Adapting Manufacturing Industry Best Practices to Improve AEC Outcomes

By Marty R

The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.

Tweet: Adapting Manufacturing Industry Best Practices to Improve #AEC Outcomes @Dassault3DS #BIM

Click to tweet this article: “Adapting Manufacturing
Industry Best Practices to Improve #AEC Outcomes”

Extended Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3

An Extended Collaboration model synchronizes productive interactions between designers, suppliers, and builders.

Extended Collaboration proactively addresses errors and omissions, reduces rework, enables predictive process simulations to reduce risk, resolves issues in real-time to drastically reduce RFIs (Request For Information), and improves quality and safety.

Extended Collaboration improves project outcomes.

Innovative projects delivered by industry-leading design and construction teams have shown that collaboratively planning a building’s structural, façade, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), electric, and interior systems can provide significant productivity gains over siloed processes, which depend on RFIs to reconcile issues.

A full-spectrum collaborative workflow ties all parties together (owners, designers, contractors, suppliers), such that each discipline can provide relevant data in the context of other disciplines’ data.

Extended Collaboration in design, construction, and operations is made possible by BIM (Building Information Modelling) Level 3, where liberated data is transactable among authorized project contributors during each design, construction, and operations phase.

BIM Level 3 creates an environment where Extended Collaboration is possible.

Tweet: #BIM Level 3 creates an environment where Extended Collaboration is possible. @Dassault3DS

Click to tweet: “#BIM Level 3 creates an environment
where Extended Collaboration is possible.”

Extended Collaboration Model for Design, Construction, and Operations

BIM Level 3 Benefits Are Realized throughout the Building Lifecycle


High performance teams apply efficient processes proven in Manufacturing
industries, leveraging integrated data to support the entire building lifecycle.

The following processes make up the Extended Collaboration model, based on proven Manufacturing industry best practices:

Digital Mock-Up

More than: 3D Models, BIM Models
Contributors: Owner, Design Team

The Digital Mock-Up (DMU) process takes a data-rich, model-based approach and produces a representation of all systems within a building. A DMU sets the stage for a clear manufacturing context in which the team can make better design decisions based on the overall project.

Design Review

More than: Shop Drawing Review
Contributors: Design Team, Supply Team

In a Design Review, parties use the DMU to compare detailed, coordinated BIM data on a single platform. For example, a BIM model from the architect, a BIM model from the structural fabricator, a piping model from the systems designer, and so on, are checked to ensure they fit together. This is an integrated system review that is more than a shop drawing review.

The most complicated systems—those that tend to cause errors—are coordinated using Design Review at the beginning of an Extended Collaboration process and continuously resolved throughout. This approach reduces the number of issues that must be formally clarified by RFIs and submittals during project delivery.

Design Review is an iterative process and establishes a Single Source of Truth as the baseline for comparing and managing changes across multidisciplinary teams.

Process Simulation

More than: 4D Animations, Top-down Schedules
Contributors: Supply Team, Construction Team

Construction is a process. Much of what happens in construction happens around the building itself, for example, logistics, equipment, crew optimization, truck queuing, etc. Process Simulation enables project teams to make knowledgeable construction means and methods decisions, and helps produce an optimized work breakdown for construction.

Such bottom-up simulations can reveal even minor integration errors, illustrate which processes are the most cost- and time-effective, demonstrate how prefabrication will affect a project, and generate highly accurate sequence data.

Project Management

More than: Scheduling, Project Coordination, Document Management
Contributors: Construction Team, Operations Team

In the Project Management phase, the DMU containing the source BIM data is tied to resources, tasks, issues, and documentation needed to complete the project. More than just scheduling and site coordination, Project Management synchronizes BIM data with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to accurately monitor the project status versus the detailed plan, issue invoices based on milestones, track labor costs, and manage purchased materials.

The current, as-built data model used to deliver the facility is shared with the Operations team.

Facility Management

More than: Operations Manuals, Equipment Lists, As-Built Drawings
Contributors: Operations Team

Facility managers and owners benefit from having a virtual building for streamlining maintenance and operations. BIM data is synchronized with facility management systems to create a living data set with a history.

The integration helps ensure that equipment is maintained and operated for maximum energy efficiency and optimal performance, to reduce time spent searching for key facility information, and to simulate scenarios for facility reuse and alterations (moves, adds, and changes). Compounding, long-term benefits of BLM (Building Lifecycle Management)-enabled processes are often reaped in the Facility Management stage.


When BIM data is unlocked from a proprietary system, it becomes available for use in the five Extended Collaboration processes: Digital Mock-Up, Design Review, Process Simulation, Project Management, and Facility Management.

A BLM system (using BIM data within a PLM system) manages information and formalizes Extended Collaboration with built-in governance, traceability, electronic approvals, and version control, holding all parties accountable.

The key to solving the Construction industry’s productivity crisis is BLM.


