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Investigating Model Data

Section 10 and 11 of the Assemble Getting Started Tutorial, combines a number of the features we have reviewed into an introductory workflow. Our customers use Assemble to gain quick insight into model quality, model quantities and model change. Just like reviewing 2D plans, you should have a plan for tackling the review of models whether for design management activities, preconstruction estimating, cost and budget management or data conditioning. Models will provide important insight into projects that you can’t extract from 2D plans. Assemble is particularly useful for reviewing model information quickly, doing QA/QC checks, and for understanding the project in greater detail.  Review the following videos, steps and follow up questions to help you set up your models for reviewing and analyzing model content. Review Section 11 Conditioning Your Data to learn how to organize, code and color the model information for quantity takeoff activities.

Step 1: Review the objects and properties of the model

The purpose of a cursory review of the objects is to understand the naming and structure of the model by the architect or engineer. Reviewing the naming conventions and the properties in the model will help you understand the different ways the model can be leveraged for estimating or preconstruction activities. The names of model objects can also give you a clear indication as to the level of development of the model and the model quality.

  1. Review the list of objects in the Model Tree and Inventory by category: family: type name
  2. Spot check the properties associated with the objects
    • Does the category, family and type name reflect what they actually are?
    • Are all of the objects named (no generic components)?
    • Are the names of the walls, doors and windows consistent with the plans?
    • Are sizes of objects noted in the name of objects such as walls, doors and windows?

Step 2: Check major systems and components

If you would like to understand more about the quantities in a model, it is important to understand if objects like floors and walls have been modeled by both the architect and structural engineer, therefore creating a redundancy in quantities.

Also review the following major system components to get a good understanding of the quantities.

  1. Exterior Enclosure:
    • How are the walls modeled? From level to level or full height of building?
    • Are different curtain wall systems evident in the object names and in appearance in the model?
    • Is the assembly of the wall enclosure noted in the name of the object?
  2. Interior Partitions:
    • Are there type marks or an indication of the wall type in the name of the wall objects?
    • Are the type marks used on the plans consistent with the type marks indicated in the wall objects?
    • Are the wall heights modeled according to the wall schedule in the drawings?
  3. Structural Concrete:
    • Are the profiles of beams consistent with the details?
    • Do the beams and columns overlap or do they go to the appropriate heights with correct connections?
    • Are there generic names/materials of floor slabs?
  4. Structural Steel:
    • Are the steel members all standard components or are there custom families?
    • If there are custom families, is the weight calculated correctly?

Step 3: Review the model level by level and by phase (if available)

To understand the quantities in a model, you need to review if the building systems and objects are modeled floor to floor or otherwise. This review will also give you an indication of the quality of the model.

After setting up views of the systems and assemblies you will use in your work, and you have done a review of the those systems, you are ready to condition the models with your information. Review Section 11 Conditioning Your Data to learn how to organize, code and color the model with information useful to your workflow.

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