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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?
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?
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.