Here are our top tips to select the best fit consultant for your stages 4/5 MEP BIM modelling:
– Consider what experience does the consultant bring to the project?
This is vital for stages beyond 4a. BIM and Revit is an area of expertise where (naturally) experience builds over time. Ensuring the consultant has a good track record of delivering relevant projects using the applicable technology and software is key here, otherwise the quality of the model and output drawings will suffer – which might not become apparent until later on in the construction process.
– Consider what BIM Level and to what design stage is your project being taken to?
It is important to understand the deliverables of the design stage for which you would employ a consultant. The consultant, themselves should be able to convey what the details of these deliverables are, with and through examples from previous project work.
The further along the stages the design is being taken to, the greater the demand there will be on model accuracy – hence it is very important to understand what each design stage involves. The level of co-ordination within an MEP model will also vary depending on the stage of the design.
For instance, traditional MEP design consultants will often stop at stage 4, often called 4a, which is far less demanding than stage4b.
So understanding what your project demands is vital.
Ask your potential consultant about these:
ADEQUATE DETAILING – What details are produced, and of what types of equipment?
Successful MEP design and installation is all about adequate detailing. Asking your consultant this will give an idea of how much attention they pay to detail in delivering a quality project.
CDP’s – How do you achieve them within your co-ordinated model?
MEP Design is often made of specialist ‘Contractor Design Packages’, also known as CDP’s, which are elements of the design for which the consultant does not have responsibility for but must make allowance for within the model.
Fire Stopping & Fire Protection Systems – Do you fully appreciate the implications on the spatial constraints of the building services installation?
Since the Grenfell fire, building control authorities have been far less willing to accept non-certified solutions to fire stopping and detailing of fire protection systems. This has resulted in far tighter constraints on the detailing of builders work and the associated fire stopping of these.
Quality Checking – What internal workflows do they employ internally to ensure a quality project is delivered on programme?
For stages 4b and 4c, it is important to have as much contractor input into the co-ordination detailing as possible. For instance, in stage 4a projects, the whole package is often delivered on one date, whereas for stages beyond this the design package often has to be broken down to suit the contractors procurement and installation programme.
Collaboration – what input do engineering staff have into the development of models from stage 4a into fully co-ordinated models within the consultants team?
As stages beyond 4a benefit from the collaboration between Revit modellers and engineers, asking this question to your potential consultant can see how willing and open to collaboration their work process is.