BIM tools and its collaborative interface allows stakeholders to foresee construction conflicts at pre-construction stage. Its clash detection features allow easy resolution of clashes, reducing rework and optimizing resource utilization.

Construction projects often throw up clashes between multiple disciplines in terms of positioning, material or scheduling. The prime contributor of such clashes, which lead to reworks, material and manpower waste and schedule overruns, is poor interdisciplinary coordination. 2D drawings prove to be inept at detecting these clashes.

Parametric 3D BIM models in Revit are capable of visualization and real time collaboration across disciplines and geographies. They detect and resolve clashes early on in the design stage, preventing costly rework and delayed schedules.

No wonder then that construction and architectural companies around the world are adopting BIM to enhance efficiencies and ROIs.

What makes BIM an ideal solution for clash detection in construction projects?

Traditional construction drawings involve a lot of manual work which often results in irregularities and poor coordination across various disciplines. This increases instances of construction clashes, most of which get identified when the building elements are almost constructed.

Let’s look at some instances of construction clashes:

  • A beam and the air conditioning ducts occupying the same space
  • A plumbing pipeline occupying the same space as electrical conduits.
  • No buffer space between air conditioning unit and a beam for safe and easy maintenance access
  • Workflow clashes where pipework is scheduled after the concrete is poured on floor

Fixing such clashes is expensive and very time-consuming.

BIM modeling software such as Revit have built-in clash detection capabilities which help identify and eliminate clashes during the design phase. Supported by clash detection tools such as Navisworks, they help reduce material waste and construction rework.

Every identified clash saves up to USD 17,000 in a construction project. Large scale projects usually have around 2,000-3,000 clashes, which translates to a savings of about USD 34 million!Association of Construction and Development

Read here: 5 Aspects to Consider Before Selecting a BIM Partner

Detecting a clash and resolving it

During a Level 2 BIM process, a number of federated models are produced and coordinated data drops are used to inform the master model. By using Revit BIM models and BIM integration tools such as Navisworks, designers combine the federated models and identify clashes by running a clash detection scan. The scan produces a report that lists any duplicate instances of the same issue.

For instance, if a single run of pipework clashes with five beams, the report shows five clashes. In such cases, resolving one issue (placement of pipework) will eliminate all the clashes.

Revit Modeling and Clash Detection for a Data Center Building, India

A leading architectural firm in India needed a coordinated clash-free 3D model with sheet setup, schedule and joint details for a data centre building. The BIM experts at TrueCADD studied the 2D drawings sent by the client, used Autodesk Revit and Navisworks to develop a coordinated clash-free 3D model that helped the client leverage smooth and hassle-free documentation with a complete sheet setup. The client was able to remain within budget and ensure a cost effective construction project.

3D Coordinated BIM Modeling
3D Coordinated BIM Modeling
3D MEP BIM Modeling
3D MEP BIM Modeling

Why Navisworks is a great tool for BIM Clash Detection

Various disciplines in the design and construction team including structural, architectural and MEP teams work on different software as per their specific usage and convenience. If these tools cannot be integrated, it results in poor coordination and project clashes.

Navisworks is an excellent clash detection software with robust integration capabilities. It promotes cross functional collaboration. Navisworks tools have built-in review and markup capabilities which help provide a real-time 360 degree visualization for a faster and more efficient construction process.

  • Navisworks Manage tool resolves clashes and interference issues by using 4D and 5D simulation and combining design and construction data into a single model.
  • Navisworks’ Clash Detective is a one-off sanity check to conduct clash tests between traditional 3D geometry and laser-scanned point clouds.
  • The Clash Detective tool combined with other Autodesk Navisworks tools such as Object Animation, automatically checks clashes between moving objects. When combined with TimeLiner, it assesses time-based clashes in the project.

4D BIM Modeling of a Multistorey Mixed-use Building, UK

An architectural firm in the UK needed a federated BIM model in 4D with clash detection reports for a multi storey mixed use building. The team at TrueCADD assessed the technical requirements of the team and detected and eliminated interdisciplinary clashes using a coordinated model in Revit and Navisworks. Once the clashes were eliminated, a 4D BIM model and time liner video was created. This helped the client improve design intent communication with their customers, save costs and reduce reworks during the final construction stage.

Structural BIM Model
Structural BIM Model

Quick wins to get 100% accurate clash detection reports

  • Ensure that design data and specs from all disciplines are added into the Revit BIM model to get a complete project picture and generate accurate clash reports.
  • Use a CDE to ensure that all changes are incorporated and reflected in real time.
  • Co-create and share models in a common workspace from initial stages to enable early detection and resolution of clashes.
  • Use latest BIM software to access high end features and functions for greater accuracy.
  • Deploy skilled resources with technology and domain expertise for better results.

Also read: Benefits of Outsourcing MEPF Designs for Construction Projects


Clash detection benefits through advanced and robust technology are driving project owners, contractors, architects, engineers, and stakeholders in the construction industry to embrace BIM to maximise productivity and hit higher ROIs. Coordinated BIM models and CDE help real time review and resolution of clashes, saving on rework and material costs and keeps projects within schedule.

BIM tools ensure a high level of interoperability and empower cross functional teams to interact in real-time. Different project teams can use different tools to develop their own models. Importing and overlapping those models for real-time clash detection is soon becoming a reality.

Harika Singh

About Author: Harika Singh is an academician and published writer. Her passion for engineering and technology reflects in the in-depth coverage she provides on technology trends. 20 years of work association with institutes of repute across India and the US positions her to provide valuable insights to business stakeholders on achieving scalability and operational efficiencies through digitalization.

Keyuri Patel

About Author: Keyuri Patel is an American Institute of Architecture associate, a LEED Green Associate and a Masters in Architecture from San Francisco, Keyuri Patel carries wide ranging experience in urban design, architecture and BIM projects. Her insightful industry coverage on building design and construction processes builds on her passion for technology and digitalization.