September 9, 2021

What is clash detection?

Clash detection is a process of generating clash-free design before the project goes on site. Clash detection is an integral part of the BIM process and is used by many interdisciplinary construction professionals to streamline construction activities.

It has been noted that design changes contribute to up to 40% of the overall cost overrun of a project. Construction companies face several problems with the design including:

  • Rebuilding and redesigning costs because of the design errors
  • Design errors leading to delays in project milestones and deadlines
  • Identifying clashes between various building elements during the construction phase of a project

The problems identified are difficult to manage single-handedly by the design team. Therefore, introducing clash detection in the project management process is a good idea as it allows better control over the design process.

Types of clashes

There are 3 types of clashes that occur in the construction process:

  • Hard clash occurs when components of different construction disciplines occupy the same position and affect the geometry of a 3D model.
  • Soft clash occurs when the geometrical tolerance of a particular components is intruded by other components. Tolerances can be defined as per the regulations and standards
  • Workflow clashes include delivery of materials, contractor scheduling, and construction timeline conflicts. These clashes are not majorly related with design but they can affect the schedule of work

Navisworks for clash detection

Navisworks is a software that allows the coordination of 3D models from different disciplines. Navisworks makes it possible for the project managers and the design team to identify and resolve clashes using the Revit models at the design phase of a project. It is a great tool for generating clash reports and for checking the behaviour of the design elements with each other.

The chart below explains the process of using Revit models in Navisworks:

Benefits of clash detectioning

Clash detection offers great benefits to construction professionals and allows them to save big costs associated with a construction project. Below are several benefits of using the clash detection process:

  • Understanding behaviour of various building elements i.e., columns, beams, wall, HVAC, piping, etc.
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  • Finding possible clashes between architectural, structural, and MEP elements during the pre-construction stage
  • Reducing additional costs of rebuilding and redesigning
  • Effective control over design, leading to better decision making
  • Reducing risks on site and risks during the construction process
  • Generating detailed floor wise report of all the structural, MEP, and architectural building elements