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An Ultimate Guide to Autodesk BIM 360 Software

Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Admin

Autodesk BIM 360 is a cloud-based software for architects and building professionals. Find out in this article about how it can save time and money, help you manage your project better, boost collaboration with clients, and more!

If you work in the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, you know how complex AEC projects are and how much data they generate. Most engineers will have faced numerous challenges in syncing and utilizing their project data without using a collaboration platform like Autodesk BIM 360.

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a comprehensive word that refers to creating and managing digital information about a built asset, such as a building, bridge, highway, tunnel, or other structure. The goal of BIM is to ensure that the relevant information is created at the right time in the correct format so that better decisions can be made during the design, construction, and operation of built assets. BIM 360 is an Autodesk unified platform that connects project teams and data in real-time, starting with design and construction. The program aids informed decision-making in the construction industry, resulting in more predictable and profitable outcomes.

What is BIM 360 construction?

Communication breakdowns between stakeholders are a vital problem in the construction business. Construction productivity is down, with 60% of general contractors citing coordination and communication issues among project team members as a cause.

BIM 360 is an Autodesk-developed unified cloud-based platform that links teams, project data, and workflows in real-time. It streamlines the design process through documentation, design reviews, and quality and safety checks, allowing for more informed decision-making throughout the project’s lifecycle.

BIM 360 enables you to access project data from a single location. It allows the complete project team to work together and from any location. This fusion of data and people will enable all project stakeholders to keep the “larger picture” in mind while working on the project, resulting in a high-quality design.

Major options for BIM 360

BIM 360 eventually became an Autodesk registered trademark, and the product line currently includes various modules and tools for design, pre-construction, construction, commissioning, and handover.

Currently, there are four major options for BIM 360:

  • BIM 360 Docs
  • BIM 360 Design
  • BIM 360 Coordinate (the new name for Glue)
  • BIM 360 Build

BIM 360 Field and 360 Glue “classic” versions are still available. BIM 360 Team, BIM 360 Layout, BIM 360 Plan, and BIM 360 Ops are some other available tools.

The BIM 360 tools are utilized in the building information modeling (BIM) process for cooperation on construction projects. Collaboration entails companies cooperating to solve problems and complete tasks successfully. The collaborative method produces a higher-quality result with less time and money on risk mitigation. It also helps teams finish a project on schedule and budget. The BIM 360 Product Matrix has the following product offerings.

BIM 360 Docs – The Foundation

The document distribution mechanism in BIM 360 Docs guarantees that trades are working with the most up-to-date versions. Documents may be regulated and maintained in one location, allowing traders to get the most recent sets while document managers can keep track of document views and downloads.

The module is intended to make document handling more efficient. Construction teams may manage blueprints, 2D plans, 3D BIM models, reference materials, requirements, and other project documents with BIM 360 Document Management. Standard templates and workflows can be set up to maximize efficiency, and sheets and designs can be combined.

  • Collaborate on building drawings, papers, and models by sharing, viewing, annotating, and managing them.
  • Get one-stop access to project information at any time and from anywhere.
  • Improve project outcomes by reducing errors and making more confident decisions.

Construction documentation and the rest of the project information are available in real-time to owners and other stakeholders thanks to BIM 360, which eliminates the need for the project team to spend extra time providing it.

Before starting work on a model, 3D modeling software allows you to manage clash detection. It also enables contractors, owners, and other stakeholders to see the project’s intricacies, such as geometry, pipes, ducting, cable tray, and other complex aspects in 2D drawings. However, 2D drawings can be made from the 3D model if needed.

  • Information sharing is regulated across the entire team.
  • 2D and 3D markups can be used to conduct constructability reviews.
  • The use of versioning and authorization reduces the danger of rework.
  • Contract paperwork can be handled, and project progress may be monitored.

The rise of digital photography, construction drones, and mobile devices has increased document and file management requirements. Images must be organized and made available to team members. When needed, team members have immediate access to specific photographs. Users can take pictures in the field, correlate them with project checklists and issues, and save them as part of the overall project record with BIM 360.

Repository:

  • Unrestricted storage
  • Rollback and version control
  • A single viewer for both 2D and 3D files is available.

Control:

  • Access permissions at the project and folder levels
  • Role, company, and user-defined access

For assignments, there are five permission levels available.

Navigation:

  • List and thumbnail views are available.
  • Rollback and version control
  • A single viewer for both 2D and 3D files is available.

Modification:

  • Manage project issues by creating, viewing, assigning, and tracking them.
  • Markups in 2D and 3D with thumbnail views
  • Custom attributes and properties can be assigned.

