Solibri Office for contractors

Rules-based model checking

Every stage – Every detail – Everywhere


Join Roger Feste, Senior Consultant at Symetri Europe, as he delves into how Solibri Office revolutionises model checking and collaboration, paving the way for seamless project management.

Rules-based model checking

The digitisation dilemma

Contractors working in construction often find their feelings about digitisation -- and the efficient practices that arise from technology in general -- fluctuating between delight, and frustration.

On the ‘delight’ side is the recognition of how much value, and real transformation, technology has brought to the industry. Plenty of professionals today recall struggling around sites with massive 2D drawings flapping in the wind, or clutching reams of pdfs, trying to extract critical details from manual mark-ups…getting back to the site office to call architects, surveyors, or building services providers to query what exactly they meant with the current site plan…only to discover it’s not the current plan.

Everything used to take so long, and be so often seemingly ad hoc, reactive rather than proactive and, as a result, could place an unanticipated strain on the budget.

All that has gone now; with mobile technologies, tablets, real-time collaboration and computer-generated 4D (and more) models. Things are more visible, intentions more tangible, problems and risks more predictable. Or, at least, they should be. But that’s where the frustration comes in.

Model behaviour

Models generated with one software application often require another application when federation with other models is needed. Sometimes only hard clashes have been identified, given the need to share the master model quickly among project participants for their own purposes. There are even instances (not entirely uncommon) of various project members believing they originated the master model only to find another one in existence.

There are, of course, situations where early-stage clash detection is sufficient for site purposes. There are also situations where it’s not; these are when having a general idea of the bigger structures and the initial remediations necessary to eliminate the identified clashes serves only to kick problems further down the road – deeper into the project.

Who wouldn’t be frustrated when this happens? Who wouldn’t yearn, just a little, for those ‘good old days’ before technology made it all so complicated? The antidote for these bouts of frustration is to identify technology that doesn’t make it complicated or, rather, makes it all so simple. The answer is Solibri. And here’s why…


The Solibri Office advantage

Solibri Office is one of three core solutions in the Solibri portfolio which includes Solibri Anywhere (free viewing software), Solibri SITE (for Information Take Off, Classification and visualising data) and Solibri Office (primarily used by BIM Coordinators for model checking and collaboration, enabling construction quality assurance and control).

With Solibri Office you can eradicate that risk of kicking problems further down the road by minimising errors in advance. Using the free viewing software (Anywhere) means you have the agility when on site to compare the model with the real situation, and then to communicate concerns directly with the design team.

You can assign any feelings of frustration to the past since this real-time collaboration means that what needs to get done, can get done when it arises; no hold-ups and far greater alignment between budget and build. This is because you’ll have far greater involvement with the design team; more interaction in a timelier way.


Rules-based model checking

The headline feature of Solibri Office, the essence of its ‘delight factor’, is the exquisite level of detail it makes possible when checking a model. It gives you the ability to set up your own rules, to view IFC files to see all the geometry in the model as you want to see it; of greatest value when it comes to clash detection.

No other software in the market today compares to this
since the general approach to model checking is just that – it’s general.

Most other solutions on the market enable you to check geometry and materials and detect hard clashes but cannot go into any more detail than that. You cannot set up your own rules as detailed. In other words, you can’t leverage the software for any degree of personalisation to make it address your own specific needs. Furthermore, with each fresh project, the same process has to start all over again; no cumulative benefit and no retaining rules for future projects.


Other areas of contractor empowerment with Solibri Office include:


Clarity of data through Visualisation (Classifications)

You can report any data you need and isolate and visualise/colour-code the salient categories, components or required information. This can be done on-site, extracting the information directly from the model. You’ll have complete freedom to define take-offs. For greater clarity, you can also tag, label and structure the models to deliver the view and the information you need. That might be for quality checks or for more meaningful dialogue with the design team.

Model Checking: Avoid surprises with detailed Clash Detection

Given that you can set up your own rules, you will be able to run at clashes with a vengeance and with confidence that you’re smoothing the way for greater on-site efficiencies. You can be very specific about the classifications that are important to you. For example, checking distances between walls, highlighting fire ratings, identifying load-bearing walls, piping and so on (they can all be colour-coded).

Save money with the MMI

By looking at the Model Maturity Index (MMI) in Solibri you can check the model progress from the sketching stage and early clash detections through to ready for construction (as built). You can do this in sections, floor-by-floor, to ascertain the stages as they evolve. In other words, you can be prepared for every eventuality at every stage and see problems coming before they materialise just a little too late.

Work as one team

When the model is published at the early project stage it will be very much a work-in-progress. With Solibri Office you can make sure that progress is real, pragmatic, timely. That first model will evolve and the information, the data, will grow. At every stage you will be able to communicate directly and more meaningfully with the design office solving problems faster and earlier and saving all that wasted money that might otherwise have to be channelled into re-work.

And, all the time, you’ll be laying foundations for projects yet to come.  The rules you set up for one project can be used as the basis for the next, no need for re-creation. The same for Information takeoff’s and classifications. No place for frustration.


Get to know Solibri Office

You might wish to take a look at our video on Solibri to find out more, or get in touch.  Once you decide to make this step-change to the value and on-site efficiencies you derive from models, we also offer training in how to use the free Anywhere viewer software (a one-hour session), Solibri Site (three hours) and Solibri Office (a one-day course).