Tweet: Adapting Manufacturing Industry Best Practices to Improve #AEC Outcomes @Dassault3DS #BIM

Click to tweet this article: “Adaptiong Manufacturing
Industry Best Practices to Improve #AEC Outcomes”

Related Resources

End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices

Contact Dassault Systèmes for a consultation: Our experts can help you design the most effective BIM Level 3 deployment strategy for your organization

Robotics is MEGA-Trending

By Tony

Robotics Mega TrendingAll around the world there is a huge interest in robotics. Schools everywhere and at every level are involved in some type of robotics competition. Some compete in Lego challenges, some compete in government or corporate-sponsored competitions, while others create and host their own challenges. Before I entered college, my father was concerned that the education I chose needed to be sustainable. He studied electronics and had a very successful career in computers. He always said to me, “Computers are the future, you best be prepared for the wave of computers.” I did take his advice, although not in the traditional sense as I decided to study robotics. Fast forward to today when robotics is a hot topic across the globe, from the classroom to the boardroom. Companies and students everywhere are realizing the power of automation and the value that it brings at so many levels. And their timing could not be more impeccable; robotics is definitely mega-trending.

Robotics and Automation Make Economic Sense

The off-shoring of factories and suppler bases due to low-wage competition are on a heavy decline. In an effort to localize supply chains, manufacturers are turning to robotics and implementing automated robotic systems on-site to achieve flexible, smart systems that extend across their enterprise to meet the global demands of their customers and markets. The latest trends in manufacturing are forcing companies to focus on technology. This focus is necessary to remain competitive. This is a global trend, so getting left behind is not an option. Today’s technologies are making manufacturing more fast paced than ever, and this is evident in the staggering wave of robotics coming on-shore.

Robots sharply improve quality as well as productivity to the point where they offset regional differences in labor costs and availability. In today’s economic climate, they have a major impact on the competitiveness of companies and countries alike. This means countries with greater robotic infrastructure (robots and supporting professionals) could become more attractive to manufacturers than countries with cheap labor. These types of changes will drive the competitive dynamics of the global economy.

The Wave of Robotics Adoption

According to the Boston Consulting Group, “The size of this coming wave of robotics is staggering: spending on robots worldwide is expected to jump from just over $15 billion in 2010 to about $67 billion by 2025. Driving this growth is a convergence of falling prices and performance improvements. The cost of high-quality robots and components is dropping rapidly, while CPUs are getting faster, and application programming is getting easier. As robots become cheaper, smaller, and more energy efficient, they gain flexibility and finesse, increasing the breadth of potential applications.” Let’s put these figures in perspective. According to this report, the estimated growth of the robotics market is going to more than double in the next 10 years (From an estimated $26.9B in 2015 to $66.9B in 2025). This puts the adoption rate of robots in the stratosphere.

This wave of robotics adoption is due to several factors, one of which is the pricing. The costs associated with implementing robots and automation have been on the decline. The reduced cost, along with the gains in production, makes for a very attractive proposition to companies of all sizes and industries.

Another key factor of this explosion in robotics is the robots ability to affect different industries. Technology is a key differentiator in all industries and robots have made profound impacts throughout. This contributes to the overall adoption rate across an industry. Adoption of robots within an industry creates a shift in power between competitors, where the leaders pull away and the competition either adopts similar strategies or their growth will stagnate, so the greater the impact, the wider the adoption.

Reasons for This Mega-Trend

Perhaps the most compelling reason for this mega-trend in robotics is the wide variety of applications that robots are being used in. Robots are used in everything from industrial and military applications to handling nuclear fuels to removing dangerous land mines, and filling customer orders. The robots of today are exploring the ocean floor, cleaning your house, and even cutting the grass outside. Robots are irreplaceable when it comes to delicate surgeries and help with the rehabilitation of the patient afterwards. Robots deliver medication, and can be a comforting companion. They can drive cars, fly airplanes, and work a 24 hour shift building cars without a break. Robots can perform many tasks that humans do, at a fraction of the cost, often with more accuracy.

The possibilities for these mega-trends are endless. Emerging applications will further grow the robotics market.  Newer industries such as mining and warehousing will be key robotics markets, as well as the personal service domain, where robots will take the roles of housekeeper, security guard, and personal valet. Agriculture and food processing robots are being created to reduce the cost of farming and deliver the freshest product at the lowest cost. Even the automobile will play a major role in the robotics market. Cars that can drive themselves are currently being tested, but driving the car is only the start. Today the car has a key role in households across the globe, and driving people to their destination is only one single aspect of our lives that a robot car can assist us with.

To see how companies are keeping up with technology and trends in robotics, visit our community at:

To see the report The Rise of Robotics by the Boston Consulting Group, visit:

How Traditional AEC Processes and BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos

By Marty R

The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.

