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Building Strong Teams: A Guide to Effective AEC Communication and Collaboration with BIM


This report is the culmination of several years of research about collaboration with BIM and integrated design and construction teams, as well as a synthesis of best practices from Skanska professionals.

Our study focused on construction management and owner/developer perspectives; however, many of the collaborative techniques are relevant to all parties in an integrated project—those who lead teams as well as those who are on these teams. For collaboration to improve between designers and builders, it is important to help the team see the value of collaboration and the purpose for information exchange. When a project is risky, open communication through a collaborative culture drives clarity and certainty, where teams develop a better understanding of the project process at all levels.

We provide a series of guidelines and tested practices as to how to:

  • collaborate effectively with owner representatives, designers, and contractors
  • create a project team culture that supports information exchange
  • lead an integrated project in the AEC industry

This guideline is a product of a study conducted with the support of a 2014-2015 Skanska Innovation Grant Award. This effort was led by Prof. Carrie Sturts Dossick, Director of the Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) and Faculty lead in the Communication Technology and Organizational Practices Research Group (CTOP) at the University of Washington. The research team included Omid Parsaei (MS, University of Washington), Dr. Laura Osburn (CERC, University of Washington) and Prof. Renee Cheng (University of Minnesota).