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Qnect's Early Connected Models save time and money using cloud automation to resolve issues early in design.


What is an Early Connected Model?


The Early Connected Model delivers a highly detailed 3D model with 100% of the connections at the time of bid and award. This delivery eliminates ambiguities, as it clearly defines the total tonnage, fitting material weight, shop and field bolts, and weld volume at the bid stage. The winning fabricator then completes the detailing process.


  1. 5% to 10% reduction in the total steel bid package. (the combined cost of material, fabrication & erection)

  2. Dramatic drop in post-award RFIs and change orders. One national GC reported a reduction in post-award change orders of over 50% (AECOM Tishman, NASCC 2021).

  3. Complete projects faster. 66 Hudson Boulevard (The Spiral) was completed & began leasing 4 months ahead of schedule (WSP, AU2023)

  4. Reduction in carbon. Structural designs are estimated to have 50% excess material, built in as a risk mitigation strategy (IStructE, 2022)

The Early Connected Model is a collaboration technique that applies the best parts of design assist without bringing a fabricator on board too early. It is a great fit for design-bid-build projects that are fast track but also demand cost control with a competitive bid environment. By flipping the workflow, connection engineering, fabrication modeling and the review of shop submittals are shifted upstream. This takes shop drawing creation off the critical path, saving weeks and months of schedule.



"Early connected models take shop drawing creation off the critical path, saving weeks and months of schedule."

Once the fabricator has been selected to manufacture the building’s structural components, , the early connected model is handed over for them to complete the shop drawings and incorporate in any additional design changes. The fabricator can customize the model to meet their fabrication preferences and manage changes easily using the Qnect software.

To deliver early connected models, Qnect uses its patented connection design & engineering software to automate modeling and engineering so it is super fast to resolve issues early and adapt to design changes quickly.


Why are Early Connected Models becoming more popular?


Many seasoned AEC professionals have experienced the transition from pen & paper to CAD/BIM in their lifetimes. However, despite steel professionals being more digitized, a disconnect between design and construction remains. Today when a design is handed to a fabricator, the components that connect the beams together (connection material, bolts, welds, etc) have yet to be designed. The responsibility to design these components typically falls on the fabricator, an entity completely separate from the Engineer of Record (EOR) responsible for engineering the steel frame. The frame and connections are inter-dependent therefore changes often need to be made to the framing to accommodate the proper connection types to safely support the structure. Because the structural design has already been “approved” and the fabricator cannot make changes to it, each time a change needs to be made to the frame to accommodate a connection the fabricator must send it back to the EOR to reengineer with an explanation of why. This is where RFIs, change orders & resulting schedule delays & cost increases pile up. The Early Connected Model mitigates this workflow inefficiency by making sure that the lateral system AND the remaining connections have been engineered and are represented in the 3D model before the 3D model is handed to the fabricator.

Why Qnect?


Qnect software automatically detects constructibility issues for the entire structure, allowing engineers and detailers to collaborate early at resolving them.

Qnect has been adopted by leading engineers and fabricators to automate much of the connected model delivery. It automatically detects constructibility issues for the entire structure, allowing engineers and detailers to collaborate early at resolving them. Qnect’s software has optional optimization capabilities that can reduce bolts between 20-50% or eliminate hundreds of costly connection reinforcements. When design changes do occur, the software reconnects the model in seconds, freeing up time for the users to focus on coordination and complex problem solving. Qnect’s software can automatically engineer 70-80% of the connections and detail them into the 3D model all at once. Using this higher LOD model for bidding greatly reduces the volume of steel related RFIs, reduces cost overruns and schedule drift, tightens and lowers bids.

Early Connected Model for Delegated Design

Early Connected Model for Mandated Design




Some of Our Valued Clients:  LeMessurier_logo  aecomtishman horizontal logo   severud logo


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Related content:

Read about Qnect's early connected steel model in MSC.

View some of Qnect's projects.

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