Building information modeling-based integration of MEP layout designs and constructability
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Building information modeling (BIM) has demonstrated its advantages in improving a mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) layout in the design stage. Unfortunately, BIM applications normally stop prior to the construction stage. The MEP layout design may no longer fit properly during the installation process when there are as-built deviations between structures and the MEP layout. The purpose of this paper is to develop a practical BIM framework for integrating the MEP layout from preliminary design to construction stage. In this framework, BIM models were categorized into five levels of details: 3D MEP preliminary design model, 3D MEP detailed design model, 3D MEP construction design model, MEP construction model and MEP prefabrication model. Four types of coordination steps have been formulated to solve the design and constructability issues. A case study was adopted to validate the practical BIM framework. The results are very encouraging and demonstrate the significant value of the proposed BIM approach. In addition, one issue of collision detection is discussed because 78% collisions are ineffective when using the BIM tools for collision detection; and a significant number of effective collisions (102 collisions) are still detected by the designers and contractors manually. Ultimately, the research renders a practical insight into improving the MEP design and constructability using the developed BIM framework.
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