Clash Detection

In a construction project, successful collaboration between different stakeholders is vital. Coordinating a diverse team of architects, structural engineers, builders, and suppliers can be challenging. Additionally, the project has a specified timeframe, requiring seamless cooperation among everyone involved to ensure the construction is completed on schedule and without errors.

This is where the significance of clash detection comes into play. It helps find and fix conflicts between different plans at the earliest stages, especially during the design phase. Resolving these conflicts in the design phase means avoiding potential problems that could have led to big changes in the plans, delays in the project, and exceeding the given budget.

What is clash detection in construction?

Clash detection definition

Clash detection is a technique used in BIM (Building Information Modeling) that speeds up projects by detecting conflicts between various models during the design process. It allows architects and contractors to avoid the impact of multi-level design revisions, which can result in budget overruns and project delays.

Clash detection in BIM is the automatic and computerized identification of conflicts or clashes. It is a significant capability for designers, architects, builders, engineers, and contractors to determine clashes or conflicts in construction. It can be performed on many 3D models.

What is the difference between clash detection and clash avoidance?

In construction and design projects, clash detection and clash avoidance are two distinct processes with specific purposes.

Clash detection is a reactive process used to find clashes or conflicts between different elements in a design model. For example, it identifies issues like conflicts between structural elements or MEP systems (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing).

On the other hand, clash avoidance is a proactive process to prevent clashes from happening in the first place. This involves coordinating the design of various systems and elements during the planning phase. Unlike clash detection, clash avoidance is not a one-time process that can be implemented through software. Instead, it is an ongoing process that needs to be maintained throughout the entire construction lifecycle.

What are the benefits of clash detection?

BIM Clash detection helps to determine whether, where, and how elements of a building interfere with each other. Elements include walls, systems or any geometric objects. Additionally, it helps to:

  • Examine the structure’s stability;
  • Avoid scheduling conflicts;
  • Cut down on human error;
  • Ensure that all regulatory standards are met;
  • And much more.

What is the categorization of clashes and examples in BIM?

There are 3 different kinds of clashes

Type 1 – Soft

Soft clash in BIM is related to the fact that an object’s geometric tolerances (or requirements) were not given enough consideration during the design phase, or that its “buffer zone” was violated. An example could be allowing for the insulation that is wrapped around a pipe.

Type 2 – Hard

When two or more components occupy the same space or interfere with each other, hard clashes occur. Plumbing, for example, may pass through a wall or ductwork may be laid over a steel beam.

Type 3 –  Workflow or 4D clash

A workflow or 4D clash in BIM occurs when building information is incorrect or contradictory. Any contractor or crew scheduling concerns, delivery clashes, or other timetable conflicts can be detected by this type of clash detection.

How to resolve clashes?

Clash detection process

Step 1 – Model Creation: Develop a comprehensive 3D model or BIM that represents the entire project, including architectural, structural, and system-specific components.

Step 2 – Model Integration: Utilize BIM software to integrate models from various disciplines into a single, coordinated model for clash detection.

Step 3 – Clash Detection Rules Establishment: Establish clash detection rules based on project specifications and industry standards.

Step 4 – Clash Analysis: Use specialized clash detection software to analyze 3D models and identify spatial conflicts or clashes between the integrated components based on predefined rules.

Step 5 – Identification of Conflicts: Check the clash detection reports for detailed information, and focus on addressing conflicts that have the most significant impact and are critical to the success of the project.

Step 6 – Resolution: Collaborate with the project team to resolve clashes by adjusting the design, modifying components, or coordinating the placement of conflicting elements.

Step 7 – Documentation and Implementation: Document how clashes are resolved and update the 3D model, ensuring that all project participants stay coordinated and on the same page.

To ensure ongoing quality, project teams should repeat the clash detection process after resolving conflict. They should continuously monitor and update the 3D model in response to design changes, employing repeat clash detection as necessary to maintain coordination.

Before construction process, it’s important to do a final check to make sure all potential issues in the plan have been addressed and the model is correct and ready to be used during the construction phase.

Clash detection software

The process involves using specialized software that analyzes the spatial relationships between various components, such as architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. To detect and resolve clashes, you could use one of the following clash detection software solutions:

BIM allows for in-depth conflict reporting at the design stage and conflict detection has been optimized and error-free with modern 3D graphics.

How to run and manage clash detection in Navisworks and Solibri with Catenda Hub?

With the open Common Data Environment Catenda Hub, you can easily manage your construction project by centralizing all the models & documents in one place and ensure that all the disciplines involved remain updated in real-time when design issues arise.

By integrating Catenda Hub with Solibri or Naviswork through the provided plug-in, users can seamlessly communicate and resolve clash detection issues across the entire project team in real-time.

To explore the BCF Live Connector between Catenda Hub and Solibri, refer to this article.

For more information about the workflow between Catenda Hub and Naviswork, check out this link.