BIM Collaboration During the Construction of the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science

Chad Everts, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.

The Grand Valley State University (GVSU) P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science (KHS) is a 150,000-sf building including office, classroom, and laboratory space completed in August 2015. The building offers laboratory and research space necessary for student and faculty advancement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. The project is seeking LEED Gold Certification.

During the design phase of the project, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. (FTCH) used Autodesk Revit design software to create a 3-D BIM model of the building and its systems. This model was used to develop a set of blueprints that make up standard contract documents used for bidding and construction of the building. FTCH then allowed the construction manager to use this model as the basis of a LOD 400 BIM Model. This Autodesk Navisworks BIM model helped to coordinate the exact location of every piece of equipment, pipe, conduit, ductwork, etc. in a virtual environment which allowed for streamlined construction and a well-organized final product for the owner.

Coordinating the various building systems greatly reduces onsite rework, lowering of finished ceilings, or other issues associated with systems that are tightly packed above the ceiling. Further, contractors can confidently build large portions of their work offsite, where they can be built more efficiently and with higher quality at a lower cost.

At the conclusion of the construction phase, product data cut sheets were added to the Navisworks model. This LOD 500 model was installed onto portable tablet devices and given to the facility management personnel to use onsite.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how a construction team can use Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Clash Detection to ensure all building systems are installed within the confines above the ceiling without expensive rework.
  • Understand how BIM can be used by construction trades to more efficiently supply and install their work. Understand this leads to a faster, smoother construction phase and cost savings to the owner.
  • Discuss the evolution of BIM throughout the project. Beginning with the architectural/engineering design model as it morphs into a Level of Development (LOD) 400 shop drawing model, and ultimately becomes a LOD 500 as-built model that is delivered to the owner.
  • Discuss some of the lessons learned from experience on this project and how to apply them on future projects.


Chad Everts, PE, LEED AP is a Senior Construction Engineer at Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has 19 years of Construction Management experience on a variety of projects, and most recently, was the BIM Coordinator for the Grand Valley State University P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science.


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