So I began life… My parents had grandiose ideas of my brother and I ‘being successful’ and ‘achieving’ but without any real plan. My dad was in middle management and mum a PA so there were no real family footsteps to follow. My upbringing and anything I achieved was very much pot luck, but if I could live life again, I’d take steps to weight the chances for success more in my favour. Hindsight allows me to apply that principle now. When I’m working on a project, effective planning can edge the odds in my favour and avoid wasting time and cost.
Using BIM in our workflows has all of a sudden added this huge dimension to what we deliver. I’ve seen projects that have had to be remodelled because the designer worked to such a high level of detail it was impossible to use; I’ve seen people adding so much extra information that deadlines came and went as they obliviously modelled away; I’ve seen deadlines delayed just because different project teams couldn’t use each others’ models.
Planning begins with a Project BIM Execution Plan (officially acronymed by the government to ‘BEP’), essential to avoid errors in judgement. The BEP is intended to outline exactly what you want to achieve on completion of the project and how you plan that. Imagine having a BEP for life and all the mistakes you could have avoided: first loves, bad investments, not wearing shellsuits to name a few.
You wouldn’t wear just underpants to work, or your heavy winter coat for the one scorching week of summer we get each year
Here are some of my more important items for inclusion in a BEP.
> BIM uses: My dad taught me very early on to use the right tool for the job. This I flagrantly ignore anytime I am doing DIY and subsequently end up spending three or more times as long, trying to achieve the same result. If you don’t know what you will be using the model for, how do you honestly expect to know what needs to be added?
> Test exchange formats: Ever been to a dinner party where two people clearly didn’t get on? Had you known you could have put them at opposite ends of the table. This situation tends to be quite rare (ignoring ‘Come Dine with Me’) because people are polite, but when working with BIM, before any important deadline, test the exchange formats to make sure all the design team can use them. If not, you can plan other ways to share that information.
> Level of detail/information: You wouldn’t wear just underpants to work, or your heavy winter coat for the one scorching week of summer we get each year. The same is true for a BIM project – if you are delivering early stage planning consent you need no more than an indication of a door and swing – the type of door and its furniture aren’t important. Products and detailed metadata can wait until later. The LOD (graphics) and LOI (metadata) need to be defined clearly at each stage.
If you need to start getting a BEP together, save yourself the effort and download ours: evolve- consultancy.com/ and head for resources.
Daniel Heselwood is associate director at BIM consultancy Evolve