Living Model in the Cloud, BIM 360

Sam Manzella,
BIM Managing Director & IT Manager

Communication, accessibility and accountability are key factors in the success of any project. This is the root motivation for Autodesk’s BIM 360 cloud-based collaboration solution.

BIM 360 by Autodesk is a unified platform enabling anytime, anywhere collaboration for all project team members in “controlled-real time”, from design through the construction of the project. “Controlled-real time” means that all changes to model, published to the project cloud space by other team members, can be reviewed, consumed, and accepted prior to incorporating them into your discipline’s model.

Unlike traditional linked model exchange where new models overwrite earlier versions and comparisons are tedious, BIM 360 allows previous model versions and issued sheets to be compared to the new information received. Through changes visualizer, the new information in the model can be filtered by discipline, area, phase and other criteria. This integrated process gives project managers, who may or may not use Revit, the ability to quickly and easily access, review, accept or comment on the information by using a web browser or mobile device. 

In April 2019, Autodesk launched its newest version of BIM 360, which features centralized project data repositories and a unified model for both the design and construction teams.  Prior to this update design and construction models on BIM 360 were created separately making collaboration between the model cumbersome. The latest generation of BIM 360 is not compatible with earlier versions. Therefore, it is advised to complete all existing design and construction projects and only implement the newest version on new projects. 

As for Revit compatibility; Revit 2018.3 supports the both generations of BIM 360. However, when moving to Revit 2019 and 2020 only the latest generation is able to be used.

There are currently four BIM 360 subscriptions: BIM 360 Docs, BIM 360 Design, BIM 360 Coordinate, and BIM 360 Build. 

Keeping in mind that BIM 360 is a common and unified platform, all subscriptions start with BIM 360 Docs as the very base functionality and central repository of the project data files. The three other more specific subscription modules (Design, Coordinate and Build) offer relevant tools, and all work on top of and in conjunction with BIM 360 docs. There are currently 90 Autodesk partner integration apps that integrate with BIM 360 in order to provide more tools to assist with design processes, such as cost management, bid management, virtual reality and more. Microsoft Office 365 integration with Autodesk BIM 360 is also new in 2019.

BIM 360 is an all-inclusive AEC cloud solution, offering data continuity between the design teams, contractors, and owners. With BIM 360, there is no longer a need for file sharing services to exchange project files between team members. Further, BIM 360 offers construction management tools that can be used for such things as submittal and RFI management, issue logs, and PDF red-line mark-ups. BIM 360 offers a single point of collaboration for the project, with one account logon to manage, one project data file storage that is common to all team members, and one dashboard to view project information. These characteristics makes BIM 360 a wise choice to adopt moving forward.

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