Maximizing AEC Design Efficiency with ClashMEP

Clash detection just got a whole lot easier, thanks to ClashMEP.

As every architect knows, designing buildings is part art, part science. And while the “artistic” side of the equation is necessarily a human endeavour, I’d argue that there’s far too much riding on the “scientific” side for it to be left to humans alone. Since the inner workings of even the simplest buildings are quite complex, structurally coherent design requires a sophisticated approach to detecting clashes between the building’s features.

Until recently, managing these behind-the-scenes considerations was challenging and highly inefficient. Luckily, new solutions are emerging that are making the clash detection a more seamless, intuitive, and collaborative process than ever before.

An Inefficient Status Quo

Many firms use review software like Navisworks to identify potential clashes in project designs. Relying on these kinds of platforms isn’t inherently problematic — objectively speaking, Navisworks is an incredibly effective tool. The issue is that many of the existing solutions are siloed, meaning that design and review processes are executed independently, which in turn can introduce a great deal of inefficiency into a firm’s operations.

In most cases, architects must craft their designs with building information modeling (BIM) software like Revit, export the Revit design file to nwc, check for design clashes in Navisworks, and then make the adjustments back in Revit. Needless to say, shuffling files back and forth between Revit and Navisworks not only slows down the design process, but also increases the likelihood of design version mix-ups and other mistakes that might derail the firm’s workflow.

The Power of ClashMEP

BuildingSP’s latest Revit add-on, ClashMEP, is a game-changer when it comes to boosting design efficiency. Building upon the advanced algorithms underlying BuildingSP’s GenMEP autorouting add-on, ClashMEP offers real-time clash detection directly within Revit.

Architects and engineers can upload their models into the ClashMEP dataspace, enabling them to make modifications — and detect possible clashes — without having to hop back and forth between platforms. As soon as they make an adjustment, ClashMEP checks the modification against existing features to ensure it doesn’t create potential design conflicts.

Not only does ClashMEP look for clashes among Revit objects, it also surveys IFC files, point cloud scans, and any other files linked to a Revit project to check for clashes anywhere in the design. In effect, ClashMEP functions as a design “spell check,” alerting all parties to potential problems as soon as they emerge.

What Forward-Thinking Design Looks Like

Beyond simply centralizing design and clash detection processes into a single environment, ClashMEP has a number of other beneficial functions and features that help us boost project efficiency and collaboration.

For example, it allows for clashes to be detected in all scopes across the model, including MEPF, architecture, and structure. Also, clashes can be detected within linked files, which significantly reduces the overall Revit file size by removing the need to import new files over and over again.

Another key benefit of ClashMEP is that it automates busywork, resulting in a streamlined design process. Just as clashes are opened as issues when they’re detected, ClashMEP will automatically flag them as “resolved” once they’re addressed. Conversely, Navisworks requires designers to close issues manually, which results in added time and lag.

However, the enhanced collaboration is arguably the most impactful benefit. The tool enables multiple design teams to better coordinate their efforts, even when they’re working remotely. Especially with large projects, the design process might involve dozens of stakeholders, each with their own priorities. ClashMEP consolidates formerly disjointed workflows into a single, streamlined design/review workflow.

At the end of the day, the fundamentals of Revit haven’t changed; however, with ClashMEP, architects and engineers can now easily identify and resolve design conflicts in order to increase project efficiency and reduce downstream rework.

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