The Legal Aspects of BIM

Many remain confused about the meaning and value  of BIM (building information modeling).

BIM is the efficient full life cycle operation of the built environment, with the promise of managing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and associated physical and functional conditions in concert with an organization’s changing needs.   This is a radical departure from the  current focus upon “first cost” or ” initial cost” mentality.  BIM is NOT 3D modeling (Revit, Archicad, Bentley, etc.), although some vendors tend to perpetuate this myth.   BIM is the visualization and modeling of the built environment to assist in associated decision support, via ANY means, leveraging digital technology.

Traditionally, construction projects are managed in silos, for example – design, engineering, procurement, construction, operations, etc… all in there own neat (or not so neat) little containers.  Integrating this information, collaborating with this informati0n, and providing the Owner with the ability to leverage accurate, transparent, timely information for ongoing decision support is practiced by an elite few… likely less than 5% of the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner ,Operations) sector.    The end result it that we, and an industry sector, continue to experience rampant waste, low productivity, and an antagonistic environment littered with legal squabbles.

BIM, in its true form, offers ,significant cost savings and productivity improvements for all stakeholders, as well as long lasting, positive, and mutually beneficial relationships.

The key to BIM is the construction delivery method and associated strategic direction of all parties.   Collaborative methods such as Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Job Order Contracting – JOC, and similar methods are fundamental requirements, in addition to several building life-cycle knowledge domains, technologies, and best practices.   Fundamental characteristics of collaboration construction delivery include:

  1. Qualifications Based or Best Value Selection
  2. Some form of pricing transparency
  3. Early and ongoing information-sharing among project stakeholders
  4. Appropriate distribution of risk
  5. Some form of financial incentive to drive performance

So… back to the legal aspects of BIM.  In short, there really aren’t any… IF… an robust, collaborative, construction delivery method is in place defining the ground rules for everyone.  That said, there are certainly considerations and components that must be incorporated:

  • Who owns the information? – The Owner must have ownership, however, this ownership can be, and should be… in most cases, shared with the creator.
  • Who was responsible for it and liable for the errors contained therein? – The Owner, and or Owner’s representative. as they are managing the process, however, a basic acceptable level of performance must be established for all parties.
  • How is the information collected and migrated? – Via open, transparent data architectures and lexicon.  For example, OMNICLASS, Masterformat, Uniformat, COBIE (once it gets sorted out).
  • Who was getting paid for what? – Pretty straightforward
  • Who was controlling the project? – At the end of the day, whoever pays the bills… always has worked best this way, thus the Owner or Owner’s representative.
  • In whose interest where the parties working? – Mutual, product completed to benefit and requirements of the owner, on-time, and on-budget.
  • How would the project be procure? IPD, JOC and similar methods that incorporate procurement, project management relationships and responsibilities, data architectures and formats, etc.

Sure, standards for guidance are evolving, however, several “best practice” business process alread exist and can easily be extended.   It is critical to remember that  business strategy,  processes, and workflow are the important area of focus, technology plays a supporting role.  Unfortunately, manner tend to approach BIM from a technology perspective…. an approach doomed from the start.

Behind the High-Performance Federal Buildings Act


Reduction of  federal building energy footprint is an important initiative.

Focus must shift to the renovation, repair, and sustainability of existing buildings and associated efficient project delivery methods.   BIM and Cloud computing can integrate the currently disparate processes associated with facility capital planning, management, renovation, and maintenance…. and make enable the widespread use of efficient project delivery methods such as integrated project delivery (IPD) and job order contracting (JOC).
The focus on BIM as 3D visualization and design is a distraction we can no longer afford.

 

BIM is the life-cycle management of facilities supported by digital technology.  It is the use of robust business processes and standardized taxonomies and metrics.
The tools to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the built environment are readily available.  Products and services  manufactured here in the United States, the use of which would also help our economy.

The  High-Performance Buildings Caucus was started in 2007 with a goal to make a real difference in our economy and environment. Last year,  the “Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act”  was introduce to piece of legislation ensure that people working on federal buildings are properly trained to do the work their job requires. This bill was signed into law at the end of 2010, however, the   General Administration Services (GSA) is lagging in its proper implementation.  Knowledge of life-cycle facility management is critical to reaching the goals of efficient facility life-cycle management.

