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Why use BIM?

With effect from April 2016 and in line with Government Construction Strategy all centrally funded government work must be delivered within the BIM environment.

What are the benefits of BIM?

BIM delivers benefits to each stage of a building’s life cycle: design, construction and operation. These benefits are enhanced when the process is considered as a whole and the  information/data requirements are coordinated. These are some of the benefits:

  • Increased efficiency, project delivery improvements, cost savings and better coordination.
  • Improved communication – BIM provides an opportunity to engage clients, contractors and other stakeholders much earlier in the design process when the greatest value can be derived from their input.
  • Data Management – BIM can produce comprehensive data files to fully inform Asset/Facility management and maintenance schedules.
  • Analysis and Simulation – the relative ease of accurately recalculating performance following changes to the model allows different design options to be explored and optimised.
  • Improved productivity of construction.
  • BIM facilitates sustainability and minimisation of construction waste.
  • BIM promotes truly integrated design and delivery processes.

Does BIM require more work?

BIM is a front-loaded exercise which means that it requires more work during early stages of a construction project, particularly at design and procurement phases.  This early investment pays dividends later in the project and ongoing during the life of the building.

How do I procure a BIM project ?

The  Project procurement strategy impacts the way BIM is enabled and managed. However, regardless of procurement strategy, the client must first define their objectives as they relate to digital information during design, construction, and operation phases. Potential project participants should be made aware of these objectives before they are contracted.

BIM’s many benefits focus on improved collaboration between project participants. These benefits increase when procurement strategy promotes collaborative approaches.

Design, bid, build: Contracts should assist designers to take a more collaborative approach. Everyone must agree who models what, and when. Contractors bidding for work must understand the nature and completeness of the models they will receive.

Design and build, or ECI: These stages present designers and constructors with the opportunity to work together to ensure things are modelled only once. Including specific elements in design stage models rather than generic will produce a more efficient design.

Collaborative contracting or integrated project delivery: Linking the client, designers, and constructors to common objectives will maximise the benefits of BIM processes. However, all parties must trust each other implicitly.

What are the key BIM documents ?

Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR)

Developed by the client before the project team is engaged, the EIR is a subset of project requirements or equivalent contract documentation. The EIR introduces client objectives, information requirements, BIM uses, reasons, and purpose to the project team. It also includes technical and commercial details that should be addressed during the implementation of BIM.

The EIR should include detail that enables the project team to adequately assess both commercial and programme implications of a client’s BIM requirements. Requirements should be included in the project contract and implemented through a BIM execution plan.

BIM evaluation and response template

The BIM evaluation and response document is a supplemental template to the project BIM brief in the RFP or contractor procurement stage. It is designed to provide a consistent framework for the BIM component of a response to a request for proposal, demonstrating how the potential project team member will meet requirements specified in the BIM brief. Scored by tender evaluators, the template is pivotal to the selection of the project team.

Project BIM execution plan

The key document for successfully executing BIM, the BIM execution plan expands on the project BIM brief. Developed by the project team prior to commencing design, the execution plan is a live document updated throughout design and construction phases. Expanding on client objectives and outlining how the project team will achieve them, the execution plan allocates key responsibilities and defines critical processes, procedures, and tools.

When the design phase is completed, the project BIM execution plan is included in construction tender documentation, and passed from the design team to the construction team. Together with construction phase BIM processes, procedures, and tools, sharing this information ensures the construction team understands the extent of model development during design.

What is PAS 1192-2 ?

PAS 1192-2 is one of a number of standards, protocols and tools available to support the adoption of level 2 BIM in the construction industry:

  • BS 1192:2007 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. Code of practice. (now replaced by BS EN ISO 19650)
  • BS 8536-1:2015 Briefing for design and construction. Code of practice for facilities management (Buildings infrastructure).
  • BS 8536-2:2016 Design and construction: Code of practice for asset management (Linear and geographical infrastructure).
  • PAS 1192-2:2013. Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling (now replaced by BS EN ISO 19650)
  • PAS 1192-3:2014. Specification for information management for the operational phase of assets using building information modelling.
  • BS 1192-4:2014. Collaborative production of information. Fulfilling employer’s information exchange requirements using COBie. Code of practice.
  • PAS 1192-5:2015. Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management.
  • CIC BIM Protocol.
  • Uniclass2015.
  • Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) standard data format.
  • COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange).
  • BIM Toolkit.

What are the BIM Levels ?

There are a number of ‘levels of maturity’ of BIM:

  • Level 0 describes unmanaged CAD (Computer Aided Design).
  • Level 1 describes managed CAD in 2D or 3D.
  • Level 2 involves developing building information in a collaborative 3D environment with data attached, but created in separate discipline models.
  • Level 3 has yet to be defined in detail, but it is thought that it will include a single, collaborative, online, project model including construction sequencing, cost and lifecycle management information.