Why BIM is useful for a good project communication?Nicolás Papini
Why BIM is useful for a good project communication?
BIM is a very useful tool when making Requests for Information (RFI) in project communication.
Rarely is an engineering and construction project delivered that did not have a Request for Information (RFI) issued by the contractor, subcontractor, or vendors who are responsible for delivering the project. RFI is a project communication management process that is used to request the interpretation of a work that is not sufficiently described or is not reasonably deductible from the contract documents. In addition, RFIs are also used for changed or unforeseen site conditions.
RFIs are generally the result of the following shortcomings::
- Incomplete contractual documents.
- Inconsistency or conflict between more parts of the contractual documents.
- Insufficient details to determine design intent.
- Inability for the contractor to provide a specific product or system.
- Unforeseen site conditions found among others.
What data should an RFI have?
The RFI should provide details on who is issuing the RFI, project name, RFI reference ID, when it was issued, which level of WBS (breakdown) the project scope is related to, which specification section it relates to, work category, and priority of the RFI.
The RFI must also have the query or question that the issuer has along with the required response date. It should be noted that in some projects, there could be an agreement on the time limit to respond to RFI depending on its priority. Additionally, many of the new construction contracts require the RFI issuer to be proactive and propose a solution for high RFI.
In order the RFI reviewer to respond fully and quickly, the RFI must have all relevant documents attached to the RFI. They can be drawings, specifications section, materials catalog, images and / or videos of the current conditions of the site. This will allow the reviewer to access those documents to better understand the question posed in the RFI.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) and RFI
With the increasing trend of projects using BIM to develop the project design, problems and conflict detection can be more easily identified with BIM being managed through the use of RFI because they allow to show the reviewer better and more clearly interference, collisions, or problems directly in the virtual model using marks, lines, or arrows in the 3D view compared to older 2D drawing methods. In addition to the RFI details explained above, the RFI must also include a reference to the BIM model for which the RFI is issued.