How Much to Model? – Part 1
by Rob Oberle
The transition to BIM by an architectural firm goes beyond learning how to model, use new software or set up office standards. It requires all of this as well as support from the top down of the transition by the firm principals, management, on down. It is important for the PM’s to understand the limitations of the software and what is reasonable to model to achieve the documentation goals and deadline.
One of the biggest problems that is under debate in firms making this transition is “How much to model?”. For Schematic Design, Entitlement Documents and Design Development this is not as difficult because the model is used mainly for form, which allows the model to be less detailed from a constructability standpoint.
It is in Construction Documents that firms struggle with “How much to model?”. Is that piece of flashing at the top of the wall important to model? How important are the reveals to model? Do the wall composites need to be accurate with each element (i.e. finish, sheathing, core) or is it just having the overall thickness of the wall enough? This type of questioning could go on forever, so instead I would say the more important question to ask is “Will the element I am about to model interact with other elements in a way that requires me to model this with specific detail?”