Tag Archive for 'building'

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Benefits of Including Wall Assembly Data with BIM Files

By Mike Murzyn, technical product and marketing manager, ClarkDietrich Building Systems

By now, most contractors and building professionals are familiar with Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the advantages it brings to managing the design and construction process. However, until recently, there’s been little information about incorporating interior framing into BIM models.

A primary advantage to BIM is its ability to bring together all of a building’s components into a singular, searchable database. This allows professionals involved with the design and construction, maintenance and operation of a building to easily make decisions, changes and reduce the time it takes to track down building information as the structure ages. A comprehensive BIM model shows nearly every detail about the construction of a building, including the interior wall system, plumbing, HVAC system, flooring, energy usage, manufacturers’ names and square footage. When changes are made and entered into the BIM software, the file can describe how those changes impact other components within the building. The ability to view the complete integration of all of a building’s components helps eliminate clashes, reduce change orders and keep the project within the assigned budget. Most often, BIM models have concentrated on the efficiency of a building and the lifecycle costs of building materials, without including information about the interior framing.

During the construction process, it is not uncommon for walls and ceilings contractors to be asked to remove or relocate partitions. Partition removal and relocation occur due to design changes by the owner or architect, or to accommodate unanticipated intrusions by other trades such as mechanical, electrical or plumbing. However, through the use of BIM and component-specific add-ons, building professionals can identify these clashes “virtually” and design the necessary changes before the contractor puts labor on the job.

With this in mind, ClarkDietrich Building Systems recently introduced BIM Wall Creator, a comprehensive BIM system tailored specifically for interior wall creation and steel framing. Wall Creator provides building professionals with detailed wall assembly data that includes product information, type of sheathing, overall wall width, UL codes, STC ratings, wall height design, LEED® information and product SubmittalPro/data sheet links. The program is a free add-on to AutoDesk® Revit®, and allows users to seamlessly integrate wall types into existing BIM models.

ClarkDietrich chose to develop a steel-framing specific BIM add-on as a way to help architects and contractors solve complex questions about the many variables associated with designing and installing wall assemblies. For example, it is not uncommon for change orders to be placed for wall assemblies that are in contradiction with a previously specified combination of limiting heights, fire and sound ratings.  These common mistakes easily add additional costs to the project. BIM Wall Creator was designed to help building professionals accurately specify products that meet the STC sound ratings, UL fire ratings and LEED guidelines needed for their project, while still meeting the limiting height requirements.

When including ClarkDietrich BIM Wall Creator into a BIM model, users will be asked common questions such as:

  1. What type of wall is being built? (According to height, STC and UL rating, etc.)
  2. How wide is the wall?
  3. Is insulation or resilient channel required?
  4. What type and how many layers of wall sheathing is needed?

Once answered, the request processes through the program’s three combined systems, which include limiting height tables, UL and STC systems. When a wall type is created, it displays the actual materials and assembly needed for correct installation. Each time the profile is changed, all the corresponding parts will update as well. This amount of detail allows architects or contractors to see exactly how the wall needs to be constructed.

The advantages of including a wall creator addition to a BIM model, are that it can eliminate individual, temporary libraries of different wall types and can quickly adjust to changes. Building professionals no longer need to keep a separate file of wall assemblies that need to be updated piece-by-piece when changes happen. BIM Wall Creator encompasses all the materials and information needed to develop well constructed and effective wall solutions.

By including such a large amount of detail within the BIM model, building professionals can save a significant amount of time locating and identifying systems to meet the requirements of the change order, even before a project is fully underway. For example, framing contractors using the ClarkDietrich BIM Wall Creator can meet with architects to visually discuss the goals of the project, and confirm that what is on the screen aligns with the architect’s vision. This ability to have open, productive conversations where changes can take place in real time, helps the building industry as a whole streamline communication and ease the building process.

BIM models help construction professionals, facility managers and building owners evaluate a building’s envelope, and with the addition of a wall-framing option, users can construct a more complete picture of the building’s overall efficiency and lifecycle.

