Design Assist

Goal: To leverage Building Information Modeling (BIM) throughout entire project/building lifecycle to allow early contractor involvement in design phase prior to design documents being complete.

"Background: During the past 40 years the total non‐farm labor productivity of all industries more than doubled in this country, according to US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, the construction industry has significantly lagged these gains during the same time period. Technology has been greatly leveraged by all industries to maximize productivity. Due to the disjointed nature of the construction industry, these same gains have not been achieved. For the first time in the construction industry, Building Information Modeling (BIM) has the capability of unifying the parties to leverage this powerful technology platform while creating additional value to building owners. The technology allows all project participants (architects, engineers, contractors and suppliers) to collaborate in developing a 3‐dimensional computer model of the capital project. This enables the team to identify system conflicts within the design prior to construction. It also provides the owners with a database rich with building specific information that will aid in their maintenance and operation of the completed project. BIM is also capable of assisting with estimating and scheduling projects. The full benefits of BIM, which requires early collaboration by contractors and suppliers, cannot be realized within Ohio’s current regulatory framework which requires that the design documents be 100% complete before contractor bidding and involvement." (Ohio Department of Administrative Services, 2009)

"Impact: Allowing a framework for early contractor involvement in design, thus providing higher quality documents in less time which reduces conflicts, change orders and claims. In addition, the owners benefit from a richer database driven building model to facilitate the long term management and operation of the completed facility. An electronic building model also provides the team the opportunity to more easily explore energy efficient alternatives, while using life cycle costing, and value engineering." (Ohio Department of Administrative Services, 2009)

If this project delivery method is implemented it is highly recommended and that all participating contractors be scrutinized through qualifications based selection processes so to allow a smooth and professional workflow amongst team members within model contracts.


Source: Ohio Department of Administrative Services, (2009). Advantage Ohio, Report of the Ohio Construction Reform Panel (OCRP). Columbus: Ohio Department of Administrative Services.