Constructible Bim Elements –a Root Cause Analysis of Work Plan Failures

Laurie Spitler1, Tom Feliz2, Nathan Wood3 & Rafael Sacks4

1Project Engineer, Turner Construction Company. Oakland, CA 94607,[email protected]
2Customer Engagement Manager, Autodesk, Inc., San Francisco, CA [email protected]
3Innovation and Technology Specialist, DPR Construction, Redwood City, CA, [email protected]
4Professor, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion–Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, [email protected]


The project Building Information Model (BIM), made up of component trade models, can be used to coordinate and sequence building elements prior to construction. The model should serve as a surrogate for prototyping the actual construction process and can also be used to implement the lean practice of filtering work for constraints prior to assigning work. The term ‘constructible BIM element’, referring to an element that can be built exactly as it is modeled, is defined to focus on the use of the model for constraint removal and visual planning. Using an in-depth case study, incomplete assignments from Weekly Work Plans were identified and their root causes were mapped onto their associated BIM objects. This spatial analysis makes explicit and begins to quantify the connection between constructability of BIM elements and the variability of work execution in the field. Learning from the underlying patterns, the authors propose process changes for teams to more effectively identify constructability issues in BIM models, and thus leverage the BIM process to improve the reliability of field work planning.


Building information modeling (BIM),constructability, root cause analysis, weekly work plan



Spitler, L. , Feliz, T. , Wood, N. & Sacks, R. 2015. Constructible Bim Elements –a Root Cause Analysis of Work Plan Failures, 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 351-360.

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