Tweet: How Traditional #AEC Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos @Dassault3DS to tweet this article: “How Traditional #AEC
Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos”

Siloed Collaboration with BIM Level 2

Construction project contributors can be categorized into teams:

  • Design Team: Architects, engineers, and special consultants
  • Supply Team: Building product manufacturers, fabricators, and suppliers
  • Construction Team: General contractors, sub-contractors, and trades
  • Operations Team: Owners, operators, and facility managers

Feedback loops, task management, design coordination, and other limited collaborative elements certainly exist within each team; however, the ambiguity, rework, and RFIs that persist between teams are symptomatic of broken collaboration across the extended project delivery team.

Research by the U.K. Construction Industry Council indicates the benefits sought by owners—reduced costs, increased value, increased sustainability—are not achievable by BIM Level 2 only.

The inherent handoffs and rework processes prevent integration among the teams and lock value within silos:

Traditional Design, Construction, and Operations Process

BIM Level 2 Benefits Are Locked in Silos


Collaboration on documentation and deliverables exists within each silo, but a lack of collaboration between teams causes errors, rework, RFIs, and inefficiencies.

Tweet: With traditional #AEC Design-Construct-Operate processes, #BIM Level 2 benefits are locked in silos | @Dassault3DS to Tweet: “With traditional #AEC Design-Construct-Operate
processes, #BIM Level 2 benefits are locked in silos”

Siloed Collaboration: Weaknesses of a Broken Process

In a BIM Level 2 framework, construction projects suffer from a lack of data integration, disconnected documents, and insufficient data for process simulation—three root causes of unforeseen project delivery issues.

No Data Integration

Siloed collaborative approaches require data to be exported and files to be exchanged. Exchanging files is an inadequate solution, creating massive version control problems as multiple parties provide key data at various points in the process.

Because there is not a Single Source of Truth mechanism, contributors are missing meaningful, contextualized data that would help them make better decisions. Architects make decisions based on design intent, but are missing construction and manufacturing data that could impact the end result. Contractors receive incomplete, ambiguous design information that causes RFIs and change orders.

No Document Continuity

The design team creates permit drawings. The systems manufacturers and fabricators then redesign the drawings for their own purposes. The construction team, in turn, creates sequence documents based on top-down estimates, and spends significant resources processing RFIs, submittals, and change orders.

Permit Drawings ≠ Shop Drawings ≠ Sequence Drawings

Tweet: The Rework Problem: permit drawings ≠ shop drawings ≠ sequence drawings. #AEC #BIM @Dassault3DS to Tweet: “The Rework Problem:
permit drawings ≠ shop drawings ≠ sequence drawings”

The differences between the drawings required at various stages in the process create vast productivity challenges.

Ultimately, the project delivery process resolves most document inconsistencies, but by then the changes are costly and disruptive.

No Process Simulation

An animated 3D model (also known as a 4D model) is an insufficient imitation of how a project is built. Process-based means and methods cannot be represented accurately without adequate process information and integrated design data.

Most of the considerable waste that occurs during a construction project happens within the project delivery phase, when steep material and labor costs are incurred. Without a bottom- up simulation process to predict points of conflict and sub-optimal work sequences, a project team is making an educated guess at how the building will come together.

The inherent limitations of the siloed collaboration model that persists with BIM Level 2 are preventing the industry from moving forward.

Barriers to Effective Collaboration

Change is difficult, and a number of obstacles have stood in the way of the industry evolving its practice of collaboration.


Each team has traditionally defined “collaboration” differently, focusing on its individual need:

  • The Design Team tends to think of collaboration as working on a single BIM model.
  • The Supply Team tends to think of collaboration as a review of shop drawings or other supplier-produced documents.
  • The Construction Team tends to think of collaboration as using a structured project management system.

Legal Implications

Contractual relationships and interactions between parties can create indemnity insurance issues. Insurance objections and legal concerns are occasionally raised when parties are unfamiliar with modern collaboration technologies. Reliable governance and traceable workflows create accountability and mitigate legal risks.

Point Solutions

Standard industry tools facilitate coordination within each team, but unfortunately, not effectively across teams. End-to-end collaboration is made impractical with a patchwork of proprietary systems, causing version control problems and opportunities for human error.

Point solution providers position BIM Level 2 tools as collaborative, despite the evidence that they offer limited collaboration support for project contributors outside their application suite.

These challenges—varying definitions of collaboration, presumed legal implications, and insufficient point solutions—contribute to the difficulty of inter-team cooperation, reinforce silos, and cause massive inefficiencies.

Tweet: How Traditional #AEC Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos @Dassault3DS to tweet this article: “How Traditional #AEC
Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos”

To continue to the next section, ADAPTING MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICES FOR DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: Extended Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3, download the full whitepaper: “End-to-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Industry Approach Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing.”

Cover: END-TO-END COLLABORATION ENABLED BY BIM LEVEL 3 An Industry Approach Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing

Related Resources

End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices

Contact Dassault Systèmes for a consultation: Our experts can help you design the most effective BIM Level 3 deployment strategy for your organization

Page 3 of 21012345...102030...Last »

Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.