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3D BIM Clash Detection – Significance and Scope


Clash Detection or Conflict Detection is very critical in the construction industry as design planning is a dynamic field that requires viable coordination between the stakeholders for desired outcomes. Any construction design typically includes stakeholders such as engineers, architects, contractors, suppliers and vendors, sometimes making the project completion process highly complex and mind boggling. 

On top of it, the increasing global population pushes the demand for sustainable and efficient residential or commercial structures, healthcare, hospitality and transportation facilities. In such a situation, BIM clash detection techniques give precision and sustainability to construction plans and are the basic components during the conceptual design stage.

Why Clashes Happen?

Clashes or Conflicts in the construction design occur due to disorganized coordination among the stakeholders who come together to work on different aspects of construction projects. A Clash happens when elements that make up a built facility are not spatially synchronized and conflict This irreversibly impacts project cost and schedule. Clashes happen due to:

  • Intersection of components of different disciplines sharing the same space
  • Absence of buffer area around hardware
  • Conflict between workflow and facilities scheduling

Clash or Conflict Detection: What, How and Why?

Clash Detection is the procedure of identifying if(where or how) two or more parts of the building or facility (e.g., plumbing, walls, beam, ducts, etc.) are conflicting with one another. Clash detection ensures each and every component works in harmony and nothing is incompatible.

Types of BIM Clash Detection

1. Hard Clash

Hard clash is a type of conflict that includes geometry-based issues. This occurs when two or more objects are conflicting with one another, it could be plumbing going through a surface in the incorrect way or a duct conflicting with a pipe or it could be an air-conditioning duct going within a load-bearing wall.

Hard clashes are identified by implementing geometrical, semantic, and rule-based instructions on the BIM object with inserted information. Tools like Navisworks recognize clashes like a beam going over a pipe whereas the rule-based clash detection on embedded object data excludes the common mistakes like pipe going through a wall or MEP against roof.

2. Soft Clash

Soft clashes occur when a component is not provided the sufficient spatial or geometric threshold it requires. This results in encroachment into geometric tolerances set for other objects and as the buffer or cushion zone is breached, Soft clash occurs.

For instance, a HVAC framework needs space to consider for maintenance workers to function in to service the framework. In the event that the building configuration does not have that space, soft clash occurs, MEP components like air conditioning units, heaters, etc. usually need buffer space for safe and easy maintenance access. Implementing adequate object-related tolerance data to software like Navisworks can identify clashes as per applicable regulations and standards.

3. Work-flow clash or 4D clash

Work-flow clash or 4D clash includes conflicts identified with contractor scheduling or sequencing, equipment, material delivery and general workflow timeline clashes. Despite the fact that these issues are not straightforwardly associated with design however they can essentially influence the project timeline. A work process conflict disrupts workflow efficiency and also have a domino impact, ultimately bringing the whole project to a standstill.

Implementing 4D BIM Sequencing timeline in Navisworks brings scheduling conflicts to the forefront and streamlines the whole construction process. For instance, a HVAC maintenance plan that doesn’t change with the scheduled conveyance of extra parts.

You can use an eraser on the drafting tool or a sledgehammer on the construction site. – Frank Loyd Wright

What makes BIM a perfect solution for clash detection in construction projects?

Conventional construction drawings include a ton of manual work which frequently brings about anomalies and inadequate coordination across different developments. This raises occurrences of construction conflicts, the vast majority of which get recognized when the building components are practically built.

With the use of progressive computer-aided 3D modeling, the chances of last-minute hurdles obstacles due to the irregularities in various models and designs are wiped out. As all the things are dealt with during the planning stage itself, conflict identification saves significant time, effort, and cost all through the whole BIM Execution Plan during a construction project.

One of the fundamental benefits of BIM is the capability to detect ‘clashes’ at an early stage in your project where they should be much simpler, more economical, and less time-consuming to correct.

As per studies conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction, BIM usage among general contractors grew from 50% to 74%. The trend seems to be on the rise. Large firms report 91% adoption while small firms report only 49% adoption of BIM.

A study by AUTODESK also captures the Top BIM benefits for owners in construction projects. The study clearly states how BIM offers internal business benefits to the construction industry.

Top BIM benefits

Reduce Construction Rework & Control Material Waste

Scope – Clash Detection in the Modern Era

To conclude, Clash detection programming and software will turn out to be all the more remarkable as time passes. Level 3 BIM-the fate of BIM innovation will make it conceivable to work on a particular collaborative and coordinated construction model, unlike the traditional methods where various models are united to shape a coordinated model. This would guarantee constant review and rectification, minimizing the chances of project clashes.

However, BIM selection and implementation has its set of objections, fundamental among them being:

  • Large investment in expensive software
  • Scarcity of qualified and skilled resources
  • Infrastructure requirements to support BIM technology

Therefore Outsourcing BIM services is recommended as a proven, efficient and feasible solution to overcome the challenges of BIM implementation.

Indovance Inc. delivers a full range of BIM modeling projects. We work on parametric family creation, clash detection, model creation for all LOD (Level of Detail), 4D, 5D and 6D support and model phasing, as well. We also provide complete support for CAD to BIM, Point cloud to BIM, and PDF to BIM conversions.

For more queries regarding any of the above-mentioned topics, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com or contact us on +1-919-238-4044 


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