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BIM’s Role in Identifying and Resolving Construction Clashes

BIM Clash Detection for Construction Projects

BIM can preempt clashes in the preconstruction stage with a coordinated 3D BIM model. Flagging and resolving clashes early can save on rework, reduce cost, and time overruns, and ensure 95% FTR deliverables for Architecture, Structure, and MEPF.

Construction clashes are a persistent source of delays, reworks, and budget overruns. Defragmented design workflows and poor cross-discipline communication in traditional setups lead to these design conflicts and inconsistencies. BIM software and models shift this paradigm with BIM clash detection.

BIM allows architects, engineers, and MEP contractors to collaborate in real time, detect clashes, and resolve design issues before these can grow to cause costly surprises. Stakeholders can get BIM-based collaboration and preemptive clash detection by collaborating with a BIM coordination services provider for faster project completion within budget and higher design quality.

Every identified clash saves up to USD 17,000 in a construction project. Large-scale projects usually have around 2,000-3,000 clashes, which translates to a savings of about USD 34 million!

– Association of Construction and Development
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Common project challenges faced without BIM clash detection

Traditional 2D drawings, sketches, or images are often incapable of supporting building teams in visualizing, flagging, and resolving clashes in the design phase. Legacy processes and tools lead to various challenges, such as:

  • Higher costs due to clashes identified during construction
  • Delays due to clashes between HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems
  • Greater material waste owing to manual inspections and inaccurate quantity estimates
  • Communication issues arising from decentralized platforms and silo processes
  • Escalated safety risks without tools to detect clashes or simulate site sequences
  • Increase in legal disputes between project participants, resulting in costs and delays

Why clash detection with BIM tools is ideal for modern construction projects

Building information modeling (BIM) has proved to be a powerful tool for multiple stakeholders to identify and resolve clashes at the pre-construction stage. The benefits of Navisworks for clash detection are many. With result-oriented processes and tools at its core, BIM coordination ensures clashes are eliminated before fabrication and installation begins. BIM-ready deliverables enable quick TAT, reduce change orders, and ensure faster installation of MEP equipment.

The Barlish and Sullivan study analyzed five commercial projects, revealing significant benefits: a 42% decrease in Change Order costs, a 50% reduction in Request for Information, and a 5% decrease in total project expenses. These findings provide compelling evidence for the value of investing in BIM modeling with clash detection.

Source: vipstructures.com

Types of clashes found in construction projects

Architectural – Structural clashes

Example: Unsupported facade glass panels interfere with calculations of structural stability and wind load

Structural – MEP clashes

Example: Support columns conflicting with HVAC ducts

MEP – MEP clashes

Example: Clashes between plumbing and electrical systems due to conflicting path routing

Fire Protection – Architectural clashes

Example: Interferences between sprinkler systems and the preservation of architectural features

HVAC – Electrical clashes

Example: Air conditioning units interfere with the installation of electrical conduits, causing conflicting ceiling spaces

Resolve design conflicts to minimize risks and ensure smooth construction.

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Top 5 advantages of using BIM for clash detection

Rework reduction with preemptive clash detection and resolution

Converting 2D drawings, sketches, and images in Revit to 3D models at the required LOD and accuracy offers visualization, while interferences are identified and resolved in Navisworks. In-depth Navisworks clash detection reports provide a deeper understanding of clash counts based on a trade-wise setting. Resolving clashes in the preconstruction stage can save thousands of dollars on rework.

Accurate material estimates of building components based on quantity estimation.

3D models incorporating architecture, structure, and MEPF project components facilitate accurate estimates to reduce material waste and costs. Selecting the right BIM outsourcing partner ensures precise material estimation based on 3D visualization, BOQs, collaboration, and clash resolution leading to better material estimates. Quantification tools ensure accurate quantities based on model geometry and attribute data. These include concrete, finishes, insulation, steel bricks, and more.

Fewer delays with precise fabrication and installation of MEP components

Coordinated shop drawings extracted from parametric and clash-free 3D BIM models built with Revit families lead to precise fabrication of MEP components. Offsite manufacturing reduces resources and costs, while accurate quantities lower material waste. Complete data enrichment, including material count, specifications, colors, finishes, and other data parameters, makes fabrication clear and easy for fabrication professionals. MEP clash detection services facilitate precise fabrication that leads to faster installation of building components on-site.

