The Buckeye BIM Initiative

Written by Jonathan Widney

The Challenge: How can you conduct a high quality audit of more than 35 Million Square Feet, on a major University Campus? The Solution: a Solibri led audit process

The main campus of The Ohio State University (OSU), with a student population exceeding fifty-six thousand (56,000) is located in Columbus, Ohio, and is the 3rd largest university in the United States. The Facilities Information and Technology Services Department is responsible for auditing existing buildings, which includes maintaining 2D plans and converting each building from existing 2D designs into 3D models, then conducting an audit of the spaces within each structure. Currently, more than eight hundred (800) buildings have been identified, equaling more than 35 million square feet of space to be audited.

The Buckeye BIM Initiative is a project that started in May, 2013 with a planned end date in May, 2016. The original plan called for a team comprised of students and staff to conduct a manual conversion (from 2D to 3D) and a subsequent manual audit of model spaces. Another project deliverable was the creation of a University BIM Standard.

There are currently seven students, all from the Knowlton School of Architecture, working in paid positions within the Facilities Information and Technology Services Department, just for this project. These students are working with staff personnel (Tracy Palmer – BIM Coordinator, David Pifher – Lead Facilities Space Analyst), under the leadership of Joe Porostosky – Senior Manager of the department.

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The manual process: Original 2D drawings were marked up manually (via 2D laser measurer) for key space dimensions (i.e. Interior length & width of building hallways, large rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, etc.), then the data was entered into a spreadsheet and then compared to the AutoCad drawings for accuracy. If the results were accurate within two percent (2%), then the AutoCAD drawings would be used as backgrounds to create the Revit model. If the results exceeded two percent (2%), the entire building would be re-measured.

In order to support this process, the following materials were created:

• A fifty-seven (57) page manual on
how to manually convert a 2D
drawing into a model

• A twenty-two (22) page Audit Manual
(How to conduct a manual audit)

The results (manual process)

  • Audits were conducted by full-time staff, and averaged 2-3 days per audit.
  • The entire process required approximately one week per model.

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The realization (or the AHA! moment)

It became obvious that there has to be a better way to achieve the project objectives, and to automate the audit process, without compromising quality.

Introducing a Solibri-led Solution

After two web-based familiarization sessions, a review of the University Audit Process Template, and the creation of some custom rulesets focused on spaces, floors and properties, the team was introduced to a Solibri Model Checker-led audit process. The focus of this effort was on model verification and included the requirement for spaces to comply with naming conventions that were contained in the OSU Space Information and Management System. The ultimate goal was to reduce the amount of time and level of resources required to conduct audits of all the buildings on the OSU campus.

Progress report

  • The 22 page Audit Manual has been distilled to 5 pages
  • The average model audit takes 5 hours (as compared to 2-3 days)
  • AND, each audit delivers consistently high quality results!
  • The entire process now takes 1 day (as compared to 1 week, at a mini- mum)
  • Approximately 2.5M ft2 of space has been audited, to date

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Benefits

  • The ability to audit as many as 850 buildings
  • A new objective is established – to re-audit the OSU Medical Center with the Solibri-led process, if just to see what was missed, or how accurate the initial audit was
  • What used to require full-time staff 2-3 days to accomplish, can now be done in 5 hours. That represents savings ($), and makes it possible for students to be involved in the auditing process (in the Solibri Model Checker), thereby reducing the cost per audit (both in time and the actual labor cost of the person doing the audit)
  •  Much higher quality on a consistent basis, and reliability

When Joe Porostosky was asked to define the greatest benefit of this automated process, he replied, “Significantly reduced time to perform an audit, and higher quality models as a result of automated rule checking. Both are huge for us.”

Our thanks to Joe, Tracy and David for their contributions to this article, but more importantly, for believing enough in Solibri technology to adopt it as a solution to a very real world challenge they were facing.


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