Integration Review

Integration sessions are recurring, typically weekly, which enable team oriented (model) reviews to minimize surprises, validate scope, improve schedule and reduce costs. Frequently enhanced with interactive SmartBoard technology in a “big-room” environment, these sessions facilitate the architectural/engineering integration and design-to-construction transition - in contrast to a “throw it over-the-wall” hand-off with the waste (and frustration) that can accompany such silo-based approaches. The objective is to optimize the flow and efficiency of the project – not the silos.

The results of these reviews serve to prioritize issue resolution, minimize RFI’s and reduce change orders from field coordination. These collaborative reviews bring increased transparency in decision making, based on the teams’ “real-time” review of the right information at the right time, and the same image at the same time – in contrast to individual interpretations of what a 2D drawing represents and the dilemma of belated mark-ups. Integration sessions should not be an add-on activity – they should be synchronized to the project schedule and deliverables, as defined in the team-developed BIM Execution Plan.

Outlined below are the preparations required to conduct productive integration sessions.

Selecting the Facilitator

Designate someone from the project team to serve as the project Facilitator for the recurring sessions. The primary role of the Facilitator is to lead and coordinate the integration meetings. The Facilitator should be an individual who has both experience with project management and a deep technical understanding of the tools and techniques which will be used on the project.

While the Project Manager may be the obvious choice as Facilitator, projects that are engineering intensive or primarily build oriented may warrant other selections. Select your Facilitator with prior successful experience to avoid false starts.

Minimum responsibilities of the Facilitator

  • Define BIM enabled workflows appropriate to the project’s supply chain:
    • Specifics of how the GSA BIM Guidelines for Revit will be implemented on the project
    • Subject key subsystems to recurring model integration sessions
    • Encourage coordinated solutions that will facilitate potential for off-site fabrication preassembly and timely (if not Just-In-Time) delivery and/or installation
    • Encourage use of models to improve design and/or construction sequencing (4D)
    • Drawings generated from coordinated model files
  • Set-up/maintain the team contact list, meeting information, and issues log
  • Set-up protocols for recurring BIM integration sessions for collaborative reviews:
    • Pre-Session
      • Discuss the status of the model with the project Integrator.
      • Ensure that all team members have the required meeting information and understand their expected level of involvement at the meeting.
    • Integration Session
      • Facilitate the meeting, holding the focus of the group and sidelining topics that should be discussed offline
      • Capture issues for distribution to team
      • Track clash curve and other metrics as defined in the project's BEP
      • Encourage team to improve the integration/workflow process
      • Synchronize model review sessions with master project schedule
    • Post-Session
      • Distribute minutes, issues list, and metrics to the team
      • As needed, facilitate any topics sidelined from the primary meeting
      • Ensure that each team member clearly understands the expectations of them for the next meeting

Selecting the Integrator

Designate someone from the project team to serve as the project Integrator for the recurring sessions. While flying through the master model for visual review is part of the process, effective integration requires a consistent strategy to identify, assess, prioritize, and resolve detected issues. The team should track avoided items as part of in-progress metrics to gauge success.

While the Project Architect may be the obvious choice as integrator, projects that are engineering intensive or primarily build oriented may warrant other selections. Select your integrator with prior successful experience to avoid false starts.

Minimum responsibilities of the Integrator

  • Setup the defined BIM enabled workflows:
    • Oversee the implementation the GSA BIM Guidelines for Revit on the project
    • Ensure the team adhere to GSA Spatial Data Management (SDM) Standards
    • Subject key subsystems to recurring model integration sessions
    • Give technical guidance on coordinated solutions that will facilitate potential for off-site fabrication preassembly and timely (if not Just-In-Time) delivery and/or installation
    • Give technical guidance on the use of models to improve design and/or construction sequencing (4D)
    • Verify that drawings are generated from coordinated model files
  • Set-up/maintain the model sharing approach
  • Set-up protocols for recurring BIM integration sessions for collaborative reviews:
    • Pre-Session
    • Review models for readiness for integration
    • Work with individual team members to correct mistakes prior to the meeting
    • Conduct preliminary clash detection for prioritization
    • Assemble composite models for team clash detection, coordination
    • Discuss the status of the model with the project Facilitator
    • Integration Session
    • Conduct live session to identify/resolve prioritized clash/coordination issues (GoTo or WebEx enabled for remote participation)
    • Save views which coordinate with the issues list being kept by the Facilitator
    • Encourage team to improve the integration/workflow process
    • Synchronize model review sessions with master project schedule
    • Post-Session
    • Verify that the team is adhering to the GSA BIM Guidelines for Revit. Inform each team member individually if they are out of compliance
    • Distribute clash resolution assignments
    • Archive all integration session's clash results
    • Distribute NavisWorks (or equal) models to the team with embedded issue/saved views containing resolution commitments

