Building Information Modeling

Aconex Launches Connected BIM Product for Model-Based Collaboration

30 Oct, 2014 By: Cadalyst Staff

New release extends cloud-based platform to manage building information modeling (BIM) project data.


Aconex, provider of a cloud collaboration platform for the global construction industry, announced the launch of Aconex Connected BIM this week. The new product extends the Aconex platform to manage building information modeling (BIM) data and processes for project-wide collaboration. Team members can work together on models and the project information associated with them through a Web browser on a computer or mobile device. The Aconex platform is currently used to manage over 1.5 million BIM models for Aconex customer projects, the company reports.

“BIM and VDC are transforming the way that capital projects are delivered,” said Rob Phillpot, senior vice-president of product and engineering and cofounder of Aconex, in a company release. “The industry is moving rapidly from 2D drawings and files to multidimensional models and data, as BIM adoption accelerates globally. On many projects today, its use is limited to designers with specialized modeling tools during the design phase of the project. While BIM improves design and constructability, the other 90% of the project team are disconnected from model data during the construction and handover phases.

“Aconex now connects all participants with BIM data and processes project-wide, enabling project teams to share, consume, and enrich models on a single integrated collaboration platform in the cloud. From their web browsers and mobile devices, design and construction teams can resolve issues early and produce a fully documented visualization of the project that is ready for operation at handover. With a complete and accurate set of interconnected project data outside the model, owners can reduce operating costs, which account for up to 75% of total asset lifecycle costs. Aconex Connected BIM fulfills BIM’s true promise — improved efficiency, reduced risk, faster delivery, higher-quality built assets, and easier operability.”

With Aconex Connected BIM, designers for specific disciplines can create and modify models in their native authoring tools and use software plugins to publish them in the Aconex BIM Cloud. On the platform, all members of the project team can view, distribute, mark up, and contribute to model data at the object level. This coordinated process supports timely detection of clashes and optimizes constructability.

As the project moves through design and into construction, team members can link each object in the model with relevant project documents, communications, and workflows. For example, a mechanical subcontractor can tag a pump with an operating manual or a commissioning sheet. Project team members can issue an RFI or a design query regarding that pump for timely resolution with a complete audit trail.

Designers can continue using their native authoring tools for design updates via the software plugins. The Aconex platform supports Open BIM, including IFC (Industry Foundation Classes). At completion, a comprehensive set of project information — including the model, all of the documentation associated with each of its objects, and an audit trail — can be handed over to the owner.

Aconex Connected BIM also features:

  • Viewing of GB-size datasets from a range of authoring tools
  • Version control to prevent errors based on out-of-date models
  • Real-time merging, collation, and separation of component models for specific disciplines
  • Shared viewpoints and markups for model review, feedback, and resolution
  • Interrogation of models for clashes and coordination issues
  • Linkage of formal project communications such as RFIs with objects for resolution of clashes and issues.

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