Monday, February 28, 2011

A pre-BIM task: Get (back) into the habit of using a Light (box) table!

The best way to get into BIM (even if you’ve never tried it) is by picking a real construction project.
You don’t have to be on site, not even associated to a contractor to have a role with tasks closely related to the progress of a construction project. You will be assessing drawings (plans) daily.

In the near future, I plan to write about ways to set up a construction-based BIM project.

But, even before I do that – there is a pre-BIM task that I recommend to everyone, everywhere that needs to assess and interpret plans (construction):
Get into a habit of using a Light (box) table!
I am referring here to a ‘physical’ one, a container with several light bulbs (or fluorescent tube)c and a pane of clear glass on the top;

Now, this action of yours will do nothing to improve the quantity or quality of drawings.
At least, not at the beginning.
Do persist! You’ll find interesting things and learn a lot about the content creators of your project:
No scale is actually accurate when printed
Grids from various consultants aren’t always matching
Structure is usually all over the place
Corresponding drawings (that should be easy to coordinate) are always of a slightly different scale
North point is almost always out on some of the drawings;

How to make one?


  1. An additional comment as a repsonse to a question:
    Yes, I mean laying drawings over each other to see how they coordinate. Not just corresponding plans but also plans with sections and elevations. Then, the irregularities should be marked up with big fat red markers and sent back to consultants (cc to clients); This is an absolute pre-requisite to moving onto digital coordination - as if we are unprepared to acknowledge the state the drawings are - it is unlikely that improvements will be made.

  2. The digital alternative would be

    Or ... simply place different versions of DWGs/PDFs on different stories and use Trace&Reference ... if you are on ArchiCAD, that is.