BIM for Clients: Part 2

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The previous blog set the scheme for some of the reasons for slow residential client BIM uptake to the present day. I’m following on with part deux, which looks at the ingredients for successful implementation to take place.

My experiences to date would suggest there needs to be :

• Directorate/Leadership buy-in and promotion of BIM right through the business. It could be strongly argued this is more pressing with BIM than the implementation of other organisational/departmental change management processes because BIM really is fully impacting across all areas of the business (if implemented correctly). This starts right from Project Strategy/inception (Land acquisition) through to Operation and potential refurbishment => Whole Lifecycle Project Management.

Departmental BIM Champions and strategists are required with the commitment and knowledge to see BIM and a culture change implemented. This may be a combination of external consultants supporting the business’ own staff or entirely one or the other.

• Dedicated BIM Champions from each workstream of the business who regularly meet and relay/champion the impacts on day-to-day business of BIM implementation to the leadership.

The PAS1192-2:2013 (Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using Building Information Modelling) and CIC BIM Protocol are readily available to assist with understanding the management and legal frameworks for delivering BIM Level 2 compliant projects. Whilst the PAS may seem an intensive read for those just getting to grips with BIM, it does cover all the areas of information delivery that will need to be given due consideration.

• Formulation of a clear, succinct and all encompassing EIR (Employers Information Requirements) document. This key question needs to be asked – What does the business actually expect/want from the BIM process? For some residential clients, answering this question will involve assessing the current use of their assets (especially important if the client uses a Design>Build>Operate business model); for others, if starting from scratch, it will involve analysing what is desired from BIM to benefit each workstream within the organisation currently.

The BIM Task Group EIR guidance document provides a useful starting point: EIR Guidance Document

The EIRs will set the basis for the BIM Execution Plan that all consultants and contractors submit pre-contract to demonstrate their capabilities. This goes on to inform the overarching MIDP (Master Information Delivery Plan) for a project.

• A focus on the BIM training requirements for residential clients’ project team personnel. This needs to happen not just to bring personnel up to speed with BIM industry standards but to also keep them updated. Whilst there is a burgeoning volume of information and training courses being offered to individuals and companies regarding BIM adoption, there needs to be an acute appreciation by the BIM leaders of the specific requirements for those operating from the client-side who have very different needs to those of consultants and contractors who actually design and deliver information.

For example, spending time and financial resources training commercial/construction management members of staff on how to use BIM authoring software may not be wholly worthwhile against developing their knowledge on the capabilities of associated BIM reviewing/coordination software to deliver information that can be extracted and input into their day-to-day management processes.

Critically, a bold starting step to test the waters with BIM is required from those who still need convincing about its merits. Whilst achieving BIM Level 2 standards may not be necessary (yet) or achievable immediately for many residential clients, I firmly believe that BIM has the potential to deliver the raft of benefits associated with its implementation. One could argue that this is even more pronounced in the context of residential development. The standardised (and sometimes repetitive) nature of details and products re-used across multiple projects offers serial developers the opportunity to refine and streamline their management processes to achieve maximum operational effectiveness.

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