Clash Detection in BIM Modeling

A recent survey conducted with the top AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) companies shared a valuable insight. According to the report an estimated $17,000 per clash saving is achieved through clash detection in BIM. When working on an engineering project, during the design stage, you might’ve encountered an error “Lines/Objects cannot intersect each other”. This message notifies a possibility of a clash in your design. However, why does clash happen? And can we solve it by using BIM (Building Information Modeling)? Let’s find out.

How does a clash happen?

In a scenario where two or more objects/design elements in an engineering model coincide with each other, resulting in a clash. Clashes are categorized as geometry based (like steel rods passing through walls), design schedule based, or can happen as per the design changes and updates to 2D drawings.

Please check out embedded images showing clash detection in BIM modeling projects that were undertaken by Russell and Dawson as part of their architecture design and engineering services.

Can clash detection be solved using BIM?

BIM is handy for detecting element clash by automated rules and workflows. BIM identifies the models by inspecting the objects and elements used in various models and generates a detailed report showcasing clash detection. Many AEC organizations realize the benefit of reduced risk, cost-saving, and efficient models for BIM clash detection. A typical BIM model consists of structural, MEP, AEC, piping and several other models, making it necessary to check the occurrence of a clash.

BIM clash detection helps to reduce the human errors, save high cost and schedule implications without visiting the site. Take for example in the construction industry where a concrete wall is built using steel rods. In a construction design model, the concrete wall and steel rod are two objects, and they superimpose each other making it difficult to detect clash. BIM understands such composition and simplifies the detection of conflict by analyzing the construction models.

Clash detection in BIM delivers three main types of clashes:

  1. Detecting a Major or Hard Clash:

    BIM modeling software alerts the user when two objects pass through each other by using clash detection rules based on embedded object data

  2. Detecting a Minor or Soft Clash:

    When any design element/object encroaches into geometric tolerances for other objects like modeling a building near a high tension wire, BIM notifies the user

  3. Detecting 4D/Workflow Clash:

    It helps to resolve the clash when an abnormality occurs (like when the work crew arrives on site when there is no equipment)

How Clash detection in BIM is used across the AEC and EPC Industry?

Here are two ways to detect clash:

  • By integrating BIM with design software:

Autodesk’s Revit is one of the most widely used engineering modeling software. Clash detection can only work on the models developed by proprietary software. Let’s understand this by taking an example of a construction design model where while adding a slab on a set of walls which do not make contact with each other. By integrating BIM with Revit, it notifies the user in the event of a clash.

  • Using BIM Integration Tools:

There are many companies which do not use proprietary software, and it becomes difficult to detect clashes. BIM integration tool helps such organizations to identify clashes on models built using the non-proprietary software. For example, after integrating all the Revit design models into a BIM modeling, a change made by the Structural Engineer using Navisworks will reflect in Revit design during clash detection.

In summary,

Clash detection in BIM modeling is the best and smartest way to prevent problems in communication, coordination  and execution of the AEC project. Preventing those problems would improve efficiency in time and cost

Clash detection implementation during design phase will deploy projects faster while during construction phase it will certainty transform the project outcomes.

RDAEP is a full-service architectural, engineering and construction management firm to help you optimize the construction process with lean principles. Our services include architecture, structural engineering, construction management, HVAC, plumbing, electrical engineering, and interior design. Call us on (860) 289-1100 or Contact us for your architecture design or engineering services requirements.