Publishing:

  • Convert design files into document sets
  • Data from OCR title blocks for automated naming
  • Multiple-page PDF files should be kept separate.

Viewing:

  • Access to all devices, both online and offline
  • Viewer for PDFs and models

Modules, apps, and tools

  • Document Management — Organize and collaborate on all project-related files. Available as a mobile application.
  • Project Home – View vital, relevant, and actionable data from all of BIM 360’s services in one place.
  • Manage account-level details, projects, firms engaged, and member permissions with Account Administration.
  • Project Administration — Keep track of project-specific details such as services, firms, and participants.
  • Insight – Assess risk, quality, and safety measures by looking at account and project data.

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BIM 360 Design

With BIM 360 Design, securely co-author a Revit model within one business or many firms. Track project progress via coordinating deliverables, visualizing design changes, and coordinating deliverables. BIM 360 Design is an Autodesk cloud-based work-sharing, collaboration, and data management solution that speeds up project delivery. Teams can collaborate in Revit with the in-house team or external firms and from anywhere using BIM 360 Design.

With easy navigation from 2D to 3D representations of the same area in the hyper-model, Revit data interchange across teams can be coordinated and monitored in a project schedule. In aggregated models, changes between deliveries can be viewed. Setting the necessary user/project/folder permissions can influence the creation of WIP (work in progress) reports and data interchange.

Documents can be viewed, evaluated, and annotated. On mobile devices and tablets, issues can be assigned and resolved. Teams can even set a time for their files to be automatically published to BIM 360 through the cloud.

BIM 360 Design is…

  • Next-generation design collaboration, focusing on authorship, collaboration, and details.
  • Revit cloud collaboration
  • Desktop Adapter
  • Document management of the next generation
  • BIM 360 Group (for projects on legacy Revit versions)

Design collaboration and Revit cloud collaboration can help you improve your workflows. Access the Applied Software on-demand webinar How to Keep Your Job Using Revit to discover how to set up a collaborative project.

It goes over how to create teams and permissions, use “packages” to restrict who has access to your data effectively, and control when data from other teams are updated in your model. Common troubleshooting approaches and BIM 360 site setup are included.

The Forge platform and BIM 360 Document Management are the foundations of BIM 360 Design. While customers can still utilize the legacy BIM 360 Team software, BIM 360 Design offers improved collaboration workflows, better control over file permissions, and a much tighter interaction with BIM 360 Docs for usage in “downstream” collaboration workflows during the project’s post-design phases.

  • Software for real-time Revit cloud work-sharing and design collaboration.
  • Securely co-author a Revit model with one or more firms in real-time.
  • Boost productivity and efficiency while lowering rework and speeding up project delivery.

Control is one of the differences between BIM 360 Team and BIM 360 Design. Any project member who can edit one Revit file can edit all Revit files in BIM 360 Team. There is no method to control access to files and folders on an individual or team level.

Users in BIM 360 Design, on the other hand, are assigned to teams, each of which has different permission levels in project folders depending on their job and link to the folders. While these rights are customizable, using teams simplifies and automates the process.

Modules:

  • Document Management
  • Project Home
  • Account Admin
  • Project Admin
  • Insight
  • Design Collaboration – Keep up with other teams and firms by using project schedules, packages, and revisions.

BIM 360 Team (Classic) – BIM 360 Team is a cloud-based project management platform that allows you to create projects, add people to projects, share and manage project data, view 2D and 3D designs in the browser on any device, mark up structures in the browser, review and comment on designs individually or in groups, have discussions, manage a project calendar, and track project updates.


BIM 360 Coordinate

Coordinate is a cloud-based BIM management and collaboration tool with a social networking vibe that links the entire project team while streamlining BIM project operations. The aim of BIM 360 Coordinate is pre-construction scope, cost/schedule, and constructability. It supports over 50 distinct file formats used in the business. Coordinate also makes it easier to include stakeholders who aren’t as tech-savvy.

Coordinate speeds up project reviews and simplifies virtual design and construction (VDC) and BIM workflows by providing access to the latest project models and data.

Thanks to model coordination and collision detection, communication delays are reduced, allowing multidisciplinary teams to identify and address difficulties quickly.

Working from the wrong set of designs is no longer an issue with cloud-based construction document management. It gives a simple approach to recording issues directly in the plan documents and promptly contacting the appropriate persons. Thanks to better communication, everyone is working on the same issues and solutions in real-time from any place. BIM 360 Coordinate and Autodesk Navisworks® software complement tools for spatial coordination and clash detection.