ClarkDietrich(TM) Introduces Detailed Interior Wall Creation, Steel Framing BIM System

ClarkDietrich’s BIM Wall Creator(TM)Offers Robust Database to Enhance Collaboration and Create Information-Rich Wall Types

ClarkDietrich(TM) Building Systems recently introduced the construction industry’s most comprehensive Building Information Modeling (BIM) system tailored specifically for interior wall creation and steel framing. ClarkDietrich BIM Wall Creator(TM) develops information-rich wall types, with specific details on UL, STC and limiting heights. Professionals using AutoDesk(R) Revit(R) can add the new ClarkDietrich BIM Wall Creator by visiting www.clarkdietrich.com/BIM and downloading the free add-on software.

“The ClarkDietrich BIM Wall Creator is the first design tool that intelligently incorporates detailed information on wall elements and design properties, such as UL assemblies based on fire rating requirements, STC sound ratings and limiting height design,” said Mike Murzyn, Technical Product and Marketing Manager, ClarkDietrich. “This type of interactive platform, in which details have been linked together, is truly unparalleled and gives architects and contractors everything needed to successfully design even the most challenging wall assemblies.”

The system’s intuitive design and integrated data on wall assemblies allows users to seamlessly search and update entire wall designs based on specific input parameters. The wall type is   created to reflect the proper assembly of materials necessary for wall construction, including: manufacturer and product information, types of sheathing, overall wall width, UL and STC data, wall height design, LEED(R) information and product SubmittalPro/data sheet links.

“ClarkDietrich recognized a need among architects and contractors for BIM systems to include more detail on wall assemblies, in order to automate and streamline the building process. The BIM Wall Creator opens the door for architects to pass models onto contractors with the assurance all materials will work together within the overall building design,” said Robert Warr, PE, Director of ClarkDietrich Engineering Services.

In addition to the new BIM system offering, ClarkDietrich Engineering Services (CDES) helps support building projects with customized services for detailed wall framing profiles.

“Over the past few months, our engineering team has developed more than one million square feet of BIM coordinated models for our clients,” added Warr. “Our team can create a full engineering package that includes calculations and shop drawings directly from the BIM model in order to complete required documentation and design. We offer the industry’s most knowledgeable, trusted team of experts to support BIM questions and projects.”

CDES offers BIM coordination and engineering design services for cold-formed steel framing to architects, general contractors and subcontractors. BIM coordination includes assisting with clash avoidance, collaborating with other trades, creating 3D visuals for cold-formed steel framing, providing detailed documentation/shop drawings that include wall elevations, sections and plan views, and other customized BIM services. To contact CDES, email BIMinfo@clarkdietrich.com.

This article appeared in the national section of the Associated Construction Magazines June 2012 issues

ABC Reports: Construction Materials Prices Increase 0.4 Percent In January

“Because oil prices have been edging higher in recent weeks, overall construction materials prices are trending up as well.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Increased turmoil in the Middle East may be having an effect on U.S. construction materials prices. According to the U.S. Labor Department’s Feb. 16 producer price index (PPI), materials prices increased 0.4 percent in January and are 5.4 percent higher than one year ago. Nonresidential construction materials prices were up 0.4 percent for the month and are 4.8 percent higher compared to the same time last year.

Iron and steel prices also increased 1.8 percent in January, and are 7 percent higher than January 2011. Steel mill prices increased 1.3 percent for the month and have increased 9.4 percent during the past twelve months. Prices for plumbing fixtures and fittings increased 0.5 percent compared to December and rose 3.1 percent since last January. Prices for concrete products inched up 0.2 percent for the month and are 1.5 percent higher than one year ago.

In contrast, prices for prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding fell 2.9 percent for the month and are down 1 percent year over year. Nonferrous wire and cable prices dipped 2.5 percent in January and have decreased 5.6 percent during the past twelve months. Prices for fabricated structural metal products decreased 0.8 percent for the month but are still 3.4 percent higher than one year ago. Softwood lumber prices slipped 0.6 percent in January and are 3.2 percent lower compared to the same time last year.

Crude energy prices increased 1.6 percent for the month as crude petroleum prices jumped 5.7 percent. Year over year, crude energy prices are up 2.1 percent.

Overall, the nation’s wholesale prices increased 0.1 percent for the month and are 4.1 percent higher than January 2011.


