BIM 360 Design Collaboration Explained


An overview of the importance of collaboration in AEC design

When BIM came to the AEC market, the intent was to prioritize intelligent orientation and information sharing during the design process. Collaboration and communication are key features of BIM and critical for the success of any AEC project.

And that is why, with BIM advancements, we do have considerable software options for project collaboration for your AEC needs. One such option is BIM 360, or now Collaborate Pro. It is a tool that is particularly being developed for a more collaborative BIM approach.

Design team collaboration is totally changed by Autodesk’s BIM 360 Design, which offers a safe cloud platform for project management. Teams may easily discuss and exchange design changes with one other because to its extensive tool suite, which improves cooperation between various companies and disciplines.

Because of the platform’s cloud-based architecture, project data and files can be accessed centrally, streamlining workflows and enabling real-time collaboration.

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Further, BIM 360 Design streamlines approval procedures and deadline monitoring, enabling users to maximize productivity, minimize rework, and speed project delivery.

What is BIM 360 design?

BIM 360 is an Autodesk cloud-based solution that makes it possible for project teams to collaborate in a productive setting. It links all project stakeholders in the AEC sector to carry out projects from conceptual design through construction and, finally, project handover. 

This tool speeds up project delivery and is Autodesk’s cloud worksharing, collaboration, and data management suite. Teams may work together in Revit at any time, from any location, with the internal team or outside companies, thanks to BIM 360 Design. 

  • Design Collaboration 
  • Document Management 
  • Field Management 
  • Project Management 
  • Insight 

Benefits of BIM 360 Design

By unlocking the full potential of construction collaboration, BIM 360 Design offers a host of benefits that revolutionize project management and efficiency. From seamless file accessibility to real-time collaboration, teams experience heightened productivity and reduced costs.

The following are the benefits associated with using BIM 360 –  

  • It’s easier to find the latest project files, and there are fewer project mistakes.
  • Productivity rises and expenses fall when teams can work together digitally in real-time and with synced data from any place.  
  • The amount of data that may be saved for less money is unlimited since IT workers are not needed to connect and manage project access.  Real-time access to the most current files reduces coordination time and frees up design time.
    Any file-related inquiries may be sent to a single location.
  • Markups may be swiftly created and shared between offices or teams. 

Key Features of BIM 360
Key features of BIM 360 collaboration
Source: Autodesk

Numerous potent features provided by BIM 360 facilitate construction management procedures and improve teamwork among project teams. Among these are: 

Real-time Collaboration 

Project teams can work together in real time, no matter where they are, thanks to BIM 360. Team members may access and work on the most recent project information using this feature, which cuts down on delays and enhances decision-making.

Cloud-based Document Management 

Document control becomes simple with BIM 360. A unified platform for storing, managing, and limiting access to project documentation, drawings, specifications, and other information is offered by the program. This reduces mistakes and misunderstandings by guaranteeing that everyone has access to the appropriate information at the appropriate moment. 

Model Coordination 

BIM 360’s model coordination feature simplifies the process of coordinating design models from different disciplines. It provides clash detection capabilities, allowing teams to identify and resolve conflicts early in the project, reducing costly rework, and ensuring constructability. 

Issue Tracking  

Teams may generate and assign issues from within BIM 360, which makes issue tracking more efficient. This feature helps streamline communication and ensures that issues are addressed promptly, minimizing delays and avoiding potential risks. 

Field Data Management 

Teams in the field may record and manage site data in real time with BIM 360’s field management module. It offers resources for progress monitoring, safety observations, quality inspections, and site documentation. With mobile devices, field crews can quickly access and update data, doing away with the requirement for human data entry and lowering the possibility of mistakes. 

Powerful Analytics

BIM 360 provides strong reporting and analytics

The Insight module of BIM 360 provides strong reporting and analytics features. It gives project stakeholders insightful information about how the project is doing, empowering them to make decisions based on facts and pinpoint areas in need of development.

With the help of the dashboards, charts, and visualizations this module offers for evaluating project data, teams can monitor progress, spot patterns, and reduce risks. 

Integration with Other Software Tools 

BIM 360 easily interfaces with various software programs that are often utilized in the building sector.

Due to its interoperability, there is no need to duplicate or reenter data because it enables seamless data flow between various systems. Integration with programs like AutoCAD, Navisworks, and Autodesk Revit improves teamwork and streamlines processes. 

Modules of BIM 360 Design

Four Modules of BIM 360 Design

There are four major options for BIM 360 to consider while you utilize the software for collaboration purposes on your AEC projects: 

BIM 360 Docs

BIM 360 Document Management

BIM 360 Docs provides offline sync, design reviews, contract document management, controlled information publication, and document control.

As the primary data repository for all AEC projects, the Document Management module centralizes and manages project information. Three high-end process management tools are also included in the platform.

BIM 360 Design

BIM 360 design collaboration

source: autodesk

With the help of BIM 360 Design, multidisciplinary teams may manage worksharing, keep track of deliverable packages, and visually represent modifications made to each other.

It offers controlled access to project documentation, plans, and models, as well as real-time co-authoring of Revit models and control over the sharing of design deliverables.

