BIM vs. Drawings Priority For Design Inconsistencies

Posted on : Mar 27, 2019

In our industry experience of more than a decade we have experienced that most of the time Builders & Contractors fail to identify which design document to give first priority in case of inconsistency despite of presence of Building contract containing “priority of documents” clause. CIOB contractors prefer to refer to Building Information Models (BIM) on priority over drawings for all the complex building projects. On the other hand when asked the same preference to Internal Federation of Consulting Engineers Contracts the most popular firm in Qatar including its Contractors answer was just any statement but BIM which raised a serious concern on managing inconsistencies in designs.

Essentially it’s the building contractor’s responsibility to complete the building project timely, cost-effectively and as per the designs specified in the drawings and 3D BIM models assigned to them by architects or BIM service providers. As a whole we believe Contractors should be the most concerned person when it comes to managing the conflicts in design between BIM and Drawings.
However we have seen a dawn in building construction technology during recent years which has initiated fundamental changes for Contractors, Facility Managers, Architects, Building Design & Surveyors, BIM Managers and many more. Fundamentally BIM Models are quite extensively used along with physical drawings or 2D drawings. Still the bottom line remains that inconsistencies between the 2D drawings (hard copy) and 3D BIM models could lead to major complications. As GCC region closely follow UK tends the adoption of BIM in Middle East is worth an appreciation.
During the tendering process, bidders are provided with both 2D drawings and 3D BIM models as the part of tender documents; Bidders may get confused or may calculate and quote wrong quantities & prices quotes if the inconsistencies exist between the drawings and 3D models.

We believe that between all the nodes of building construction, Architects are the one playing and central communication role and are instrumental in making sure that there should not be any inconsistency between the drawings and the 3D BIM Model. Architectural drawings support construction professionals with Virtual Design and Construction & BIM technology experience help architects to successfully navigate through mega projects including commercial buildings, skyscrapers, bridges, airports and many more. Architects while submitting tender documents should also clearly define in writing which drawing or model needs to be referred first on priority in case of inconsistencies between the documents / models itself, also it’s the bidders responsibility to check all the associated bidding document along with ‘priority of document’ and if they find any discrepancies or absence a bidder should raise a tender clarification and bring it to the notice of the architect to avoid any conflict of interest post bidding process.