Markups can be made directly on the plans (or 3D model), and cloud-based document management ensures that everyone on the job has access to the most up-to-date information without uploading or downloading. Markups can be made by hand on an iPad or smartphone and are instantly connected to the file and version where they were created. Markups are always in sync with the latest version of the file. Open markups will be carried over to the following edition.

Modules:

  • Document Management
  • Project Home
  • Account Admin
  • Project Admin
  • Insight
  • Model Coordination – Publish, review and run clash detection on the latest project models.
  • BIM 360 Coordinate

In June 2019, Autodesk changed the name of BIM 360 Glue to Coordinate as part of a rebranding effort. The only thing that changed was the name of the subscription, not the products or subscription entitlements. In Autodesk Account, BIM 360 Coordinate has replaced BIM 360 Glue.

The BIM 360 Coordinate subscription provides the following features:

  • The BIM 360 platform’s Model Coordination, Document Management, and Insight modules.
  • Coordinate BIM 360
  • No additional payment for the BIM 360 Layout iOS app.
  • BIM 360 Layout Android app (beta) is available for free.
  • Navisworks and Point Layout access (per BIM 360 entitlement terms).

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BIM 360 Build

Contractors and construction project teams use BIM 360 Build in the field for field execution. It’s a cloud-based construction project management software connecting project data and workflows, keeping office and field personnel in sync. Quality and safety, as well as progress tracking and work coordination, are the primary concerns.

Connecting the office and the field with an integrated construction project management platform that includes quality and safety programmes, RFIs, submittals, and daily reporting can help gain visibility into project performance. If you need to connect project drawings, models, and documentation to essential activities that occur before and during the construction execution process, Build is the tool to use.

BIM 360 Build integrates mobile technology for on-site data gathering with cloud-based collaboration and reporting to handle quality, safety, project controls, and commissioning.

  • Enhance quality control and safety initiatives in the construction industry.
  • Manage issues, RFIs, and submittals by creating, assigning, and managing them.
  • Use dashboards and reports to keep track of field performance.

Build allows you to track and log RFIs and submittals on-site. Teams can use reporting to manage better field processes such as quality, safety, and commissioning.

Build enables teams to stay current with less paper and anytime access to document management. Inspections can be sped up and made more consistent and thorough by using checklists. As soon as the designated individual updates the central files, everyone is aware of the changes.

Everyone can access and edit a uniform set of plans from mobile devices, tablets, and computers, ensuring that the project team has the most up-to-date information to work with, no matter where they are. Build links project management workflows and project data on a single data platform, ensuring that everyone on the project team is informed and updated.

Modules:

  • Project Home
  • Account Admin
  • Project Admin
  • Insight
  • Document Management
  • Project Management – Use RFIs and submittals to collaborate with your project team. Available as a mobile application.
  • Cost Management – Brings project management and accounting together.
  • BIM 360 Field (classic) – BIM 360 Field is a construction field management software tool that integrates mobile technologies with cloud-based collaboration and reporting at construction. It has a document library, QA/QC, safety, commissioning checklists, and issue creation and sign-off tools for tracking issues in the field, such as work-to-complete or punch list issues.
  • Field Management – Oversee the communication of checklists, issues, and daily logs on the job site. It is more sophisticated than Field and includes automatic sync, account-level library, user-level issue, and checklist dashboard, mobile-Android, issue template creation, and user-defined custom attributes.

The nine tabs that can be tracked in the Build project include:

  • Overview – Keep track of concerns, on-the-job companies, and progress.
  • Issues — Create, log, and track issues by date and keep track of their resolution.
  • Tasks — Use a calendar to keep track of tasks in chronological order.
  • Checklists — Assign tasks, enter them into a calendar, and keep track of them.
  • Daily updates — Create reports of on-site activity daily.
  • Equipment — Keep track of and manage the equipment on the job site.
  • Library – Organize reference materials into multiple folders.
  • Photos — Sort photos into categories and save them in chronological or alpha order.
  • Reports – Create reports and share them with others.




Autodesk BIM 360 also provides a few additional options, which are as follows:

BIM 360 Plan

Autodesk BIM 360 Plan is a cloud-based production planning tool for Lean Construction that integrates the entire project team. The plan is a software implementation of the “sticky note” planning method. It uses Lean Construction principles to assist construction teams in developing reliable work plans. In each BIM 360 web service, including BIM 360 Plan, a BIM 360 account admin can establish projects and designate project admins. A project administrator can assign rights and invite members of the project team. BIM 360 Plan is a cloud-based solution that allows everyone involved in a project to access and edit schedules from anywhere.

