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BIM: How to get startedOctober 2014

Written by Jo Harris, Principal Consultant, BSRIA Sustainable Construction Group

What is Building Information Modelling (BIM?)

With the UK Government pushing forward with Level 2 BIM required on all its mandated construction projects by 2016 our members are busy working out what that means for them. At its core BIM is a managed approach to the collection and exploitation of information. It is all about the efficient use of information and data on assets.

BIM offers the construction industry a process to capture data and share information during a project which also results in better information for those operating assets. As everyone knows ‘knowledge is power’ and BIM is all about giving the recipient of the data generated by the process knowledge. We have been working with our BIM Network and BIM Training to help the industry get the best support and most up-to-date information they can with this fast moving subject.

The Government’s requirement- the ‘Seven Pillars of (BIM) Wisdom’

Louis Vuitton Foundation Museum Icebergs (c) Lois Vuitton Foundation

Earlier this year the Government BIM task group redefined the scope for Level 2 BIM as being compliance with seven ‘components’ – the seven pillars of (BIM) wisdom if you like:

  • BIM Protocol
  • GSL (Government Soft Landings)
  • PAS 1192-2:2013 Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling
  • 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
  • Digital Plan of Work – due for release March 2015
  • Classification – due for release March 2015

Of these seven components, five already exist. BSRIA won the technical authoring role for PAS 1192-3 which has been published by BSI. It sets out the need for comprehensive and accurate information and is a great start to the in-use phase of an asset’s life. Following PAS 1192-3 results in an Asset Information Model (AIR) – a single information source which can be used as the basis for all asset related decision making.

GSL is also one of the pillars; it is Central Government’s client requirements’ M or R for construction projects to embrace Soft Landings. Central Government departments are gearing up to include their own GSL champions on these projects. Our Soft Landings User Group are also looking to engage further with facilities managers in the industry and we have been working with the BIM4FM group to encourage this group to get involved with Soft Landings and BIM.

What does that mean for me? - The BIM Roadmap

During a construction project BIM supports design decisions and allows visualisation and discussion with clients and their representatives, leading to better decision-making about a facility from earliest conceptual stages, through design and construction, into operational life and even future demolition.

To arrive at handover in a construction project with the best possible data set, the operational requirements must have been considered as part of the project briefing process. This allows the information being prepared throughout the procurement phases to be focussed on adding maximum value to the operations process – providing the data required and in the right format. This should also satisfy the organisation’s Organisational Information Requirements (OIR), as identified as part of its Asset management Plan. An Asset Management
Plan is discussed in detail in PAS 55 Asset management and its equivalent ISO standard ISO 55000, recently published by BSI.

We have been helping organisations to determine what BIM means to them and their organisation. You don’t have to wait until you have a new building built, the principles set out in PAS 1192-3 will help you start the journey and you can take a progressive approach as you update your information about your existing properties. You just need to create the right environment for managing all the data about your properties.

How do I get started with BIM? - The BIM implementation plan

It is helpful to put new developments such as BIM in context with existing working practices, and for this BSRIA uses a BIM roadmap. The roadmap puts the BIM elements alongside common construction activities such as the RIBA Plan of Work and helps align the processes. BSRIA runs the Introduction to BIM training course to support people who are now trying to implement the BIM process into their organisations.

Converting practices to comply with BIM is not a quick activity but it is a worthwhile one.

Understanding Level 2 BIM
This one day course will provide an overview of BIM and a good understanding of the Government's BIM strategy and 8 components of BIM Level 2.