Mitigate Design Risk: Supercharge Design & Constructability Reviews with Machine Learning

Supercharge Design and Constructability Reviews with IQ - Blog Hero

Schedule delays and cost overruns are the two biggest areas of risk on nearly every construction project. And the primary contributor to these schedule or cost impacts can be attributed to the growing number of RFIs construction teams deal with on a daily basis. A typical project can see on average 796 RFIs and can cost over $1,080 to respond to each one of these RFIs. That means that on average it costs a project's bottom line nearly $860 thousand just to respond to RFIs. 

average rfis in construction

average cost of rfis construction

With steep cost and schedule implications like these, it presses the question, where are all of these RFIs coming from? 

Our data science team was set to find the answer, and in their research, they found that over 70% of RFIs stem from design or documentation issues. They also found that unsuccessful projects (classified by profit margins) tend to have 50% more RFIs, with a root cause in Design & Engineering or documentation issues, than successful projects. 

design and documentation errors construction rfis

unsuccessful construction projects have more rfis

Taking all of this data into consideration, it seems clear that if we were able to solve critical design and constructability issues earlier in the process, not only would we have far fewer actual RFIs to manage and deal with during construction, but we would also minimize the amount of cost overruns, schedule delays, or litigation issues that put a project at risk. 

In construction, timing is everything. If teams don’t catch design issues early on, the cost to resolve them increases exponentially as the project continues. “As the overlap of design and construction phases continues to increase, the early identification and resolution of design issues is critical to managing risk to the construction schedule,” said James Detzel, the Director of Innovation at Austin Commercial.

The right time to make big impacts on catching design issues and reducing costly and schedule threatening RFIs should be when teams are completing their design and constructability reviews. Having the right tools to help manage this process is essential. 

AI and machine learning tools, such as Autodesk’s Construction IQ, can help identify and prioritize design and constructability issues faster. With the Design Risk Management capability set for Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360, teams can harness the power of data and machine learning to mitigate risk, faster.  

Construction IQ for Design Risk Management 

Tools to support design and constructability reviews are not entirely new to Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360. Through the Document Management module, teams have been able to manage the process of receiving, reviewing, and distributing design information. Whether through the ability to create markups or issues directly from a drawing or model, or by initiating multi-step approval workflows, the Document Management features allow teams to complete these reviews in an organized and efficient way.  

But with the application of Construction IQ, team members, like BIM / VDC leaders and superintendents, are able to take design and constructability reviews to the next level. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, Construction IQ scans through project data to surface the highest risk issues. 

When first launched, Construction IQ identified issues as they related specifically to safety and quality risk. But with expanded Design Risk Management capabilities, Construction IQ highlights design specific risks such as code compliance issues, issues to critical building components, errors and omissions in design and documentation, as well as any overdue design issues or reviews.

“We are very excited by the promise of machine learning to analyze the unstructured data inherent to design issues and help identify those with the highest risk to the project.” - James Detzel, Director of Innovation, Austin Commercial

With this level of information readily available, project leaders can take daily action to prioritize and resolve design issues before they become time-consuming RFIs and create costly changes downstream during construction.

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So, what does Design Risk Management include? Here is a breakdown below of the features built into Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360 that will help your team supercharge design and constructability reviews:


A basis to successful design reviews is having a software where teams can easily collaborate. In Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360 Document Management, teams can easily create, share, and review markups to drawings or models. 


The best part about Autodesk Construction Cloud and BIM 360 is that the whole design and constructability review workflow happens on a common data platform. Teams can create, track, and review design issues from a single source of truth that is unified and visible across the entire platform. 

Review Workflow

Project admins can customize and assign multistep review workflows. Within this setup, admins can select the option for group reviews, allowing multiple team members to review simultaneously, and set various customs rules in order to advance through the process. By working within this organized workflow, it allows for faster turnarounds and greater accountability.

Risk Prediction

Leveraging Construction IQ, team members like BIM / VDC leaders and superintendents, can add the new Design Review Risk Factor card to any of their Project Home or Insight dashboards. This card highlights high risk design issues including code compliance, critical components, incomplete documentation, as well as any overdue issues or reviews. Project leaders can click into any of these issues to see the prediction results and modify as needed. 


Having the ability to easily track and take action to resolve design specific issues is critical. In addition to the Construction IQ powered Design Review Risk Factor Card, teams can visualize basic analytics through a design focused dashboard in the Insight module. Users can also easily download any issue summary or detail reports directly from the Reporting tab. 

Leverage the Power of Machine Learning for Yourself

Harness the power of Construction IQ’s built-in machine learning and AI functionality to predict, prevent, and manage risks to cost, schedule, quality, and safety. 



Manu Venugopal

Manu Venugopal, Head of Construction Data & Analytics Products, Autodesk