“Increased tensions between Iran and Israel, along with tensions in other Middle Eastern countries, are having an impact on the U.S. nonresidential construction industry,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Because oil prices have been edging higher in recent weeks, overall construction materials prices are trending up as well.

“If a geopolitical event occurs, oil prices would likely skyrocket, resulting in a meaningful slowdown in the pace of construction,” Basu said.

“Petroleum was not the only construction input to experience a price increase,” Basu said. “Iron and steel prices were up 1.8 percent and steel mill prices were up 1.3 percent. These increases likely are associated with a recent decline in the value of the U.S. dollar.

“With global economic activity continuing to soften largely due to the recessionary conditions plaguing much of Europe, there is no assurance that input prices will continue to rise,” said Basu. “Much will depend on a successful conclusion to the Iranian nuclear standoff, which appears to be impacting materials prices more than the level of industry activity.

“Construction industry activity across the nation has been edging higher, as accurately predicted by ABC’s Construction Backlog Indicator,” Basu said. “Still, the gradual recovery in overall nonresidential construction spending volumes may hinge on whether construction materials prices remain relatively stable in the coming months.”

ASCE President Herrmann Testifies Before Joint Economic Committee

ASCE President Andrew Herrmann, P.E., F.ASCE, testified this week before the Joint Economic Committee about the impact of infrastructure on the manufacturing sector. The joint Congressional committee, made up of members of both Houses of Congress, called for the hearing to assess the potential positive impact of infrastructure investment on job creation and economic growth. Other witnesses on the panel included Dr. Veronique de Rugy from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Chris Edwards from the Cato Institute, and Robert Puentes from the Brookings Institution.

Herrmann outlined the correlation between the nation’s economic competitiveness and the necessity for a strong infrastructure network. Quoting data from ASCE’s recent economic study assessing the impacts of surface transportation investment trends on long term economic growth, Herrmann called for the committee to recommend passage of job creating infrastructure legislation like a surface transportation reauthorization bill and the reauthorization of FAA programs.

According to ASCE’s 

, Failure to Act economic study, deteriorating surface transportation programs will cost the American economy more than 876,000 jobs and suppress the nation’s GDP by $897 billion by 2020 if we simply maintain current surface transportation investment levels. Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), thanked Mr. Herrmann for his compelling testimony and agreed that the time for investment in infrastructure is now. 

To view the hearing or read testimony of the witnesses, please visit the Joint Economic Committee website.

National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Meeting

As a member of the building community, no doubt you are facing challenges in keeping up with the newest technologies and developments in achieving energy-efficient, sustainable and high-performing buildings. 

The 2011 National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Meeting is a great place to find out about the latest trends. The Institute is involved in many new and exciting activities to develop innovative solutions for our industry and improve the built environment. We’re showcasing our work and sharing advancements during our Annual Meeting, December 5-9, 2011, in Washington, D.C. and you’re invited to join us for a first-hand look.

This year, we will again hold our Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Ecobuild America Conference. As a sponsor of Ecobuild America, the Institute is happy to offer its members a 20% discount on registration. (Just enter the discount code “NIBS11” when registering.) Save time and money by taking advantage of the wealth of information and resources available to you at this combined event. Together, the Institute’s Annual Meeting and Ecobuild America offer you a great opportunity to learn and share in the latest sustainable practices, high-performance technologies and building information modeling (BIM) tools.

The Annual Meeting brings together all of the Institute’s councils and committees, including its Board of Directors, to present our progress on a variety of projects and discuss goals and objectives for the coming year. This year’s assemblies include the Coordinating Council, Consultative Council, Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council, Building Enclosure Councils, Building Seismic Safety Council, buildingSMART alliance, High Performance Building Council, Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee, Multihazard Mitigation Council, Whole Building Design Guide Board and Advisory Committee, and two new groups, the Council on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, and the National Council of Governments on Building Codes and Standards. As a member, it’s your chance to see the Institute in action and connect face-to-face with our industry’s experts.

Come take part in these meetings and stay to take advantage of the many learning opportunities during this weeklong event. You won’t want to miss:

• The buildingSMART alliance Conference – Learn all about BIM, Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs) and information technology (IT) for design and construction during the buildingSMART alliance Conference. The buildingSMART alliance is the developer of the National Building Information Modeling Standard-United StatesTM.

