Having access to high-quality 3D models is a critical part of a modern-day construction and building process.
In the case of large, commercial buildings, the detailed plans for the MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) elements of the building are so complex, they need to be mapped out digitally well before the construction begins. Only when MEP designs are accurately modelled in 3D, can the contractor ensure architectural elements are in the right position, and a purchase list of needed pipework, ductwork, and HVAC equipment can be generated.
The whole process begins with MEP designers. These design engineers have several choices today, with 3D models (sometimes referred to as BIM objects – building information modeling) available from various sources online, some of which are free. But the level of quality greatly varies in these models. Sometimes, technical information is missing altogether for models, or it’s inaccurate. Problems in the 3D models result in problems in the build. These issues are never inexpensive to fix. They also put builds behind schedule.
We spoke to one such MEP designer, Konsta Korkala, project engineer, M.Sc. (Tech), Granlund, about why this issue matters so much.
Q: Does the quality of the model matter when you put it into your design? Why?
“The quality of the model matters greatly to me. In design work, we are under huge pressure and our deadlines are very tight. Because of that we need a really easy-to-use and professional program. If there are any bugs, it directly impacts our bottom line. The profit we earn from the job is dependent on meeting timelines. Usually we don’t have an hourly rates agreement, where we can charge for every hour we are working, because it’s not fair to the customer. The customer should not have to pay for the fact that designers have poor digital development tools. That’s why we need the best quality models – and tools – available,” said Korkala.
Q: Why is it important that the technical details are accurate? Can you explain what happens when technical specifications aren’t correct?
“Yes it is. Younger generations of designer engineers are almost exclusively using MagiCAD in their design work. Older generations are using papers, illuminated desks and kit like that. So that’s why it is very important that technical details are accurate. For example, we (the younger generation) don’t use flowrate tables anymore, we use only MagiCAD to find out what the flowrate is in the pipe,” said Korkala.
Q: Does it save you time to have accurate models at your fingertips? Do you know how much time it saves?
Korkala said: “It saves a lot of time. For example, without a programme, an older generation designer may use three days to complete something that I can achieve in one day. Nowadays almost all large contracts require that we use modeling. And if we are using modeling, everything should be very accurate, because the real workers on the actual worksite use the models on their laptops.”
For further information about MagiCAD and MagiCloud libraries of more than 1 million 3D models, of MEP products, complete with accurate technical specifications, see www.magicad.com and www.magicloud.com.