  • Approach production planning with a mobile-first mindset.
  • Using Lean Construction concepts, create dependable work plans.
  • Cut down on waste caused by overproduction, extra inventory, and rework.
  • There is no cost to use the iPad (iOS) app.

As a cloud service, Plan allows everyone involved in a project to access and amend schedules from anywhere, including the construction site, the trailer, and the office. An account admin starts a project and assigns project admins in BIM 360 Plan using BIM 360. The project administrator gives rights and invites members of the project team. The plan is launched when team members click a project link in an email invitation. Members log in with an Autodesk ID to access their Plan projects.

The project has its businesses, contacts, locations, and work schedules. Teams should list the activities they intend to do. Teams can view the scheduled activities in List, Swim Lane, and Gantt views as the plan progresses. From the field, you may see, add, and edit actions. As each team completes activities, their performance is tracked. It is possible to identify the root reasons for the unfinished move. To keep track of the team’s planning consistency, reports are generated.



BIM 360 Ops

BIM 360 Ops focuses on commissioning, handover, and maintenance for post-construction operations. Ops assists building owners in realizing their properties’ operational potential.

General contractors and building owners can appreciate and use the value of BIM in building operations with Ops, a mobile-first asset for maintenance management. 360-degree BIM operations by integrating the BIM asset data collected during building design and construction into post-construction building operations, general contractors can optimize the handover process. Business owners can start operating with a mobile-first solution and the information they need.

BIM 360 Ops can be purchased directly from Autodesk. Autodesk will provide the first 100 service tickets beginning January 31, 2020.

The Ops solution aids in bringing the last engagement between general contractors and building owners to a conclusion. Ops improves the handover experience and allows owners to have turnkey asset management and maintenance from day one, rather than the lengthy time it can take to get a building’s operations working properly utilizing a set of PDFs and notebooks holding warranties manuals. A responsive mobile-first solution gives building owners access to key equipment information and building operations data from BIM 360 Field. Contractors can also use Ops to improve warranty service and save money on equipment repair when it’s needed.

  • Using mobile access, the building owner’s personnel may access and update asset information while on the job, eliminating the need for paper tickets or hard copy manuals.
  • Asset management that is BIM-ready has the potential to improve building performance and operations.
  • A simple interface and setup help quickly get maintenance teams up to speed.




BIM 360 Layout

Only the iOS app and the BIM 360 online service are available for Autodesk BIM 360 Layout. It allows vertical contractors to link the coordinated model to the field layout process. This improves job site productivity by allowing more precise staked or installed building components. The software connects to your BIM 360 account and will enable you to download and upload project models complete with point position coordinates. BIM 360 Layout on an iPad takes the user to the actual location of those points on the job site for field staking and/or location verification once it is coupled with a total station.

The following are the key features of the BIM 360 layout:

  • BIM 360 Coordinate comes with a free iPad companion app.
  • Import models with layout points developed in Autodesk Point Layout directly into BIM 360 Coordinate and sync with the BIM 360 Layout app from Autodesk AutoCAD®, Autodesk Revit, and Autodesk Navisworks.
  • Connection to total station hardware is seamless. For site layout, models incorporating robotic total stations might be employed.
  • Use the total station’s guide and point-turn features to control it remotely.
  • The app allows straightforward, step-by-step configuration using recognized point and resection methods for the entire station setup.
  • On-the-job model navigation in real-time for layout, QA/QC, and as-builts.

While discussing choices with project teams and stakeholders, the project manager can locate the particular photos, points, or models required. The app facilitates explanations and descriptions by offering graphics, resulting in a more precise knowledge on which to base judgments.

BIM 360 Layout delivers the most up-to-date coordinated model for field layout specialists to undertake layout activities. The manual process of preparing and providing point coordinate detail to field data controllers for layout is no longer necessary. Thanks to the layout, users can discuss and share issues gathered in the field immediately in the coordinated model for action by the VDC team. Users may explore and locate point coordinates on the job site using the intuitive 3D model-based app interface. The programme analyses layout productivity data to discover optimal practices for planning and execution.

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BIM 360 Benefits

The main features of Autodesk BIM 360 are:

Real-time project status, Project control, Quality management, Controlled work sharing, Deliverable coordination, Construction safety, Document control, change visualization, Full project visibility, Design reviews, Single project repository, RFIs and submittals, BIM coordination, Documentation, Design collaboration, Issue management, Quality and safety operations, multi-discipline coordination, Work assignment and tracking, Reporting and analytics.