• FEDCon® 11 – Find out about the federal agencies’ construction plans and budgets for the coming year directly from the decision makers as they share the inside scoop on expected 2012 activities.

• The Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC) Symposium – Catch up on this year’s topic, “High Performance Light Framed Walls: Types, Code Requirements, Durability Concerns and Field Experiences.” This daylong symposium will address some of the benefits and challenges associated with this technology.

• Information Exchanges – Witness a number of technology demonstrations presented during the week including the Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) CMMS/CAFM Challenge; Life Cycle Model (LCie), Quantity Takeoff information exchange (QTie), and Specifiers’ Properties information exchange (SPie).

• Educational Sessions, Exhibits and More – Choose from dozens of Ecobuild educational sessions. Plus you won’t want to miss visiting the exhibit floor, where you’ll see the AEC Interoperability Center displaying real-world examples of BIM and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) systems; BIMStorm DC, sponsored by Onuma; Sustainable and Smart Theaters; plus hundreds of exhibitors displaying the latest in products and services.

To find out more about the Institute’s Annual Meeting, including how to take advantage of the member discount offer, as well as to learn about co-located events and Ecobuild America sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, visit www.nibs.org/newsevents/events/2011AnnualMeeting.

ABC: Private Nonresidential Construction Spending Continues To Climb In March

“The expectation is that privately financed construction volumes will continue to rebound gradually into the summer.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Spending on private nonresidential construction increased 1.8 percent in March according to the May 2 report by the U.S. Census Bureau. While private nonresidential construction spending has been increasing for the past three months, it is still 10.2 percent lower from March 2010. Total nonresidential construction spending – which includes both privately and publicly financed construction – was $531.1 billion on a seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, up 0.9 percent from the previous month, but 6.1 percent lower than the same time last year.

(See Analysis below)

Ten of the sixteen nonresidential construction subsectors posted increases for the month including lodging, up 6.1 percent; manufacturing, 5.2 percent higher; health care, up 2.4 percent; power, up 1.8 percent; and office construction, 1.7 percent higher. Only four subsectors registered increases in spending compared to the same time last year with conservation and development 10.5 percent higher; highway and street up 4.9 percent; communication 4.7 percent higher; and power construction up 3.9 percent.

Of the six nonresidential construction subsectors posting decreases for the month, conservation and development was down 6 percent; communication was 2.5 percent lower; and water supply was down 1.9 percent. While posting significant increases for the month, several subsectors are lower compared to March 2010. They include lodging, down 31 percent; and manufacturing, down 28 percent. Other subsectors with decreases of more than 10 percent include religious, down 20.1 percent; public safety, down 17.6 percent; and office construction, down 13.7 percent.

Public nonresidential construction inched up 0.2 percent for the month, but was down 2.3 percent year-over-year. Residential construction spending increased 2.4 percent in March but is down 8 percent from the same time last year. Overall, total construction spending – which includes nonresidential and residential construction – grew 1.4 percent in March, but is 6.7 percent lower compared to the same time last year.


“The transition from publicly financed activities to privately financed ones continues,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “In contrast to the trends of the past year, construction related to lodging, office and manufacturing was up in March, an indication that the economic recovery that began in mid-2009 is finally beginning to influence the nation’s nonresidential construction sector.

“Of course, skeptics are likely to point out that observed improvement in construction volumes between February and March may largely be a reflection of seasonal factors rather than economic ones,” said Basu. “It is true that February’s harsh winter conditions in much of the nation were not conducive to ongoing construction and that at least part of the monthly recovery is related purely to the weather.

“However, despite the recent uptick in privately financed construction, publicly financed construction continues to remain strong. One year ago, publicly financed construction represented 51.4 percent of total nonresidential construction spending. In March 2011, that proportion stood at 53.4 percent, slightly down from February’s corresponding statistic of 53.9 percent,” Basu said.

“It’s important to note that after recent declines in healthcare-related construction spending, healthcare construction was up in March and power-related construction expanded for two consecutive months. The expectation is that privately financed construction volumes will continue to rebound gradually into the summer even as certain publicly financed construction segments, such as public safety and education, will experience diminished spending,” said Basu.