BIM Basics: 3D BIM Modeling with the End User in Mind
Updated: May 20, 2022
When a project comes to us from one of our clients, the first question that we ask is, “Who is the end-user?”
There are many other questions to ask such as the LOA or the LOD that are important in BIM production, however, none offer more clarity on the project than understanding who the end-user is. In the rest of this post, I hope to shed some light on the importance of knowing and making decisions based on the end-user!
The End User Isn’t Always Obvious
If you are an architect or a laser scanning provider there is a good chance that you already know the end-user; they're most likely your client. They could be the person who contacted you, but also, it could be someone else such as a property manager, operations manager, or construction crew. However, as a BIM services provider, our clients at Factory Reality are architects and laser scanning firms themselves. This means, that us knowing who the end-user is, isn’t always given and why it is crucial for us as your outsourcing partner to ask this question. It is of utmost importance for our team to know this right off the bat.
The End User Helps Determine the Purpose of the Project
Even if you have an idea of who the end-user is, you might not know the purpose of the project. For example, we could get an email saying a client needs a point cloud of a residential home converted into a BIM model. The client says they need it modeled at LOD 300. Even though this is seemingly enough information to start modeling, by asking for the end user’s desired outcomes for a model we can make judgment calls on where to most effectively spend the time and effort. Maybe the homeowner is the end-user and they want to do a complete remodel of the home. They are going to have an architect use the model to completely redesign the interior. If this is the case, our team may not need to model the light fixtures at a LOD 300 because they are going to be removed. Or if the homeowner isn’t going to be changing anything in the basement, then maybe there is no need to model the piping or HVAC systems in great detail or at all.
Knowing the End User Allows for Better Decision Making
At the end of the day, these decisions can only be made by knowing the purpose of a project. One of the things that we pride ourselves on at Factory Reality is our excellence in communication. This is not only to avoid surprises from us but also so that we are delivering a model that meets our client's needs. Part of this communication is making sure we aren’t spending time on and charging for more detailed work than our clients need. By knowing who the end-user is at the very beginning, we can look at the project through the lens of this individual and create a deliverable that will add value. Ultimately we also know that our team is focused on serving the end-user (your client) well, which will help your firm look great in the process.