Technology in Architectural Practice

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The AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community (TAP) serves as a resource for AIA members, the profession, and the public in the deployment of computer technology in the practice of architecture. TAP leaders monitor the development of computer technology and its impact on architecture practice and the entire building life cycle, including design, construction, facility management, and retirement or reuse.


  • 1.  BIM Change Orders

    Posted 6 days ago

    My office recently received a change order on a project that had contractor BIM costs associated with it. The contractor BIM costs were more than the cost of the work in the change order. Does anyone have experience with a similar situation? How did you resolve it?

    Gregory Swanson AIA
    State of Illinois
    Springfield IL
    2023 RUDC Symposium

  • 2.  RE: BIM Change Orders

    Posted 5 days ago

    I assume this is a Design-Bid-Build project delivery, and you have no contractual relationship with the contractor? Was there a BIM deliverable stipulated in your contract with the owner? What does that language say? Were there any standards or benchmarks you were required to meet? Here, we suffer from a lack of mutual understanding of what it means to deliver BIM. Most contracts I see have only vague references to BIM with no specifics; I suspect this is purely to avoid the fight when the contractor inevitably asks for it. The next place I'd look is the Owner-Contractor agreement. Did the owner commit to BIM for the contractor without coordinating that in your Owner-Architect contract? 

    Daniel Audette AIA
    GWWO Architects
    Baltimore MD

    2023 RUDC Symposium

  • 3.  RE: BIM Change Orders

    Posted 4 days ago
    I have not seen that before. If the owner has separate contracts with the design team and contractor (not a design-build contract), I would start by asking the client if their contract with the contractor provides for these types of charges on change orders. It's not a standard process yet, so I would not want to authorize payment for it unless there are provisions for it in the owner-contractor contract. If that were the case, I'd reiterate to the client the amount of exposure this could potentially be. This would not be a good precedent and could lead to runaway costs on projects.

    2023 RUDC Symposium

  • 4.  RE: BIM Change Orders

    Posted 2 days ago

    If the Owner asked the contractor (or agreed to his request) to have a BIM model built in order to coordinate the work of the subs, this effort has a cost/  When the underlying systems are changes (e.g. the Mechanical Engineer adds a large ductwork), the 3D model has to be adjusted.  This adjustment has a cost as well, and it seems to me that it would be fair that it is part of the Change Order, just as is the time of the superintendent or project manager for the GC/CM.  How large that cost should be is a different story.  You should perhaps start by getting a breakdown of the hours the BIM team took to modify the model, and what rates they used, and compare them with what your Mechanical Engineer spent in making the original change to begin with.  Bear in mind that the contractor's model is usually at a higher degree of precision (i.e. LOD) that the one created by the Engineer.   

    Gustavo Lima AIA
    Gustavo A. Lima Architecture, PC
    Williamsville NY

    2023 RUDC Symposium