Opinion

Getting Equipped for BIM

 

August 11, 2015 │ Tahir Sharif

Is your organisation working with Building Information Management (BIM), do have you an established clear BIM strategy in place? This article covers the importance of developing a proper BIM strategy deployment plan, addressing key concepts and issues surrounding a BIM operation. To be a successful BIM organisation it is important to properly address BIM Process Management, so as to ensure that the right BIM functions and processes are properly covered.

BIM Strategy
An organisation needs to define a clear BIM strategy to determine their current BIM capability and future aspirations with realistic goals specific to their area of operations. Developing an internal BIM improvement planning road map focusing on key BIM functions along these realistic goals will help to successfully position an organisation to deploy BIM within a project environment.

BIM Functions
BIM is a vast and varied field, covering a broad scope of activities. These activities, or ‘BIM Functions’, can be roughly grouped into five categories:

  • Design
  • Analysis
  • Construction
  • Operation
  • Data Management

Design
Applications relate to the pre-planning and planning phase of a project. This section includes initial data collection (laser surveying, existing conditions modelling and site analysis), spatial programming and design authoring. It encompasses includes design review and coordination.

Analysis
There are secondary applications,often undertaken by a party who may not have authored the model themselves. Analysis activities include structural analysis, energy analysis, ‘green building’ certification, lighting analysis, mechanical system analysis, as well as other specialty disciplines.

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This category also includes model auditing, that is validating model integrity (how well is it built?) and verifying the model against design parameters and building code requirements.

Construction
This includes construction planning, (site utilisation, construction system design and 3D control and planning) as well as applications for construction sequencing(4D) and quantity take-off and estimation (5D). This section also examines shop drawing production and integration with Computer Aided Manufacturing(CAM). A significant part of this section addresses ‘BIM to Field’ activities such as establishing construction set-out points and recording as-built data and construction status.

Operation
BIM functions that support facility management. This includes record modelling (using laser scanning devices to capture as-built data), model maintenance and integrating the model with Facilities Management software for asset or spatial management, equipment tracking and maintenance scheduling. The sections also examines how a model can be reactivated for future facility expansion.

Data Management
Examines the best practices for BIM data structure and exchange, and how multi-model data may be regulated. This section includes an introduction to collaborative platforms and electronic project delivery systems, as well as key sessions on model collaboration, change management and issue reporting & tracking. This section also includes functions relating to interoperability and exchange formats (such as IFC), managing meta-data and linking multiple databases (models and text files).

BIM Execution Plan
As referenced in the last newsletter it is important to bring the above areas into a BIM Execution plan. Understanding a organisations BIM capability is critical in establishing the desired goals that can be reached in the BIM Execution Plan. The BIM Execution plan is a project specific document that identifies required BIM functions, establishes project standard sand protocols and develops specific workflows. These workflows include both process maps and information exchanges that regulate model progression between various functions and across multiple disciplines and/or organisations.

The BIM Execution Plan should also examine the IT strategy to select the appropriate software and necessary IT infrastructure. This includes an appreciation of functional requirements (eg. authoring, analysis or viewing/coordination tools) interoperability issues(within organisation and within potential project teams) and collaborative platforms and data exchange.

Finally the need to be flexible towards change is a central issue to a successful BIM Implementation both in an organisations internal structure, and in its external operations - legally and contractually.

BIM Consultant
An experienced BIM Consultant will carry out a BIM Health check on an organisation. Through dedicated BIM workshops with the organisation focusing on the key must haves they will help to develop the organisations BIM strategy and BIM planning templates needed for the change process in the BIM roadmap. The BIM workshops cover, managing changes to internal processes (productivity, pit-falls and lessons learned) and changes to business process(resources and roles, extended capabilities, contractual considerations).

The aim of the BIM Consultant workshops is to help an organisation safely and efficiently support the transition to BIM (focusing on realistic and incentivised milestones). This would include addressing the required support structure needed in terms of BIM Champions, developing BIM steering committees, fostering strategic partnerships (consultants or advisory services) and initiating at an appropriate scale, with parallel or pilot projects.

Do you have a well structure BIM Strategy and have you have a BIM Health check? Let us know in the comments below.

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