The team that makes up Neme Design Solutions, a Long Beach, California-based BIM consultancy, specializes in simplifying highly complex projects to enable fabrication.
Led by founder Becher Neme, the firm includes a small team of architects and engineers with more than a decade of experience working onsite with general contractors, and with particular expertise in the CATIA solution.
This combination of field experience and software knowledge has helped the firm carve out a unique niche in model clash detection and resolving interface challenges.
Yesterday’s Improvements Are Today’s Inefficiencies
While Neme notes that the AEC industry has flocked to BIM as a means for improving construction efficiency, the tools commonly used require certain sacrifices.
Case in point, one of the firm’s primary services is coordinating clash detection among BIM models. Today, most general contractors launch a project by meeting with all of the trade contractors.
Dozens of people bring their 3D models and, through a seemingly endless series of meetings, they run clash detection to find potential conflicts among systems. When conflicts are found, each model is updated with the solution.
Neme left these meetings wondering: how much time is invested in preparing for these meetings? How much money is spent on getting all parties involved on the same page? If BIM is about providing project efficiency, how can this process be made more efficient?
A Single-Source Solution
While clash detection can be easy, there’s value to be gained in resolving these conflicts more efficiently. To do so, Neme Design Solutions has explored the single-source model concept.
The idea is that Neme Design Solutions works with the general contractor to create an accurate BIM model before subs are brought on board. A small, highly skilled team creates a highly accurate model. As much as 90 percent of the conflicts can be resolved at this stage.
Next, the trade contractors are brought in. Rather than resolving hundreds of modeling conflicts, this wider group fine-tunes the existing model before moving directly to fabrication and installation.
The Peak of Precision
This single-source solution is already in action on several of Neme’s projects.
Among them, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center required the high-precision work for which the CATIA software solution is best known. The project features a highly complex ETFE roof with more than 3,000 connection components.
The roofing contractor brought Neme Design Solutions onboard when the sub determined its software could not handle the roof’s intricate geometry.
By developing a comprehensive, single-source 3D model, the roofing team was able to extract fabrication drawings so accurate that only four of the 3,000 components ultimately needed changes.
But it is Tivoli Village—a mixed-use development in Las Vegas—that perhaps best demonstrates the unique benefits possible from single-source models.
General contractor Hardstone Construction took complete charge of this 2 million square foot project. As part of a small team of CATIA experts, Neme was deeply involved in developing a single-source model for the project. He rendered the MEP part of that model to be conflict-free and ready for installation.
With the help of this process, the $350 million first phase of the Tivoli Village was so efficient that it had virtually no change orders. The general contractor was able to beat the budget in several areas.
Next Generation Possibilities
Given the promise of single-source models, Neme is looking to what might soon be possible.
The next generation, he suggests, must move 3D models beyond visual representation and conflict resolution tools. Future models should improve installation workflow onsite, further optimize prefabrication, reduce material waste and raise onsite safety standards.
For Neme, CATIA is far and away the preferred platform for creating complex, yet flexible, models. However, he notes that given Dassault’s game-changing results in the aerospace industry, expectations are high from construction players on what the software company can do to transform their standard processes.
Neme notes that the latest update to Dassault’s platform boosts the software to a truly collaborative tool. The cloud-based platform allows project teams to work live in a model from anywhere around the globe. Updates are instantly visible to the entire team.
This capability allows the specific skill set offered by Neme Design Solutions to be available as-needed worldwide, and allows Neme and his team to work on multiple projects across the world at once.
Where to Learn More
Looking to learn more about single-source models? Consider attending this year’s 3DEXPERIENCE Forum in Las Vegas, November 11-12, where Neme is a returning speaker.
For Neme, the event is a must-attend for anyone interested in innovative solutions, as it exposes attendees to how the technology currently being explored in construction is being used in aerospace, industrial design, medical and other highly successful industries—suggesting new possibilities for how construction can move forward.
For more on the 2014 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM, visit: www.3ds.com/3ds-events/3dexperience-forum-nam