Case Studies

Time really is money when it comes to large BIM projects

GHD Perth uses RTV Xporter Pro to automate exports from Revit.

Expectations are high on GHD Western Australia’s latest project with the client requesting a LOD500 operations and maintenance model as part of the project BIM deliverables.

With such a major undertaking ahead of them, the team had to find ways to be more efficient with time says BIM Coordinator Belinda Thompson.

The $2 billion project is an 8 kilometre long stretch of underground tunnel and rail including three stations, ancillary buildings, cross passages, and egress shafts all being designed and modelled using both Autodesk and Bentley platforms.

“This is definitely the most complex BIM project the Perth GHD office has undertaken with 90% of it being modelled in Revit. Revit works great for straight up and down buildings but does not lend itself well to linear projects, especially 8km ones.”

One of the most time-consuming parts of the project was creating weekly exports from the model.

"The lead for each discipline across the project had to export Navisworks files and PDFs on a weekly basis. We are only a third of the way into building the model and already each of the hundreds of files take 8 minutes to convert. Naturally sometimes they would fall behind and so often we didn’t have the files when we needed them.”

“We would also get various quirks in the final product as each team member would have minor differences in their settings for export options.”

RTV Tools’ Xporter PRO is an add-on for Revit that automates documentation processes allowing users to schedule automatic exports of prints and digital files such as DWG, DWF, PDF, IFC and Navisworks, all unattended.

“We had been using RTV Xporter to export PDFs and NWCs on our Architectural and Building Services projects in Perth but it wasn’t until we faced the thought of exporting 300 models that we looked into the schedule function of the Pro edition of the software.

Instead of each discipline lead doing weekly exports we gave the software to one person who got it up and running – and now the process is completely automated.”

“Yes it is saving us a lot of time, and management is happy because of the impact it has had on the project’s bottom line.”

“We’re saving 24 hours every week, that’s AU$80,000.00 over a year” - Belinda Thompson.

“We’re currently saving 8 minutes multiplied by 180 Revit files equalling 24 hours every week. Over the course of our two-year design phase, that is 2300 hours saved. In just one year we are looking at saving $80,000.00. That is a brilliant return on investment for a software that costs under USD$50,” says Belinda.

“The output is also standardised because no one is changing the export settings. Now every file in the federated model is showing the same information.”

With projects increasingly growing in scale the industry needs tools to automate BIM processes in order to meet realistic time frames and allow the project team to focus on the final BIM deliverables.

“There is much more to BIM than just developing design drawings using a 3D software package.”

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