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RE: Revit Structural and BIM

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I will have to disagree with you on this, Bob.

Engineering responsibility does not end with preparing a computer model which sizes the members.  We are, and should be, responsible for the drawing from which the contractor will construct from.  The details and the constructability of the drawings are at least as important as the member sizes. The fabricator and the contractor are not trained to know the full design intent of our work and are therefore not qualified to make the details unchecked.  This has to be done by the responsible engineer and I believe it has to be done by hand on a piece of paper and not on a computer screen.

 All those people who died in the Kansas City Hyatt did not die because of an undersized beam; it was because of the detail of the hanger rod into the double channels. This detail was bad to begin with and then made worse by the change that the fabricator suggested and which was approved verbally by the engineer.  It was the engineers who lost their licenses, permanently, and not the fabricator’s detailer.

I spend a good percentage of my time examining problems in the field that have their cause in either poor or incomplete drawings or their misinterpretation by the contractor.  Some engineers feel that they are not at fault because of the way their contract reads, but the amount of money coughed up by our insurers to satisfy litigation over construction problems is evidence that something is wrong here..

Richard Hess, S.E.


-----Original Message-----
From: Garner, Robert [mailto:rgarner(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 1:13 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Revit Structural and BIM


As I understand it (and I'm open to correction), a structural engineer will prepare his structural analysis model on a B.I.M. system.  Then, when the structural analysis is complete and all the beams sized, he will send this to the fabricator or contractor, who will put together the detail drawings based on the B.I.M.  The engineer does not have to go though the laborious process of drawing preparation.  The engineer thus avoids the problems with incomplete or incorrect drawings and can concentrate on engineering.  Responsibility for drawing production goes to the fabricator or contractor.  Or does the B.I.M. go straight to the machines that process the beams, etc. so that absolutely no drawings are required?


I like the concept.  Any fabricators or contractors out there who see any pitfalls?


Bob Garner, S.E.


From: Jeremy White [mailto:jwhite(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2006 10:22 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Revit Structural and BIM


Is anyone on this list using Revit Structural?  I’ve read through a bunch of their info, went to 2 seminars, and played around with it a little.  I think it’s a pretty great tool.  I was wondering if anyone else had an opinion on Revit or any other B.I.M. technology.  B.I.M. is a topic that I am very intrigued by which is why I venture to ask.  Any other B.I.M. aficionados out there?

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