Spot-on project timelines with 4D scheduling

Coordinated and clash-free 3D models equipped with 4D scheduling in Navisworks support sequencing and phasing simulations, including logistics and site planning. 4D scheduling in real time improves pre-bid presentations, while construction animations for task tracking and equipment routing bring in greater clarity. 4D schedules with precise quantification improve constructability to reduce cost and time risks. It also helps participants track project progress at multiple stages.

Definite cost estimates of building components with 5D cost estimation

Accurate cost estimates ensure greater chances of winning project bids. Utilizing BOMs, BOQs, and RFIs, 5D cost estimates become more viable. Using cost models by eliminating design and workflow clashes ensures minimal cost correction. Cost-adjustments in real time, accurate documentation, automated quantity takeoffs, and cost estimates based on industry forecasts help stakeholders stay within budget.

Save up to 30% on construction cost with clash detection solutions.


BIM-based workflow

Top 5 BIM clash mitigation strategies for error-free construction

Early collaboration: Foster open collaboration between stakeholders from the get go to identify and resolve clashes.

Clash detection tools: Use clash detection tools equipped with clash detection capabilities to identify clashes between components and building systems.

Hold coordination meetings: Schedule coordination meetings to review clash reports, identify resolutions, and ensure scope alignment.

Virtual simulations: Run virtual mock-ups with 3D models to simulate complex systems and flag interferences to save rework and time.

Continuous tracking: Implement processes to continuously monitor clashes throughout the construction phase.

BIM’s clash resolution success stories

Error prevention and cost savings with conflict detection for an Ireland-based hospital project.

An engineering contracting company outsourced its hospital project from Ireland to TrueCADD for MEP coordination services. 2D and markup drawings were provided as input to the team. The client required a clash-free 3D MEPF coordinated model with extraction of shop drawings. The drawings provided as input were uncoordinated, and the timeline to produce the deliverables was short.

The input drawings were assessed thoroughly. Different 3D models for HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection were generated and clash-coordinated. Clash reports were extracted from Navisworks and sent for client approval. Quality control checks were applied for accuracy, and the changes were made in real time. The 3D model was used to extract shop drawings, BOQs, and sections and submitted in PDF/DWG format to the client.

The work helped the client achieve 98% FTR deliverables, realize cost savings with error-free MEP installation, and achieve faster project turnaround.

3D Revit MEP Coordinated model for Plant Room
3D Revit MEP Coordinated model for Plant Room
3D MEP Model for Plant Room
3D MEP Model for Plant Room

Middle East Airport achieves perfect MEP installation with flawless clash detection.

TrueCADD was approached by a general contracting company from the Middle East for an airport project. The client provided BIM models for architecture and structure along with IFC drawings. Analyzing the IFC drawings shared by the client, the team imported the 2D drawings and created clash-free 3D MEP models in Revit at LOD 400.

The new 3D model led to precise resource and material planning and reduced field conflicts. It also helped the client save $7 million in costs and facilitated seamless installation of MEP systems with zero change orders.

BIM Clash Detection
BIM Clash Detection
Clash Resolution
Clash Resolution
MEP Clash Detection
MEP Clash Detection
MEP Conflicts Checking
MEP Conflicts Checking
Explore our successful BIM projects »

Future of BIM clash detection with AI and ML driven processes and tools

BIM clash detection is set for transformation through AI- and ML-based processes and tools. The technology will change interference detection through automation of clash identification, analysis of complex datasets, and predictive insights. By using AI and ML algorithms, BIM tools will become more accurate at detecting clashes for multiple trades in real time. This will lead to proactive problem solving and seamless construction. These advancements promise improvements in project clash detection and coordination, lower rework, and optimized construction timelines.


In conclusion, BIM for clash detection is key to enhancing collaboration and project efficiency. Leveraging advanced technology and in-depth information integration, BIM will continue to streamline conflict identification and proactive problem solving, leading to seamless and efficient construction projects.

Get 100% accurate clash detection reports for your construction projects.


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Author TrueCADD

TrueCADD is a premier provider of CAD drafting services and BIM modeling solutions with operations in India, the USA, and the UK. We offer high-quality, cost-effective CAD drafting and BIM outsourcing services to a global clientele, including architects, designers, engineers, surveyors, contractors, manufacturers, fabricators, and building owners. Our extensive in-house capabilities, coupled with vast experience and a robust resource base, enable us to understand and meet the diverse needs of international clients, delivering reliable BIM and CAD outsourcing services across a wide range of industries.

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