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What You Said: The Coordination of BIM and Specifications

By Peter Kray posted 05-13-2019 16:52


On the CSI CSI-Connects members-only community, this question has created a lively conversation around the use—and very definition—of BIM: “Has the use of BIM made coordination of the model with specifications easier, harder, or about the same as coordination with drawing sets? What steps do you take to help ensure model and specifications are coordinated?”

“It is different from the stone knives and bear claws of the old 2D world, and the phases of development are different too. Without a BIM execution plan, model element table, and a BIM manager it is kind of a dark world. If the right people are in place it helps, but it never makes things harder. 

What steps do I take? The ones necessary to try to make the folks using it know what the heck it is. The assembling of a multidisciplinary team at the start of the project is crucial, and requires a belief in the process and full support from the building developers. When I hear platitudes like BIM has a long way to go, my response is always yes it does, but your old way of doing things has hit a dead end.

Jeffrey Pilus CSI, CCCA, AIA Ass., USGBC, SCIP


“Building Information Management was developed and implemented by Specification Writers before computers were available.”

Harry A. Peck, CSI, CCS, CDT

“I’ve seen a trend to prefer the use of the term ‘VDC’ (Virtual Design and Construction). VDC forces the acknowledgment of viewing the execution (BxP) of BIM as a process, by distinguishing BxP above VDC, VDC above BIM, and BIM above REVIT.

I think if we were to discuss:
- BIM Champions
- BxP (BIM Execution Plan)
- SDM (Spatial Data Management) COBie (IFC format)
- MPM (Model Progression Matrix)
- LOD (Level of Design/Development)
- MET (Model Element Table)
- CDM (Construction Distribution Matrix)
... we would truly need to start a new discussion thread.”
Amy Haynes CSI, CDT


“At the last private sector office I worked in, Revit was in use almost exclusively for design-development and production-document drawings and SpecLink was in use exclusively for specifications.

There was not direct digital integration of spe​cifications into drawings or vice versa that I was aware of, but I know at least SpecLink offers or will offer an add-on which is intended to or will help that kind of integration.

For now, it seems the coordination of specifications to drawings is a task best undertaken oldschool, and that the BIM model can supplement the drawings but shouldn’t be a substitute for the drawings.”
William Massingill CSI, AIA


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