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Clash Detection

March 11, 2020

Errors that are normally detected on site can now be discovered and anticipated in the office through the BIM model, with the “Clash Detection” or “Interference Detection” tool:

What is an interference? An interference occurs when different elements intersect in the same space.

We highlight 3 types of Interference Detection:

  1.  Hard Clash or Hard Interference: that happens when two objects cross each other.
  2. Soft Clash or Soft Interference: that happens when objects invade geometric tolerances of other objects.
  3. 4D / Workflow Clash or Workflow Interference: which resolves crashes and programming anomalies, as well as delivery interferences.

Advantages of Clash Detection or Interference Detection:

  • It helps us to identify, inspect and notify Interferences quickly and efficiently in a project model between multiple disciplines: architectural, structural or MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing).
  • Benefits cost control, accelerating the construction process and having a perfect design for the construction phase between architects, engineers and contractors.
  • It also provides a collaborative approach and helps finalize design changes in a very interactive way for the user. All these benefits have made clash detection and BIM coordination, one of the fundamental characteristics in virtual construction technology.

In conclusion, the detection of clashes will undoubtedly reduce construction time, minimize errors and provide a great understanding of the functionalities of the design before construction.


Today, most of the world’s leading construction, engineering and architecture companies rely on the capabilities of BIM platforms for design coordination, conflict detection and resolution, as well as programming. 3D modelling and the Common Data Environment (CDE) within BIM helps them greatly to reduce design errors.

When planning is done in advance, it reduces costs and modifications at later stages. The biggest advantage of the projects implemented by BIM is that it allows to take informed decisions in the early stages and saves engineers, MEP contractors and stakeholders a lot of issues at the end of the project.

Our company SDEA, uses Bentley Systems BIM technology for our designs, and a key tool that facilitates the good result of them, is the “Clash Detection” or “Interference Detection” tool. This tool detects conflicts, either between our models and point clouds, or between different models, elements, etc.

Together with ProjectWise, another collaborative working tool and managed environment from Bentley Systems, workflows are simplified and communication between the different parties involved in a Project is improved, which translates into a reduction in time and costs within the Project.

Example of Clash Detection applied in one of our designs for installation of electrical disconnectors in railway electrification network.


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