5 tips for getting started with BIM takeoff


MagiCAD Group



You may hear that digital transformation is serving up all manner of time savings in the construction industry, opening new doors for tech-savvy practitioners who are redefining work as we know it. However, persistent challenges in BIM adoption continue to stagnate Surveying and Estimating in modern times. Each day teams pass up the power & automation that BIM models offer and opt to measure drawings instead. It’s a natural reaction considering the contract documents most often refer to the 2D plans. However, there’s still lots that can be gained from quantification of models as an extension of your process.


Tip 1. Don’t trust basic measures.


Most BIM takeoff software will extract basic measures of objects such as area, length and volume. These basic measures just don’t cut it, be sure to use a software that re-measures the models to remove deductions of overlaps, while adding actual material quantities such as steel tonnages & concrete formwork. Furthermore picking solutions that built-in measurement rules really takes BIM takeoff to a whole new level above risky area/volume/length data.


Tip 2. Be ready to add value.


While automating the measurement of large projects in hugely satisfying and saves heaps of time, cost professionals need to be prepared to add some measures to the model in the same they do in a 2D world. Quite often additional measurements such as finishes, excavations and temporary works need to be added to get the whole picture. Treat the model as a boost of data taking mundane measures off your plate while creating a canvas for your daub on your professional knowledge.


Tip 3. Take it slow.


Digitisation is exciting to some, but the sight of a 3D models isn’t going to get your estimating colleagues throwing off their cashmere tank tops and floating about in a futuristic hologram of data anytime soon. Measurement is serious work, so having tools for transition is key. Pick solutions that can overlay PDF on top of models for speedy quality assurance, that can help surveyors visualise measures and measure rules in effect on the model, and that mix the options of having 3D and 2D measures in the same space so that teams can transition naturally and in response to the information they have at their disposal.


Tip 4. Ask. Ask. Ask. 


Next time your colleague is trying to set you on fire with their eyes for clogging the printer with reams of structural drawings & partition layouts, consider that quite often the reason teams don’t use BIM models is simply that they don’t ask for them. Even if it’s just the steelwork model, running the tonnages and surface areas before falling back on the more traditional digital methods for other disciplines is the perfect example of an agile surveyor in 2020.


Tip 5. Skip ahead.


Even if you can’t wait for BIM models, there is still a load of tech that can help push your process into the here and now. I’m a huge fan of our 2D to 3D measurement features that apply time-saving automation while introducing the concepts of BIM and 3D workflows to teams that know that their work can be better & more engaging right now.


And be sure to check out Cubicost so you know what all of this subtle marketing has been about.