Design vs. Construction Meetings

On Design-Bid-Build projects, a major shift occurs once the general contractor is selected and comes on board. This shift is particularly apparent in the Integration Meetings. The team should plan for (and expect the focus of the Integration Meetings to shift from) a focus on design to a focus on construction. During this transition, it is not uncommon for the Design team's role to diminish, however, it is critical to the project that the design team stay engaged. At a minimum, the Lead Architect or representative should attend every Integration Meeting.

In preparation for the transition to more construction focused meetings, the team should attempt to resolve as many design issues as possible. The goal should be for the design team to have an LOD 300 model ready as soon as the construction team comes onboard. The design team must stay engaged throughout the remainder of the project but may consider transferring ownership of the master coordination model and the roles of Integration and meeting Facilitator to members of the construction team.

Typical Design Level Meeting

A typical design level integration meeting may see the following people attend the meeting.

Every Design Meeting

  • Project Architect
  • Lead Architectural Designer
  • Lead Interiors Designer
  • Architectural Modeler
  • Lead Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Mechanical Design Modeler
  • Lead Electrical Design Engineer
  • Electrical Design Modeler
  • GSA BIM Champion
  • GSA Project Manager

Some of the Design Meetings

  • Future occupants of the space.
  • Suppliers of proposed building materials.
  • Code compliance personnel, such as building inspectors.
  • Various domain specialist, such as security consultants.

Typical Construction Level Meeting

A typical construction level integration meeting may see the following people attend the meeting.

Every Construction Meeting

  • Project Architect or Lead Architectural Designer
  • GC Project Manager
  • Construction Scheduler
  • Construction Manager
  • Lead Mechanical Fabricator
  • Lead Electrical Fabricator
  • GSA Project Manager
  • GSA BIM Champion

Some of the Construction Meetings

  • Future building maintenance staff.
  • Future occupants of the space.
  • Lead Architectural Designer
  • Lead Interiors Designer
  • Lead Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Lead Electrical Design Engineer
  • Suppliers of proposed building materials.
  • Code compliance personnel, such as building inspectors.
  • Various domain specialist, such as security consultants.

Early build-side input

Early build-side input during the integration sessions is crucial to transition from design to construction stakeholders. (Sub)contractors may be expected to:

  1. Actively participate in the weekly Integration Sessions per BEP - as early as possible to facilitate the design to construction transition.
  2. Resolve identified issues on a timely basis.
  3. Update models on a timely basis for scheduled Integration Session.
  4. Develop models to the LOD specified in the BEP.
  5. Attendees of the Integration Sessions must have:
    • 3D modeling capabilities.
    • Experience with trade specific means/methods and decision making authority.
    • A good understanding of installation costs and labor rates to contribute to cost analysis and value engineering.

The BIM Execution Plan should address which of the above, and/or other, BIM functions are required for the project. See BEP for additional details.

Who should attend

Integration reviews should involve the entire project team. Not all members will need to be present for all meetings, however, it is suggested that every meeting be setup as both an in-person meeting as well as a web-based collaborative meeting, such as WebEx or GoTo Meeting.

Design Concept Phase Design Development Phase Construction Documents Phase Construction Delivery Phase Project Close-out Phase FM Hand-off
GSA Project Team Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting
GSA BIM Representative Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting
Lead Architect or Architectural Project Manager Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting
Lead Engineer(s) or Engineering Project Manager(s) Attend as needed Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting Most meetings
Building stakeholders; tenets, facility managers, etc. Attend as needed Attend as needed Attend as needed Most meetings Every meeting Every meeting
Contractor or contractor input Attend as needed Attend as needed Most meetings Every meeting Every meeting Every meeting
Trade contractors Attend as needed Attend as needed Most meetings Every meeting Every meeting Attend as needed
Suppliers of proposed building elements Attend as needed Attend as needed Attend as needed Attend as needed Attend as needed Attend as needed

Important reviews

During the course of the project, there will be several key review points. These will be larger than normal meetings involving many extended attendees who do not normally attend. These meetings will be critical in establishing direction for the project.

