How Open BIM Facilitates Collaborative Design?

Due to its multifaceted benefits, building information modelling (BIM) is rapidly gaining traction in the AEC industry as the key pre-construction planning, construction management, and post-construction facilities management tool. Whilst many firms have transitioned to this ‘intelligent’ model-based process, the ‘real’ potential of BIM can only be achieved by open exchange of design and non-design project information amongst key project stakeholders: architects, structural engineers, MEP design consultants, MEP engineers, and other trade subcontractors.

A common challenge faced by mid-sized to large projects is that not all project participants use the same BIM application. This is where the concept of closed BIM and open BIM comes into play. The above two approaches are fundamentally different ways of looking at 3D BIM modelling.

Closed BIM, also known as ‘lonely BIM’, is a BIM environment wherein the same version of a BIM application is used by all key project stakeholders. This approach may also include different trades using the BIM-compatible applications from the same vendor. As a case in point, the lead architect uses Revit Architecture to model architectural elements. The structural engineer uses Revit Structure to take the architectural BIM model as the reference and define the building’s structure whilst the MEP design consultant uses Revit MEP to model building services. Although no file conversion is required in the closed BIM approach, the process is restrictive in the sense that it only allows project participants well-versed with certain BIM tools to collaborate, thereby not allowing ‘true’ integration.

On the other hand, open BIM is a workflow wherein all participants can collaborate and exchange project information with each other using non-proprietary, neutral file formats irrespective of the BIM tools and applications they use. The information exchanged is not only limited to the BIM model’s geometric data but also includes other parametric data, such as specifications, quantity take-offs, material procurement, cost estimation, and construction phasing. Most common open BIM protocols currently in use include Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie).

Whilst IFC allows exchange of both geometric and non-design data amongst different applications that support open BIM, COBie only allows facilities management data to be exchanged. Using IFC, the architectural BIM model created by the lead architect’s design team in Graphisoft ArchiCAD can be opened and manipulated by the structural engineer when his/her team works in Tekla Structures. Similarly, the integrated architectural and structural BIM model can be imported into Revit MEP platform by the lead MEP consultant. Once the detailed MEP design is complete, the federated model can be taken into a clash detection and 3D BIM coordination tool, such as Navisworks again using IFC format. This leads to workflow-level collaboration amongst key project members which is the essence of BIM compared to the conventional 2D CAD workflows.

At XS CAD, we have an extensive know-how of both open BIM and closed BIM methodologies due to the fact that we have provided 3D BIM modelling and 3D BIM coordination support to architects, MEP engineers, and contractors in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and India. To find out more about how your project can benefit from our BIM modelling services, contact us.


MEP Coordination

AT  XS CAD India we provide 3D MEP modeling and spatial coordination project teams across the world – through application of the latest 3D technology available coupled with a tried and tested delivery framework.

Working with your team of designers and engineers we offer a sophisticated service to deliver spatially coordinated MEP drawings which are created with complete consideration against structural and architectural elements.

Our MEP coordination experience already includes hospitals, universities, colleges, offices, leisure centers, hotels, casinos and other commercial project types. We use AutoCAD MEP and Revit Systems with Revit MEP to create spatially coordinated 3D models for our customers.

Whether the need is to coordinate a complete building, a zone, a plant room or risers – we have the experience to help you to reduce your costs and to keep your project on track. Once the 3D coordinated model has been produced we have the necessary MEP drafting experienced to produce fully detailed coordinated MEP drawings and single service MEP drawings that are ready for use by site installers.

We provide our MEP coordination services via a range of operational models, including the following:

  • Assistance from our office on a project by project basis – working with your team to deliver coordinated zones/areas of the site.
  • Via a dedicated team based in our office – having undergone local training in the host country or at our offices.
  • Local representation by our staff with support from our office in India.
  • Local representation by our customer’s staff with support from a team based on our office in India.

All operating models have been used effectively by XS CAD India during the last five years.

Please contact us for a quote for your next MEP coordination project or for an entire MEP co-ordination team based in our offices.

For more Information visit:

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Multi Disciplinary Coordination

As construction projects become larger, more complex and more time critical, there is a greater need for controlled progression of the design and contracting process.
As construction projects become larger, more complex and more time critical, there is a greater need for controlled progression of the design and contracting process.At XS CAD we provide a multi-disciplinary coordination and 3d modelling service to architects, consultants and contractors to ensure that the risks of design mis-match are identified and resolved during the pre-construction stage.Multi-disciplinary service involves multi-service and multi-discipline modelling to create a 3d prototype of 3d virtual model of the complete site.

We deliver our multi-discipline modeling and validation services by combining the skills and experience of our people, a detailed understanding of the construction process, an established project management methodology and intelligent 3d technology. Our systematic approach to multi-service projects reduces duplication and rework, allowing delivery of a more accountable, accurate and cost efficient service.

At present AutoCAD MEP and Autodesk Navisworks are used to deliver our multi-disciplinary coordination service. However, increasingly we approach multi-service coordination by using BIM (Building Information Modelling) tools such as Autodesk Revit.

Whether we create multi-disciplinary models by using Revit or AutoCAD there are so many benefits for the combined 3D approach. Such benefits include; allowing the entire design team to view a virtual model as it progresses; preserving the integrity of design information in one location; reducing the time taken to create complete and approve the design; and reducing ‘design confusion’ during construction.