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What is BIM document management?

Discover the advantages and features of an efficient BIM document management, analyse the functions of Autodesk BIM 360 docs and usBIM and choose the right solution for you

In the construction industry, proper document management is crucial for efficient project management as even a small error can lead to costly mistakes and delays. With cloud computing underpinning the construction’s digital transformation, AEC operators are more and more facing new challenges in organising their work while managing huge amount of data and documents. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to rely on effective BIM document management tools.

In this blog post I will explore what BIM document management is, what the advantages of this system are and also provide you with a summary table including the main functions of Autodesk BIM 360 docs and usBIM so as to help you choose the solution best suits your needs.

usBIM, the software to manage construction documents

BIM document management | Documents management with usBIM

What is BIM document management?

As we all know, BIM is not just about 3D modelling and that it goes beyond design and construction, dealing with the entire operational lifecycle of an asset. In fact, it also provides data and information that is relevant to professionals for facilities management, construction operations, maintenance, refurbishment, through to eventual demolition.

Since one of the main purposes of BIM is basically data transfer between different parties within the project, it’s no surprise that BIM data management in general plays a big role in the overall process.

BIM document management implies an organised system of data and documents used in the BIM process to have everything sorted in digital folders and archives, to be easily and effectively created, managed and shared.

How to achieve that and by using which tool? Also, what features do these software packages need to have?

The answer is by integrating all project data in a single data repository and linking project stakeholders and workflows from design to construction and demolition through technologies that can create and manage document systems integrated with online BIM and IFC models.

Harnessing the power of a cloud-based repository increases efficiency, improves quality and reduces risk.

Generally, document management in a BIM process is provided by software or online platforms where you can create and organise versatile file capture, storage and retrieval processes. In fact, you can think about setting up the workflow in such a way that each figure is assigned with the relevant responsibilities and permissions.

A BIM documents management software needs to have a minimum set of functionalities to:

  • guarantee online access and use, taking advantage of a cloud environment
  • facilitate the search for documents through specific commands
  • optimally manage file versions and corrections
  • allow the assignment of different roles with relating permissions for improved workflow organisation
  • allow viewing at least the most common files used in the construction sector (IFC, dxf/dwg, office, pdf, etc.)
  • facilitate collaboration between the different team members
  • manage the flow of requests for changes or issues found in documents.

What are the benefits of construction document management?

Failure to properly manage documents and information flows, as it has often happened for businesses in the AEC sector over the past years, can result in issues for project delivery on time or even financial losses.

Searching for information in digital archives that are not shared or among paper documents that have not yet been digitised are aspects that are still common to many businesses today. This continues to lead to inefficiency in the AEC world and among all stakeholders involved.

BIM document management enables you to achieve greater process efficiency with a significant reduction in costs, thanks to several features, such as:

  • the use of cloud-based sharing technology
  • information conveyed quickly and organised in an orderly manner
  • better management of information in relation to its role in a process.
construction document management

BIM document management | Information sharing and management

There are alco numerous advantages.

In fact, you can revolutionize your way of working by optimising working time, reducing risks due to miscommunication and making the whole system more efficient.

  • your team can work on the same file, eliminating any misunderstandings, thanks to automatic versioning management
  • access information from any device and anywhere
  • permissions that different people have on a file are controlled, and you can assign viewing and editing or view-only functions.
  • both 2D and 3D files can be viewed and verified in a collaborative manner.

The most used solutions for BIM document management

When working on projects together with colleagues or collaborators, besides good communication, document management is of paramount importance. A chaotic or inefficient situation can lead to facing many problems, resulting in increased costs and time.

It’s important to rely on a software that facilitates collaboration within your team during an asset’s different lifecycle phases.

Autodesk BIM 360 docs and usBIM are the most used solutions for BIM document management. Particularly, usBIM is among the ACCA software integrated system of applications and functions that allows you to keep everything under control in a simple and effective way.

BIM document management features in Autodesk BIM 360 docs and usBIM compared

Below a comparison table of the two solutions.

BIM Document Management featuresAutodesk BIM 360 docsusBIM
Publishing & ViewingPUBLISHING
  • Supporting each type of file
  • Assigning attributes (standards and custom)
  • Organization and management of document specific versions

 

VERSION CONTROL
  • Traceability of each version update
  • Restoring previous versions

 

VIEWING
  • Single view for 2D and 3D files
  • Viewer da app android e iOS
  • Project photos, pdfs and files viewing

 

Reporting & DashboardsREPORTING
  • Traceability all of project activities
  • Management of visibility, filters and export of project document lists

 

Design & Constructability ReviewsMARKUPS
  • Adding text notes to 2D or 3D files (private or shared)
  • Adding measurements to provide additional detail to drawings
  • Adding hyperlinks to other projects, to files with additional information, to photos or RFIs

 

ISSUES
  • Issues creation and allocation to the various project teams
  • Issues audit trail

 

Mobile AccessiOS & ANDROID
  • Access and edit of 2D and 3D files and other types of information from mobile and tablet

 

Project Setup & PermissionsPROJECT ADMINISTRATION
  • Management of unlimited projects per account
  • Application of project templates for structures and permits

 

USER MANAGEMENT
  • Centralised management of users, groups and companies
  • Management of 5 permission levels:
  • Upload only,
  • View only,
  • View + Upload,
  • View + Upload + Edit,
  • View + Upload + Edit + Control
  • Definition of team working spaces (folders)

 

LOCATIONS
  • Localise projects to manage location-based filters

 

How to choose the best solution for BIM document management

It is difficult to determine which solution is the best, but you can choose the one that best suits your business needs by assessing scope, size of projects and the team you are working with.

In addition to the functions analysed in the table above, it is also important to evaluate the available sales options.

Autodesk BIM 360 docs offers a single configuration to be purchased with a monthly or annual subscription that includes all the functionalities without the possibility of customising the solution according to your needs.

usBIM, on the other hand, is a scalable and configurable system where you can choose to purchase only the storage space and applications you need.

You can start managing your construction documents with a free BIM documents management software and expand the storage space and applications as your needs change.

How to access usBIM

It’s really easy, you simply need to:

  1. access the usBIM webpage
  2. login with your myACCA credentials

If you haven’t the credentials to access, it’s because you aren’t registered yet.

Go to the ACCA webpage and register by filling in the online form with your data. When successfully registered, follow the steps mentioned above (1. and 2.).

Now you can take advantage of the full potential of the software starting immediately with 15 applications and a free 10 GB cloud space, then choose the applications you need and configure usBIM according to your needs.

 

usbim
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