FM engagement

Facility managers must be involved at several key points throughout the project:

  • Between conceptual and schematic design, meet with the facility managers to establish what BIM attributes will be available at the completion of the project. The outcome of this meeting will be incorporated into the project's BEP.
  • Several times during the schematic design and design development phases, have the facility managers attend the meeting to review the design progression and give feedback.
  • During the construction documents and construction phase, the facility managers should be attending most meetings.
  • FM Hand-off meetings require that facility managers attend.

Conducting the integration session

Setup

The model should be shared by all parties in advance. It will allow each party to work on the issues on their own time and resolve them, if possible, prior to the session. After each party reviews and corrects the items, all comments and corrections should be communicated back to the facilitator. The facilitator then identifies the outstanding items that need to be discussed at the session and prepares the agenda accordingly for the session.

Minimum Meeting Setup

  • Session scheduled as recurring meeting with instructions in advance.
  • Consistent space/location/time/duration.
  • Single projector.
  • Marker boards/flip charts to sketch workflow alternatives.
  • Audio suitable for stakeholder participation of up to 5.
  • GoTo or WebEx for remote participants.
  • Central location for all models to be posted to prior to the integration meeting.

Optimal Meeting Setup

  • Session scheduled as recurring meeting with instructions in advance.
  • Colocation, dedicated space for the length of the project.
  • Multiple Smartboards to allow both the Facilitator and Integrator to present at the same time.
  • Marker boards/flip charts to sketch workflow alternatives.
  • Professional grade teleconference phone able to support participation of up to 25.
  • GoTo or WebEx for remote participants, including web cam support.
  • Connectivity to provide 24/7 access to stakeholder models (for referencing).

Pre-session

  • Subsystem models posted several hours in advance of Integration Session.
  • The facilitator is responsible for sending an agenda to all parties in advance prior to the session. The agenda should clearly indicate the issues for discussions, who the primary responsible party is, and duration of discussion for each item.
  • Subsystem models comply with BEP requirements to remove extraneous work, comply with LOD and origin points to facilitate model integration.
  • Model construction: Make sure that systems are constructed properly and they conform to the File Structure and Organization Standard. Verify that the correct objects are being used. (For example, ensure that roofs are roof objects and not elevated floor slabs.)
  • Confirm that BEP specified file names, referencing, folder and browser structures are adhered to.
  • Resolve minor discipline coordination/interferences. Each discipline/trade should have reviewed and cleaned their models of obvious interferences before posting.
  • Address interferences flagged for resolution during previous session.
  • Ensure that applicable BIM standards are being adhered to including, for example: origin points in common, SBU data isolated, and COBie data progression.

Integration Session

  • Come prepared: review agenda in advance, have the right talent at the table.
  • Participate – actively – to help team address coordination issues.
  • Stakeholders should provide consistent representation across the integration series to facilitate decision making. Specialized expertise can be added as required.
  • Periodically revisit the project BEP: Update as required.
  • Review SDM, coordination, and constructability issues in priority order. (Emphasis will depend on project phase and scope). Model may also be used to review circulation, ADA, code, operational, maintenance, or FM considerations. Timing and need should be addressed in BEP.
  • Capture saved views (with annotations preferably) of new issues for distribution.
  • Record unresolved items as rolling Issues List to be addressed at each session. Describe issue, date opened, date closed, responsible party and comments.
  • If required for the project, distribute as meeting report with Issues List attached.
  • Stay on track: if coordination issued cannot be addressed in 15 min - assign to break-out group.
  • Stretch Objective: once team agrees to coordination resolution – make model changes during the session and re-review to validate the solution and close the issue.
  • Review attributes to confirm that, per the project BEP, data is being added as the model progresses.
  • Suggest ways for the team to improve the integration process.
  • Adjust this list, per BEP, to suit project.

Post-Session

  • Review saved views of prioritized coordination issues, identify priorities and responsible parties, and deadline for resolution (by default: in time for next session).
  • Extended data: Ensure that all objects contain the attribute data as required by the Minimum Attribute Standard, as well as any additional fields added through the BEP. Verify that the attributes are being filled in as the project progresses.
  • For items not resolved during the session, the facilitator is responsible for recording those issues in a log to ensure the resolution at the following session.

print Share Icon Last Reviewed 2017-08-13