Publications / 2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA

Incorporating BIM into Architectural Precast Concrete Fabrication

Jeffrey Collins
Pages 392-402 (2016 Proceedings of the 33rd ISARC, Auburn, USA, ISBN 978-1-5108-2992-3, ISSN 2413-5844)

Digital models have many benefits for construction; for example, clash detection prior to approval, ability to confirm assembly sequencing, verification of as-built dimensions, and more. Customizing and preparing such models for project delivery takes a large amount of time and, unfortunately, cannot guarantee that the physical building or part can be built as modeled; a disconnect between design intent and constructability can often occur. One reason for this is that design team is unaware of certain details that are involved in fabricating and assembling building components; an understanding that craftsmen take for granted. This paper presents the process of incorporating Autodesk Revit into the workflow of an architectural precast concrete manufacturer, tracking a real-world project from design intent model through the incorporation of industry-specific fabrication details. Methods used to generate a novel digital model, as well as to produce shop drawings and shop tickets from that model are documented. Three approaches to creating custom Revit models are described: using parametric Revit families; through Dynamo scripting; and via Excel spreadsheet input. Future potential workflows which could extend the findings even further are discussed, setting the groundwork for 'Design-Assist', an emerging project delivery approach wherein subcontractors are engaged early in project development to provide advice to the design team, allowing for more informed decisions, conversations, and digital models for construction.

Keywords: Building Information Modeling, BIM-based workflow, Precast concrete, Parametric modeling, Fabrication, Computer Aided Design