When building concrete structures, rebar design should be accurate. Otherwise, you end up with costly errors and on-site clashes that slow you down and risk the entire building. But, how vital a role does rebar detailing play in the whole construction process? It is essential, as having the wrong-sized rebar or missing bars in key places will result in a lack of structural strength – putting the entire building at risk.
Concrete contractors might feel that rebar detailing and fixing is only one of the many moving parts in the project. Whether you are outsourcing or doing the rebar job in house, prioritizing is not easy when there are time and budget pressures. Another challenge is to put all the pieces together and check all the details while keeping an eye on the big picture.
It doesn't matter if you are a rebar detailer or a concrete contractor managing an entire project – moving from traditional methods such as 2D drawings to 3D modeling will smooth the path of your projects by creating a 3D constructible model that, thanks to its shareable nature, improves communication and collaboration among the project stakeholders.
Saving time and money through 3D detailing
The methods and tools used by rebar detailers can distinguish between a project’s success or failure, and selecting the right tool is an essential topic for discussion. Some rebar detailers are still using obsolete methods like pen and paper or are just focusing on creating flat 2D drawings. However, it is evident that modeling rebar in 3D brings time and cost advantages at every step of the construction workflow. Therefore it is essential to ask your rebar detailer whether they have access to and are capable of using 3D planning tools.
How you can benefit from 3D Modeling at the bid phase
When using 2D drawings, it is typically a challenge for the rebar detailer to accurately estimate the required amount of material needed, specifically the numbers of bars and their sizes. Inaccurate estimates can be costly. They result in wasted material on-site and might increase transportation and warehousing costs, too.
With the help of 3D detailing, rebar tonnage estimations can be made very accurately. This is thanks to the designers being able to see their whole plan in a live 3D model, even with all the rebars colour-coded according to their size.
Accurate estimations reduce material wastage and lessen the environmental impact of construction. With sustainability continuing to rise in importance in the industry, accurate estimations make your company more competitive and help in positioning it.
How you can benefit from 3D Modeling at the design phase
For any designer, 3D is a richer format and way of working. In addition to the visualization options, there is valuable information attached to each bar. This level of detailed information will never be achieved in 2D drawings.
In addition, as all the rebar detailing designs made in 3D are linked to the 3D model of the whole construction, the project team members can check various aspects and details of the designs and plans throughout the project. The design intent can be regularly checked against constructability, and the different parties can co-develop and review the details before the final drawings are issued. This way of working increases transparency across the teams and makes it possible to quickly and efficiently react to changes.
How you can benefit from 3D Modeling at the design phase
With 3D modeling and detailing, there is no doubt that the constructability of rebar designs is way better than with traditional drawings:
- There are fewer drawing errors and simple typos, such as wrong bar sizes.
- As the detailer has received input from the project parties well before issuing the drawings, there are fewer on-site delays. Less congestion in the information flow translates into a lot less cutting and bending onsite than there is when using 2D drawings.
- Any clashes on-site between rebar and, for instance, mechanical and electrical design or temporary works, can be avoided. This is because all the different plans can also be imported into the 3D model of the construction so that clashes can be identified even before the construction work on-site begins.
All this saves time and trouble on-site. As many unpredictable issues often turn out to be expensive to solve, the 3D approach saves a lot of money, too!
Enhancing performance through online collaboration
Reaching successful results requires all the different parties in a construction project to work in sync. Seamless communication between the concrete contractors and the rebar designer, the structural engineer, the project engineer and various subcontractors is a must. Collaboration platforms are great for enhancing this communication and collaboration. They connect people across companies, professions, time zones and geographical distances to achieve the same goal - to run a construction project successfully.
An online collaboration platform pulls together all the models and drawings by various trades and designers and builds them into a live 3D model. This bridges the gap between the physical and virtual worlds in a very data-rich way, offering the contractor lots of valuable information and a broader perspective. The contractor’s team can review all the details at a constructible level and ensure that everything works in the context of the overall project.
Collaboration on an online platform gives everyone in the project an easy way to share their inputs, review and comment on designs, drawings and documents in real-time. The model can be viewed at the office, or on-site on your computer, tablet or mobile phone. During site meetings, the 3D model offers a tangible way to check progress or discuss specific areas. Changes can be marked up and relayed back to the detailing team immediately for a quick response. This again leads to reduced rework and fewer costly delays.
Working in 3D benefits all parties
In short, there are many benefits of changing to 3D modeling and online collaboration platforms that are evident through the whole construction process. Using 3D to detail rebar and making it part of an entire construction model will help you to get accurate quantity take-off and reduce waste.
You will be able to improve workflow by including rightly timed reviews with your stakeholders getting, as a result, better quality design, fewer errors and clashes on-site as well as reduced re-work.
You will also be able to manage your project easily, having access to the design details at the same time as seeing the big picture. 3D is a topic certainly worth taking up when selecting the rebar detailing partner for your next concrete construction project!