(If the introduction doesn't interest you much, no worries: we do understand. In short, one of our founders feels he 's a great writer ... we had to let him write the intro :). To skip it and get to know how to use the BIM Price Calculator app, simply scroll down to "User Manual for the BIM Price Calculator")
Every single day, we are asked these two questions "How much would it cost to make the BIM model of this building?" and then "How long will it take to model?" Architects, project managers or BIM managers of general contractors and MEP contractors, facility managers, engineering consultants and surveyors alike seem stuck on these two questions.
That sounds familiar?
A few weeks ago, our pricing team would have started working on the quotation immediately - and brilliantly - to answer those questions and provide our partner with a precise price and delivery time, as quickly as possible.
We promptly found out that our quotation was often too precise for the project's stage. Worse: it seldom reached our partner's inbox quickly enough.
We were just missing a key information that would come later in the conversation with the partner if we asked him the right question: "Do you need a binding offer or an estimate would be sufficient at this stage?"
Then the usual response: "In fact, I don't have many inputs right now: I just need a price and delivery time estimate ... by tomorrow morning."
That sounds familiar too?
Fortunately, we had some of the ingredients to prepare and deliver a reliable estimate (much) faster:
our algorithm based on our modelling expertise and ongoing projects
our expert programmers
This combination enabled us to develop and launch the first online BIM Price Calculator: it is easy to use and provides a price and delivery time estimate in a +/- 15% range within 15 minutes! Check out how to use it below.
User Manual for the BIM Price Calculator
(The step-by-step instructions below follow the calculator's structure)
"Select the service you need"
This menu allows you to specify the available inputs from which the modelers will work to create your BIM model. The inputs type may have an impact on the processing time and therefore on the price and delivery time:
2D (.dwg) to BIM: inputs are 2D drawings with the *.dwg file extension (i.e. the AutoCAD file extension which has become almost universal in the CAD space)
2D (.pdf) to BIM: inputs are 2D drawings with the *.pdf file extension (e.g. scan copies of the original blueprints, hand sketches, etc. Usually, the price of the model will be slightly higher because modelers won't be able to automatically recover as much information as from from native *.dwg files)
3D (.dwg / .skp) to BIM: the input consists in a 3D model whose parametric component is limited or non-existent (e.g. Sketchup, AutoCAD 3D. etc.)
SCAN (point cloud) to BIM: the input consists in a point cloud acquired by 3D laser scanner such as Faro Leica, Trimble, Zoller + Fröhlich or another one and assembled. A number of file extensions are available; the file extensions *.e57 and *.rcp are frequent.
SCAN to 2D drawings: this service is not a BIM service: it is specific to the use of point cloud to facilitate and accelerate the creation of 2D drawings of buildings, industrial sites, etc. It is used by a growing number of architects, chartered surveyors, surveying and construction companies.
"Select the type of building"
This menu probably requires less explanation: you can simply select the type of building or asset of your project.
Each type has a specific level of difficulty. For example, modelling the façade of a Heritage Castle in LOD 300 or 400 will take more time than modelling the façade of an office tower in Canary Wharf, the Singapore CBD or Dubai. Also, the MEP systems of a residential development will be simpler and faster to model and coordinate than the one of a hospital.
We tried to be exhaustive in the list of buildings and assets. If you feel we are missing some key type of asset, please send an email with your suggestion(s) to [email protected]
"Enter the building gross floor area (in sqm)"
The Gross Floor Area (GFA) is the "total floor area inside the building envelope, including the external walls, and excluding the roof" (a definition from Wikipedia is available here).
Fill in the exact GFA or the best approximate value you have. The unit used is the square meter (sqm).
Should you require the Architecture (sometimes referred to as "the envelope") of the asset to be modelled, just drag the button Architecture to the right and select the requested Level of Development (LOD) explained below:
The reference and standards we use with respect to BIM Level of Development (LOD) is the one defined by the American Institute of Architects and its practical interpretation from the BIM Forum - the detailed LOD specification guide is available here.
To make your life easier, our team prepared the table of LOD, a one-page summary giving a snapshot and image of each LOD. Generally each LOD corresponds to a phase of the project:
LOD 100: concept
LOD 200: design development
LOD 300: documentation
LOD 350: defines proper cross trade coordination; includes interfaces, connections and coordination between disciplines
LOD 400: construction
LOD 500: facility management / operation
(Important: read the note when you mouse-over the button "MEP")
Should you require the MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) of the asset to be modelled and coordinated, just drag the button MEP to the right and select the requested LOD for each sub-discipline - we included the main ones: HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Smoke Extraction. If you need other sub-disciplines, that's fine, just send an email to [email protected] and give the additional sub-disciplines you wish and she'll get back to you.
(Important: read the note when you mouse-over the menu "Select the LOD for the Technical rooms (all disciplines)")
If your asset contains technical rooms and you want these special areas to be modelled too, please select the required LOD in the MEP last drop down menu: "Select the LOD for the Technical rooms (all disciplines)". Then enter the GFA in the the drop down menu that automatically appears below
(Important note: you will need to subtract the gross floor area of the technical rooms from the main GFA you entered above to prevent double counting.)
Should you require the Structure of the asset to be modelled, just drag the button Structure to the right and select the requested LOD.
(Important: read the note when you mouse-over the button "Import parameters")
Should you need parameters to be imported in the BIM model (e.g. from data sheets) for facility management or technical maintenance purposes, just drag the button Import parameters to the right and select "Yes".
Contact and project details
(Important: read the note when you mouse-over the field "Enter your phone number")
In this section, simply fill in your email address (to receive the quote), your first name (so it is not too intrusive and we can address you properly at the same time), your project name and your phone or mobile number.
Then, check the "I'm not a robot" box to confirm you are human :-)
Finally, after double-checking your entries, click the SUBMIT button and let our algorithm and team do the rest ... You will receive your quotation (+/- 15%) within the following 15 minutes!
For any questions, suggestions or feedback to improve this tool, please send an email to me [email protected]
We wish this app will make your life much easier!