How to Save Hundreds of Hours by Automating the BIM Documentation Process

How to Save Hundreds of Hours by Automating the BIM Documentation Process

What project managers need to know is that automating the BIM documentation process is going to save time and money, says HOK Design Technology Specialist, Shaun Peppers.

Scheduled to open in 2020, the new $1.8 billion, 1.7 million sqft, three-story Salt Lake City Airport terminal designed by HOK will accommodate 23 million passengers per year.  It is one of the largest construction projects in North America. Read Peppers's explanation on how HOK used RTV Tools in the Salt Lake City Terminal redevelopment to automate BIM.

Sharing all the documentation and data across the vast amount of offices involved is tricky, to say the least. Currently, the SLC project is exporting upward of 4700 virtual PDF prints weekly. We were also exporting 51 Navisworks NWC files from the Revit models twice-weekly for clash detection and daily AutoCAD exports for civil coordination.

In the early stages of design, printing was done manually across all disciplines. Documents could take weeks to get to everyone who needed the information by which time the models had progressed and so the data would become out of sync with the current design.

The larger models take half an hour to open, then an hour and a half to manually print 300 sheets. If you multiply that by ten people every week then you’re looking at thousands of hours over the project.

There was also no way to control the quality of the prints because we were getting different formats from different people. It was like the ‘telephone game' by the time it had filtered across everyone.

RTV Tools’ Xporter PRO is an add-on for Revit that automates documentation processes allowing users to schedule prints to two physical printers while simultaneously creating digital files such as DWG, DWF, PDF, IFC and Navisworks, all unattended.

The data needed to be streamlined and up to date at all times to prevent log jams.

What we were missing was a way to export and print data in an efficient way. After researching and looking at possibly developing a tool internally, we decided to try out RTV Tools’ Xporter. We worked with the developers at RTV Tools to resolve the issues we were facing and one by one we tackled software roadblocks.

Now that we automate the data, the team is able to come into work in the morning to find their files were processed while they were sleeping. No longer do we have to wait for the latest documents - we can see them in relative real time.

We are at a point where if the deadline is Friday, we can work on making corrections right up to the last moment on Thursday and then set it to batch print and it will be there in the morning. It’s a big deal.

We have many offices and consultants connected to 100+ Revit models on local servers so we needed to work with a cloud-based platform.

The RTV Xporter has a function allowing users to send exports remotely to a dedicated machine. In this instance, HOK’s fluffy ‘cloud’ is a specialised 128GB RAM computer designed to be constantly running and batch exporting files.

We now have a few beta testers running RTV with batch printing machines. It’s time to spread the word – all of HOK’s projects would benefit from automation.

We don’t want the people who are doing the work to be bothered with printing. We want to completely take the task of printing off of the designers so they can get on with what they need to do.

The bigger that projects and models get, the more that this is going to be an issue. This is a problem we are facing now - 3D isometrics will bog your computer down, and you’re going to be there a while if you have to do the documentation manually.

For more information on automating BIM visit the RTV Tools team at exhibit #21 RTC North America, 14 – 16 July 2016, and visit:

About RTV Tools Limited
RTV Tools Limited (RTV Tools), an Authorized Autodesk® Developer, was founded in Wellington, New Zealand in 2007 by a group of passionate and expert Autodesk® Revit® users to automate BIM and enhance the productivity of all Revit® users worldwide.

With over 60 years combined experience in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, specializing in BIM strategies and implementation, the RTV Tools team is innovating and automating Autodesk® Revit® and BIM workflows for 1,000’s of customers around the world.

At RTV Tools we are Revit® and BIM professionals, just like our customers, we understand the daily pressures of delivering large complex Revit® and BIM projects and pride ourselves on delivering quality solutions and innovative tools and plug-ins for Autodesk® Revit® you can trust and rely on to get the job done.

To learn more about automating your BIM, please contact:
Jason Howden, CEO
RTV Tools Limited
PO Box 8078, Wellington, 6143
New Zealand

About this author
Cite: Sponsored Post. "How to Save Hundreds of Hours by Automating the BIM Documentation Process" 29 Jun 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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