Design has evolved over millennia, with 2D design being the norm for around 4,000 years.
It is now increasingly common for designers, including architects, structural engineers, building services engineers and even landscape architects to develop and present their designs as digital 3D models. This makes a lot of sense considering the world we live within is in effect a 3D environment.
By combining and overlapping each designer’s 3D model, we are able to check for clashes between the designed elements, spot hazardous building scenarios and establish residual risks associated with the ongoing maintenance of the facility, to name but a few. This practice is known as model checking.
BIM model checking provides you with the reassurance that your model meets your requirements, as detailed within your Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR).
An EIR tells you exactly what data is required within the project model, when it is required and who is responsible for delivering this information.
But how do you know that you have the information you have requested?
You can take a passive approach and rely on those delivering the information to validate or confirm that it is correct. Of course, the professional team delivering your project for you should be delivering the correct information. However, this is clearly a risky approach. You wouldn’t normally accept something of considerable value without doing some checks yourself.
The alternative is to take an active approach: to check the model yourself or obtain an independent check.
It’s easy to establish the benchmark – or what the model will be checked against – for model data. It will be checked against your EIR deliverables.
This highlights the importance of developing an EIR with clear deliverables, with the added benefits that it will:
1. Enable your professional team to plan for the provision of your deliverables.
2. Clarify your requirements.
3. Make it easy for you to check your requirements have been met.
Model checking enables you to use your model for the purposes you have defined for it, whether that’s obtaining model quantities, visualizations, facilities management data or the other model uses available to you.