations such as but not limited to pressure drop calculations, heating and cooling loads, sound levels, sprinkler network calculations, HVAC duct system design are easier to carry out from the BIM models or 3rd party software compatible with the BIM software. Energy analysis modelling and design can also be carried out.

*Use of a brand name does not intend or attempt to endorse one BIM software/package over another. This post is not affiliated to, or sponsored by any BIM software provider.

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#BIMfor Mechanical Engineers #BIMfor Mechanical Engineers Reviewed by Izu Obi on 06:28:00 Rating: 5

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