3 Types Of 3D BIM Clash Detection Have Their Own Importance


June 23, 2015  Hiral Patel 

BIM or Building information modelling has set entire AEC industry abuzz! Over the years, it has proved to be quite useful to the architects, builders, engineers and contractors, providing them with amazing and valuable insights into inherent potentials of the structure for improvisation.

Since, BIM not only involves a single model; rather it is an amalgamation of different disciplines like structural, MEP and environmental engineering, etc. As all these disciplines work in tandem; it is important to establish a well-coordinated approach, where there is no clash!

3D BIM Clash Detection forms an essential part of AEC. It is a process of discovering the areas or elements which could possibly “clash”: or in other words, would occupy the same space.

Clash detection and coordination, though is not an entirely new concept has gain an impetus in the recent years. It has invariably played an important role in lowering down the construction costs. It helps in limiting the huge budgets and averts the unnecessary and expensive delays.


Unlike manual processes, where charts and drawings are overlaid a light table to find the clashes; 3D graphics allows one to examine the intrinsic detection of clashes, at the earliest stages. Hence, early 3D may be close to 100% accurate.

Moreover, clash detection and coordination helps one to find the incompatible and inconsistencies much before the actual construction begins. Hence, it in a way it plays a crucial role in avoiding delays, saves time and resources.Generally; the process is divided into three types and each has its own significance.

Let’s see these three different kinds of clashes and how detecting them at an early stage benefits.

Hard clash

This kind of clash is said to occur with two objects are taking up the same space. Let’s say a beam which is going through a plumbing run is designed. This information is entered in the BIM modeling objects.

Hard clash will provide you the detection based on the geometrical as well as on semantic and rule-based algorithms.

Such clash recognition will create the clash possibilities for every lower ceiling light, or a pipe passing through a wall. The level of detail and selection sets the stage for accurate and effective BIM clash detection, as it is performed amid a specific number of subsets of a model.

Soft Clash/Clearance Clash

Soft clash indicates that the object needs more positive spatial/geometric tolerances, spaces and buffers within their buffer zone for better accessibility, insulation, maintenance and safety.

Soft clash generates novel opportunities where BIM modeling clash detection creates new possibility to the method. Customized “soft clash” detection is generally applied to test elements for building code adherence.

4D/Workflow Clash

With 4D/Workflow clash detection method, you can determine scheduling clashes for the crews, equipment/materials fabrication & delivery clashes. Moreover, other project timeline issues can be examined and perceived using a BIM modeling project.

Wrapping it up, with these different types of BIM Clash and coordination; one can ensure an error-less, consistent and technical perfect design which can lead to an effective construction.

Thanks for reading!

Please enjoy a limited number of articles over the next 30 days.

For total access log in to your The BIM Hub account. Or register now, it's free.

Register Sign in