Mechanical and structural engineers were among the first to use BIM.  CM’s saw this and “rushed to claim they had the same capabilities”.  Who leads, who owns coordination on a project using BIM? 

The need to coordinate the design engineered plans and the work of the trade contractors has been an interface where roles are shifting.  Companies like arose to fill the gap between HVAC trades and designers.  Sometimes the owner hires this specialty, sometimes such coordinators are called in by the Construction Managers.  Some project controls Owner’s Representatives and even schedulers provide elements of this service. 

Getting everyone on the same technological ‘page’ is a problem.  The BIM execution plan needs to be thorough with clear expectations, roles and consequences.  Continuous updating of the model requires a properly configured network.

Coordination takes time and the schedule needs to allow for it.

Big problems arise when an inadequate design is handed to a coordinating team – coordination morphs into redesign.  This is often accompanied by “a lack of concern for financial impacts” according to a very interesting article in

Then come in the lawyers.