Skip to main content

How MEP detailing software improves collaboration and minimizes rework

Discover the wide range of benefits of using MEP detailing software to produce construction-ready models.

Changes during a project's design and construction phases are inevitable, and they aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, changes early in the detailing process often produce better results by avoiding errors and resolving issues before they become serious problems.

But some changes can result in significant rework and costs. These often require significant time and resources to resolve and can diminish your project's profit.

For example, one type of costly change occurs when you have clashes that should have been detected much earlier—ideally before construction began. Another example is when your models lack the detail required for fabrication and construction. In this case, teams must interpret the low-detail model and often make modifications on the fly that aren’t clearly communicated, impacting the work of other teams and project stakeholders.

These are the types of changes that have the potential to derail schedules and budgets.

On a typical project, rework costs between 2 percent and 20 percent of a project’s contract amount.

Source: Construction Industry Institute (CII)

To minimize unwanted and costly changes, you can leverage MEP detailing software on top of your design platform, such as Revit or AutoCAD, to create construction-ready models. With the right MEP detailing software, it’s easier to identify potential clashes earlier and increase collaboration with project stakeholders, engineers, subcontractors, and others. Keep reading to learn more.

Detail with greater accuracy and efficiency

When working on your design platform, whether that’s Revit, AutoCAD, or any other, it’s important to easily find up-to-date, real-world components that you can build from. But the content libraries in most design platforms don’t include these components, which leaves you with a generic model that doesn’t have the level of detail needed to reliably plan the work.

Therefore, when choosing detailing software to work on top of your design platform, check to see if it includes a managed library of millions of manufacturer-specific components. With a managed content library, you’ll be able to find the best materials for your project in minutes; plus, you’ll have all the information needed to start the fabrication process. Because you’re able to design in more detail and with more confidence from the beginning, you can also take greater advantage of prefabrication and save on labor and wasted materials.

“We’re now prefabricating close to 90% of plumbing and mechanical pipe which has helped to reduce labor costs and cut material waste significantly.”

—Dan Cedeno, Project Manager and BIM/Database Manager, J.M. Brennan

Catch mistakes earlier—and reduce rework

Across the construction industry, rework remains a costly problem that costs billions of dollars each year. As an MEP detailer, you’ve likely experienced first-hand how catching mistakes early can help prevent or minimize rework and protect your bottom line. But your design platform alone often lacks the features to catch the most common types of mistakes.

By leveraging detailing software to create models with real-world, specification-driven content, your models become much more detailed and reflect an as-built intent. This makes it easier to detect and resolve clashes before the build begins.

When you can perform clash detection earlier and more effectively, for example, you identify and resolve problems before they impact fabrication and construction—and require costly rework that hurt your schedule and budget.

Streamline workflows and improve productivity

Detailed information can help you and your teams become more efficient and avoid any unnecessary extra work. And if you can use manufacturer-specific content early in the design phase to make the design more detailed and accurate from the get-go, you’ll significantly streamline your team’s workflows in any subsequent pre-construction and construction phases.

But with a standard design platform such as AutoCAD or Revit, it’s challenging to give your teammates the level of detail needed for them to efficiently plan and perform their portion of the project.

For this reason, you can boost your teams’ confidence and avoid low-value work and worry by leveraging manufacturer-specific content to perform earlier clash detection and orchestrate other efficient construction activities. Because when all stakeholders are confident about their work, productivity skyrockets and a host of improvements appear across the entire project.

Increase profitability

When your models have the level of detail needed to engender confidence and ensure efficient workflows, your profitability per project starts to improve as well. But without the right tools to increase the accuracy of your models, it’s easy to get stuck in the status quo.

Therefore, make sure your MEP detailing software increases accuracy and reduces rework, both of which will result in significant improvements to your per-project profitability. Your software should also streamline your prefabrication efforts, lowering labor costs and material waste. Companies are saving as much as 15% by using MEP detailing software to increase their use of prefabricated and modular construction, and that doesn’t include the 20-50% compression in schedules they’re achieving.

5 more reasons why detailing software gets the job done better

If you’re only using a design platform such as Revit or AutoCAD for your detailing work, you could be spending hours converting models for fabrication. This is time you could be spending to identify and resolve collisions, for example, before they make it to the field. When you extend your design platform with detailing software that includes manufacturer-specific content, your jobs flow more smoothly.

Here are five other reasons why detailing software can help you get the job done faster, more accurately, and more profitably:

  1. Continual coordination becomes much more natural as the model matures from design to fabrication
  2. Multiple project stakeholders can coordinate from a single shared model based on manufacturer-specified parametric data
  3. Enriched data ensures greater design accuracy, making it easier to identify and resolve clashes
  4. Managed content ensures you’re designing with current components that you know will fit as designed
  5. Data spooled to prefabrication is exported with real-world data specifications

Detailing software that works on top of your design platform has the capacity to transform models from conceptual to constructible through a combination of high-performance features. Easier than ever before, you’ll start creating construction-ready LOD 400 models, automatically updating spool sheets, and streamlining submittal management—all in one convenient and efficient workflow.

For a deeper dive into what you should look for in your MEP detailing software, click to access the eBook, “7 essential capabilities of MEP detailing software.