December 06, 2011

BIM 3D for Hotel Interior

Barton Malow Company (BMC) and Acoustical Ceilings and Partition Company (ACP) is self-performing the exterior and interior scopes of work for the new $140 million Hilton Columbus Downtown project. This hotel features 532-rooms, 48-suites, 22,800 SF of meeting space and a160-seat full-service restaurant. The project is jointly owned by the City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Franklin County Convention Facilities & Authority.

One of the first tasks that we embarked on was to obtain the project BIM drawings. Past experiences have shown the opportunities that the BIM software can offer not just for MEP trades, but for all disciplines working on a project. Traditionally, the MEP trades benefit from computer aided images by indicating where all overhead work will be installed, before the work is actually performed. For example, when a cable tray is drawn at one location and it is later learned that a main sprinkler line needs to access the same space, quick and easy rework can be allotted with out actually removing materials in the field.

This maneuverability takes BIM to the next level as we are utilizing these drawings before construction of exterior or interior partitions actually begin to see if there are walls, ceilings or soffits that need to be constructed before the MEP materials are installed above the ceiling. In the past, ductwork was installed first, then plumbing, followed by electrical and so on; with the partitions constructed last. This would in many cases create problems in which access was limited if not impossible. Sometimes, it would require the removal of partial, already installed MEP equipment to allow for a safe, productive means of wall construction. However, with the implementation of the BIM program, we now review these locations beforehand with all corresponding prime and subcontractors. This allows us to deem “priority walls” and “secondary walls”. Priority walls are built first before any overhead work is installed, allowing us to be more productive, in a safe manner while saving time to the overall schedule. The secondary walls are then built at the traditional time of a scheduling phase, after the above MEPs are completed.

In addition to utilizing BIM in the partition construction phase, Revit-ClarkWestern is now introducing a program that will allow all interior and exterior partitions to be modeled in 3D. This will permit the wall framing to be detailed before construction, not only benefiting MEPs with their layout and installation practices within the partitions, but allowing BMC to be more competitive and productive in self perform projects. When estimating a project and utilizing the new software, much of the guesswork and unknowns are removed, allowing for a much more competitive estimate, leading to more project wins.

BIM is a tremendous tool that all of us can benefit from in the construction industry and is as important to a successful construction project as the talented people who manage them.

BMC and ACP are self-performing the following services at the Downtown Columbus Hilton Project:
• Structural Steel Studs & Sheathing
• Rough Carpentry
• Air & Moisture Barrier
• Fire stopping & Joint Sealants
• Expansion Joint Assemblies
• Access Doors
• Interior Metal Studs
• Gypsum Wallboard
• Exterior Plaster
• Acoustical Ceilings
• Interior Wood Backing / Blocking
• Acoustical Plaster

If you should require further information on BIM 3D modeling of are interested in the services above for your project, please contact