Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NEI Electric's Building Information Modeling (BIM)

NEI Electric has been using BIM since 2009 to help make our installation of the electrical systems as efficient as possible.  We currently have (2) in-house CAD/BIM Operators and have an annual subscription with Autodesk so that our programs are always up to date (AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks, etc.).

NEI uses BIM to coordinate structural openings in the floors, assist with equipment layout in the electrical rooms and coordinate above ceiling installations with the Mechanical Contractors, Engineer, Architect and the General Contractor. Our CAD/BIM Operator assigned to the project will attend 1-2 coordination meetings a week on-site or virtually. We typically model at a LOD 400 Level, including all panelboards, light fixtures, cable tray, conduit 1 ¼” or larger, and conduits racks of 3 or more.

Ultimately to NEI, the goal of a BIM project is to save the owner money by reducing or eliminating costly rework on the project. Initially it would appear that the cost for BIM only adds to the cost of the project; we have found that this is not true. BIM is a method that really is a formal exercise that includes all disciplines in the coordination of the project; it actually guarantees to the owner that coordination has been completed. Historically the BIM activity is completed by the field employees prior to and during construction.

With BIM the contract drawings are accurate and complete, reducing rework and avoiding cost overruns and lost time.

Projects that recently were completed using BIM:

        United Hospital Mother/Baby, Saint Paul, MN $2,900,000

     JAMF Software, Eau Claire, WI $1,500,000

    Oakleaf Surgical Center, Altoona, WI $3,450,000

    Spooner Hospital, Spooner, WI $2,245,000

    United & Children’s Hospital Tower, Saint Paul, MN $9,500,000
        6-story Core & Shell
        UH Emergency Department Interior Build-out
                 CH 3rd & 4th Floor Interior Build-out

Written By: Matt Troendle, LEED Green Associate
NEI Electric CAD/BIM Operator 

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