Preparing for 2016

BIM really starts at the end – a model’s final requirement should be the goal

Most of the people we work with have now adopted a BIM application; they use it to deliver their project and there is a go-to guy in the office who resolves any problems with modelling. What amazes me are the questions that still get asked about what BIM means; are we doing level 2 BIM? What’s a BIM Execution Plan? We’ve been working on the project for X months, when do we create an EIR? It tells me there is still a misconception that your software choice makes you BIM capable. 

BIM really starts at the end – a model’s final requirement should be the goal. You’re not just thinking of the design of a building any more but how the process can provide additional deliverables that will allow it to be managed as a long-term asset. Have you discussed what BIM means to your client and its end goals? How will your client manage its building and the information it needs to do so? What will its facilities management software allow it to import; a model, a spreadsheet or some other proprietary format? 

Have you created a typical BIM Execution Plan (BEP) that lists not just the model-detail but the metadata you will include, and at which stage of the project? This will allow you to show your client and design team what you expect to deliver and when, and allow any extension of services to be added in.

With a 3D model for Architecture, Structures and MEP, are you checking and validating your model before issue? This doesn’t necessarily mean an individual needs to be responsible; a model validation checklist can be created for the team to use to review the model against the BEP’s requirements.

A typical BEP tells you what you’re delivering at each stage. You can improve this by considering your co-ordination tasks and the end goal; you may find that less detailed modelling, but enhanced metadata, early on will let a quantity surveyor change the bathroom specs without making several man-hours redundant.

The government’s mandate to deliver all public projects using Level 2 BIM by 2016 means we are likely to see the same requirements from other clients and contractors. If you aren’t sure what Level 2 BIM means and how it will shape your approach, take a look at PAS1192-2:2013, which specifies requirements for achieving BIM Level 2, and work out what you need to change within your project workflows to make reach this before the 2016 deadline.