BIM 360 Glue

Autodesk BIM 360 Glue cloud-based BIM management

With BIM 360 Glue, trade coordination is enhanced, model coordination is streamlined, and duties like clash detection are automated.

A single data repository for all project plans, documentation, and models is also provided, allowing for real-time insights to be used to guide projects as they move into preconstruction. 

BIM 360 Build

BIM 360 Build Construction Field Management

Sources: Autodesk

The field management tool BIM 360 improves safety program compliance, quality control, and the handling of problems, RFIs, and submittals.

It offers regulated access to all project materials, plans, and models, as well as regulated workflow procedures across teams. RFIs and submission protocols are also included in the system for consolidating project data. 

  • BIM 360 Team,
  • BIM 360 Layout,
  • BIM 360 Plan, and
  • BIM 360 Ops are further offerings of the BIM 360 Suite. 

BIM 360 Design is a powerful tool for construction collaboration, allowing teams to work on design projects collaboratively in a cloud-based environment

Step-by-step guide on how to use BIM 360 Design for construction collaboration

We’ll go over how to use BIM 360 Design for construction collaboration in detail in this step-by-step tutorial, covering everything from organizing teams and projects to handling design packages and maintaining version control.

Construction professionals may fully utilize BIM 360 Design by adhering to these recommendations, which will improve communication, guarantee data integrity, and ultimately lead to project success. 

Setting Up a BIM 360 Project and Team for Design Collaboration

BIM 360 Project and Team for Design Collaboration

  • Log in to your Autodesk account and navigate to BIM 360. 
  • Create a new project and select “Design Collaboration” as the project type. 
  • Invite team members to join the project, assigning appropriate roles and permissions based on their responsibilities. 
  • Set up project folders and establish a folder structure that aligns with the project’s needs. 

Supported File Formats for Design Models 

  • BIM 360 Design supports a variety of file formats commonly used in design and construction, including Autodesk Revit (RVT), AutoCAD (DWG), and others. 
  • Ensure that all team members are using compatible software versions to avoid compatibility issues.

Creating and Managing Design Packages

Creating and Managing Design Packages

  • Design packages are collections of files that represent specific milestones or submissions within the project. 
  • Create design packages to share design iterations, updates, or deliverables with the project team or external stakeholders. 
  • Assign responsibilities for creating, reviewing, and approving design packages to ensure accountability and quality control.

Team Content Folders (Organization and Access Control)

BIM 360 design team content folder

  • Organize project files within BIM 360 Design using team content folders. 
  • Establish access control settings to regulate who can view, edit, or delete files within each folder. 
  • Customize folder permissions based on project phases, disciplines, or teams to maintain data integrity and security.

Version Control and Model History

BIM 360 Design Version Control and Model History

  • BIM 360 Design automatically tracks version history for design models, allowing team members to access previous iterations and monitor changes over time. 
  • Utilize version control features to compare different versions of a model, identify changes, and resolve conflicts. 
  • Implement naming conventions and file naming best practices to facilitate efficient version tracking and management. 

By following these steps and leveraging the features of BIM 360 Design, construction teams can streamline collaboration, improve communication, and ensure project success.

Regularly review and refine your workflows to optimize efficiency and maximize the benefits of using BIM 360 Design for construction collaboration. 

Tips to effectively use BIM 360/Collaborate Pro workflow

You should adhere to certain best practices when using BIM Collaborate Pro in order to get the most out of it, guarantee effective cooperation, and ensure that projects are completed on time. Let’s go over the main rules and techniques that will enable you to maximize the results of your projects. 

Create a cooperative BIM process.

This entails laying out roles and duties, establishing open lines of communication, and making sure that everyone involved is on board with the project’s goals.

Team members may collaborate effectively by holding regular meetings and coordination sessions, which will allow them to work well together and take full advantage of the platform’s capabilities.

Making Use of Real-Time Problem Solving  

With the help of BIM Collaborate Pro’s robust issue management features, project teams can quickly detect, monitor, and address coordination and design team problems.

The best practice is to make active use of these capabilities to assign tasks to team members who are accountable for them, centralize problem tracking, and track issues until they are resolved. Through timely and effective problem-solving, the team may improve teamwork, avoid expensive mistakes, and stick to project schedules. 

Putting document management and version control into practice

In order to prevent conflicts, guarantee data correctness, and preserve an extensive project history, BIM Collaborate Pro’s effective version control and document management are essential.

Using cloud-based storage, keeping track of updates inside the platform, and establishing a consistent naming policy for models and documents all reduce confusion, rework, and create a trustworthy audit trail.

Workflows may be streamlined and overall project efficiency increased by project teams by following best practices for version control and document management. 

Conclusion: To get the best out of BIM 360, you primarily need a project strategy 

BIM 360 could totally streamline the way you collaborate and communicate. However, in AEC, the way to solve a problem could be through the selection of software, but to get the job done completely, it is primarily about your workforce.

For establishing a robust collaborative workflow in your AEC project, you surely need BIM 360, but before that, you do require a BIM workforce that understands all the details of BIM 360. And if you don’t have in-house capabilities, all you can do is look out for a BIM partner. 


Further Reading
Which BIM Software Is Better – Archicad Or Revit?
BIM For Home Builders: Build Smarter, Build Faster

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