The Quest for BIM Objects: 6 Proven Methods to Choose the Best Content

It can be challenging to make a decision about what BIM content to use in a project. As the MEP engineer you might sometimes be pulled in several directions by the project owner, the architect and other parties taking part in the project.

There are actually two ways to approach this decision:

  1. Make your decision based on previous experience with manufacturer items and input from stakeholders -> search for content on trusted platforms -> download and place files

  2. Regularly review the content published on trusted platforms -> research product specific information and reviews from peers -> make your decision based on your knowledge and project specifications -> download and place files

As you can see, you can either base your decision on previous experience or on newly acquired knowledge. The construction industry is changing fast, just like all industries out there, and it is essential that you stay up to date with the latest developments in order to provide the best solutions for your design, no matter if you have tried it before or not.

Admittedly, the second path requires a bit more effort than the first. Instead of relying on what you already know, you have to do research, tests and comparisons, and all of it for what?

Well, in some cases, the extra knowledge can prove invaluable. For instance, instead of choosing a traditional fuel-based energy source, such as a gas boiler, you can go for a newer system for generating energy, such as a heat pump. This way, you will reduce resources spent while considerably increasing efficiency. New solutions for MEP systems are constantly being developed and introduced to the market and in order to maintain yourself ahead of the game, you need to be aware of all of them.

How to gain knowledge and review articles fast

So what are the best ways to actually review manufacturer content and decide on your best options, without spending hours browsing online for answers? Don’t worry, we made things easy for you!

1. Every week, look for the MEPcontent newsletter in your inbox

In the weekly newsletter we include the most important updates about new manufacturers joining the MEPcontent platform or new items being published. If you click on the button below each article, you will be directed to a page where you will find valuable information about the item such as best conditions in which to use it, strengths and weaknesses or background information about the manufacturing company. You can additionally visit the website of the manufacturer itself for more technical and detailed information on the product. Even if you don’t download the items straight away, at least you know what your options are.

2. Set yourself a goal to check the platform regularly and commit to it

Emails can get buried in your inbox before you get the time to read them, but there are always ways around that, since time is one of the biggest challenges today for everybody. Create a task for yourself to visit to check for the latest content updates. The latest content added will always appear on the top of the BIM overview page. Don’t forget to select the country of your choice to view the localizations available for your region. The frequency of the reminder can be daily, weekly, every few days, or as often as you think necessary. You can use this Google Chrome extension to be sure you don’t forget the commitment you made to yourself.

3. Use bookmarks to stay organized

In order to be sure that the content you are using is up-to-date, it is actually not such a good idea to download and store files locally. When there are changes made to an item, your local library will not sync automatically with the one available online, which means that you run the risk of using outdated content. In order to avoid that, but still keep yourself organized, you can use Internet bookmarks. We recommend creating a general “MEPcontent” folder that contains several sub folders named after the manufacturers that are of most interest to you. Alternatively, you can organize your folders according to categories. For instance, the general folder ”Mechanical” can contain the sub folders “Pipes”, “Valves”, “Pumps” where you store product pages from items that you would like to use for future projects. View all the categories available on MEPcontent here. Bookmarks are a great way to keep yourself organized and to make sure that you always check for the latest content updates.

4. Follow manufacturers on MEPcontent

What many MEPcontent users don’t know yet is that you can actually follow manufacturers and get personalized notifications by email when new content from them is published. It’s just like following friends on Facebook or other social platforms to get notified about their activity. You can find the “Follow” on each product page, such as this one for a Mitsubishi Electric heat pump. Look under the manufacturer information on the right side of the screen.

5. Automatically get notified when relevant updates are published

In the news section on MEPcontent we regularly publish closely verified information about BIM and MEP to help designers gain knowledge and practical information about the industry. Some of these news items end up in the newsletter, but not all of them. In order to be sure you don't miss important updates, or if you are not a big fan of email because your inbox gets cluttered too fast, you can choose to receive these updates as browser notifications. Just do a hard refresh of the MEPcontent website (Ctrl + F5 for Windows or ⇧ Shift and Reload for MAC) to clear the cookies and click "Allow" in the window that will appear next. You can switch off your notifications at any time from your browser's settings.

6. Browse and filter articles with the MEPcontent Browser

If you want to work at the highest speed, you may want to try the MEPcontent Browser plugin. It allows you to filter on several important criteria and to select the desired items from the list of results. All of it happens right within your project environment, so you never have to switch windows while working and risk losing concentration.

Go ahead and make a pledge to yourself that you will try at least 3 of these actions in order to start choosing better BIM content for your projects!