The key advantages of Autodesk BIM 360 are that it covers the entire project lifecycle, provides centralized information, aids in standard implementation, and streamlines collaboration. The following are the specifics:

  1. Covers the whole project lifecycle: Autodesk BIM 360 provides all the tools and capabilities that may assist the business to execute as efficiently as possible, from project conception to design to commissioning and handover. Because project managers, designers, architects, subcontractors, and other construction industry professionals will have complete control over all project parts.
  2. Centralized information: Project managers can utilize BIM 360 to centralize information such as documentation, project design, and budget plans to make it more available to all of their team members, including extended ones. The system includes a documentation module that connects all of the project’s participants. The project plans, documentation, and models will then be available to examine, review, markup, approve, and publish.
  • Assists in establishing process standards: For those in the construction industry, any issue means increased expenses, rework, and dissatisfied customers. Problems are, unfortunately, inescapable. Fortunately, Autodesk BIM 360 assists in the mitigation of such occurrences by assisting in the adoption of standards ranging from equipment inventory, worker safety, equipment management, quality control, resource management, and much more. BIM 360 will then use the more standardized ways of doing things to assist managers in identifying and resolving difficulties that develop so that the negative consequences on the project are minimized, if not eliminated.
  1. Streamlined collaboration: Communication and collaboration are critical to a project’s success. As a result, BIM 360 provides managers with tools to expand access to essential updates and changes that the entire team needs to be aware of to make real-time contributions.




BIM 360 limitations

These are the few limitations of BIM 360 in the construction industry:

  • Partner incompatibility: BIM is not yet widely used among building professionals. There’s always the potential that one of your partners or subcontractors won’t be able to use your models since they don’t use BIM.
  • Legal consequences: The legal ramifications of utilizing BIM software have yet to be thoroughly investigated, let alone resolved.
  • Software costs: BIM software necessitates a significant investment in new technology. The benefits usually outweigh the costs, but only if the software is used to its maximum potential.
  • A scarcity of expertise: Because BIM is still relatively new, just a few experts are working in the sector. Your software acquisition may necessitate further training and education expenses.




BIM 360 applications in the construction industry

There are many applications of BIM 360 in the construction industry, which are as follows:

Design

BIM 360 Design is a collaboration solution that allows users to manage and collaborate on data in real-time. It serves as a single source of truth and provides team members with consolidated access to project data.

The techniques used in AEC projects are complicated and iterative. BIM 360 Design includes substantial markup, access control, and mobile review features for BIM processes. Design updates and status may now be shared easily between teams.

Site layout

Contractors can use robotic total stations and GPS devices to link the coordinated model directly to the field layout process with BIM 360 Layout. This boosts site productivity while lowering rework and waste. Easy cloud access to papers and drawings means that everyone has the most up-to-date copies of documents and is working from a single source of truth.

Construction Safety

Safety checklists can be imported into BIM 360 and accessed on the job site using mobile devices. Drag and drop tools make it simple to change checklists. Following creating a checklist, it is assigned to the appropriate contractor, along with the place and date. After then, it’s shared with the rest of the project team.

On any mobile device, the contractor can access the checklist, go through it, and check the things that have been done or indicate if there is a problem.

Quality Check

BIM 360’s Daily Logs feature makes it simple to keep track of a project’s progress daily. Site data can be accessed from any mobile device, including weather reports, labor tracking, and site-related information. Daily logs are also stored and can be accessed at a later time.

The Issue Management function in BIM 360 makes it easy to create issues, tag them, and assign them to team members. Issue management on a unified platform, such as BIM 360, enhances workflow efficiency.

Digital Equipment Management

Construction asset tracking is a time-consuming and labor-intensive procedure. BIM 360 is a centralized asset management system with a coordinated asset management system that streamlines the administration of construction assets. The following are some of the advantages of this system:

  • There will be no delays.
  • There will be no cost overruns.
  • Reduced risk as a result of proper asset installation

Analytical Reports

BIM 360’s analytical reports give project performance statistics and prioritize daily operations. It has an AI-powered “construction IQ” built-in that detects high-risk issues that could affect the cost, safety, and schedule.


Final Thought

The use of BIM 360 in construction projects can help to optimize construction workflows and make construction management easier. BIM 360 as a methodology has a variety of implications for the construction industry. Still, it all boils down to each of the project parties being able to access and use all of the data they require at each stage of the project without unnecessary overlap or time spent on repetitive work. Of course, this necessitates fast data transfer between project partners so that each of them can access and use it from one stage to the next.

Author bio: Miss. Bhagyashri Wani will be pursuing a master’s degree in construction management in the United States in the Fall of 2022, concentrating on digital construction techniques such as BIM, virtual and augmented reality, etc.

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