Providing BIM models to bidders Yes or No?


In the past we’ve been asked by Contractors and their subs to provide our cad files to them for use in generating shop drawings.

We typically allow this but require them to sign an indemnification form before sending them over.

We don’t see a problem with this but recently we’ve been asked by bidders, before the contract is even awarded, for our BIM models (Revit).

The concern with doing this is that the BIM models don’t necessarily include all the details and features of our design in the model itself since with Revit you develop the model only to a certain level of detail and then finish it off in the 2D drafting process.

So by giving them the model we are concerned that they will inadvertently depend solely on the model and miss things that are required in the actual contract documents. Apparently there are software products out there that do quantity take offs from the models.

Also, during bidding there is not a current set up contractual relationship between parties so that is concerning with respect to liability and the requirements on the bidders to follow due diligence.

Have you all experienced this type of request during bidding? What do you do about it?


Doesn’t feel right to me. No CADD files. Pdf’s only. Let them cut and paste.


*.pdfs only… none of the firms I work for give *.dwg files out.



I believe this depends on the situation. It is often understood that a model does not have all of the pertinent information and if not, a simple disclaimer can accompany the model.
From an estimator’s perspective, any information they can get will help. If you are able to provide a model that they can do major material takeoff’s from, this can save them a bunch of time (and possibility of mistakes/typos) that they can than use to estimate the more detailed information that is not in the model yet.
Hopefully if you do have a bidder depend solely on the model, causing them to miss things that aren’t in the model this will become very obvious when comparing to other bids.
The requirement to follow due diligence really comes from them needing to make money based on the bid submittals doesn’t it? If they miss information that was given to them and underbid the job it is ultimately on them to still perform the job at the bid price. To me, this type of request is typically done with the understanding that it is simply another tool to help them create a more accurate estimate, it is not used as the only means to create the estimate.

I am surprised by the responses of no .dwg (or other electronic type) files being given out. These are tools that the engineering and construction world can use to help reduce mistakes by removing the human factor of retyping information and copying and pasting and so on. Let’s use all the tools available to us to help reduce mistakes and reduce time spent recreating information to ultimately save the end client money both in time and cost of mistakes!


nice response, but still no *.dwg files.