The High Performance Federal Buildings Act is intended to require analysis of the full life-cycle costs for buildings.    It also requires regulations for the use of energy and water in federal buildings to reflect the most current codes and standards.   The Act will reduce energy footprint speed compliance with mandated standards.

It is very important to use of life-cycle cost analysis on any construction, alteration or acquisition of a building.  Facility condition assessments and commissioning are also key elements in this regard that must be addressed in a standardized manner.

via http://www.4Clicks.com – Premier software for efficient project delivery, cost estimating, and project management – JOC, SABER, IPD, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, IDIQ, POCA, BOA.

Version 2 National Building Information Modeling Standard – United States – NIBS National BIM Standard – News – November 2011

The National Building Information Modeling Standard-United States™ (NBIMS-US™) Project Committee has approved 18 submissions to be included in Version 2 of the standard.  Areas addressed include –  reference standards, information exchange standards,  and best practices.

Approved reference standards:

  • Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) 2×3
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) XML
  • OmniClass Tables 13, 21, 22, 23, 32 and 36
  • International Framework Dictionary (IFD) Library Update

Approved information exchange standards:

  • Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie)
  • Information Delivery Manual/Model View Definition (IDM/MVD) Design to Spatial Program Validation
  • IDM MVD Design to Building Energy Analysis
  • IDM MVD Design to Quantity Takeoff

Approved best practices, guidelines and applications:

  • BIM Project Execution Planning Guide – V2.1
  • BIM Project Execution Plan Content – V2.1
  • Minimum BIM
  • Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Coordination Requirements
  • Planning, Executing and Managing Information Handovers

via http://www.4Clicks.com – Leading Software for Efficient Project Delivery Methods, Cost Estimating, and Project Management – JOC, SABER, IPD, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA – All in one application.

DOD Sustainability Scorecard – from OMB

The DoD earned 3 out of 7 red lights on its OMB scorecard for failure to sufficiently reduce energy intensity and fleet petroleum use and to green more of its buildings.

Plan to change those red lights to green: 

Energy intensity: The agency achieved an 11.2% reduction on a goal of 15%. Going forward, the $24 billion Military Construction and Facilities Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization budget will be used to fund programs to reduce facility energy use. 

Petroleum: DoD reduced non-tactical vehicle petroleum use by 6.6% on a target of 10%. Future plans include more alternative fuel vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. 

Green buildings: Fewer than 5% of DoD’s buildings greater than 5,000 gsf meet the Guiding Principles for buildings. To improve, DoD will mandate that all new construction and renovations comply with the Guiding Principles and meet LEED Silver standards, with a particular emphasis on energy and water efficiency. DoD will also work to improve reporting systems.

DoD scored a home run on reducing potable water intensity, reducing by 13% from 2007 to 2010 on a target of 6%. Most of the reduction came from an aggressive leak detection and repair program. The agency also got green lights for submitting the GHG inventory for Scopes 1-3. Finally, DoD got a yellow light for falling short of the mandate to increase use of renewable energy as a percent of facility electricity use.

Final-Jan-2011-OMB-Scorecard-DOD-public-version-4-14-11

via 4Clicks – Premier software provider for efficient construction delivery methods, cost estimating, and project management – JOC, SABER, IPD, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, IDIQ, POCA, BOA …. and referenced from CEIL.

Obama Missing the Point on Sustainability?

President Obama’s  State of the Union Address calls for 80% clean power by 2035, but…  WHAT ABOUT ENERGY CONSERVATION!!!!

Clean energy is great, but likely a pipe dream.  Furthermore, none of the “renewable” energy sources will meet current demands and/or be deployable by 2035.

We need to get serious about implementing energy conservation measures and associated facility system upgrades.   It is no secret that existing building energy use can be reduced 30% to 50% by upgrading systems and adopting better utilization practices.

The real issues is that appropriate incentives and efficient  transparent project delivery methods are not being used.

The combination of objective facility assessments with efficient project delivery methods such as JOC – Job Order Contracting, and IPD – Integrated Project Design, associated mandates and financial incentives is sorely needed!

Time to stop talking and start acting?

 

 

The Top Three Requirements for Sustainability – High Performance Buildings & Green

1. Facility Life-cycle Management – Visibility into accurate building information from concept to design, bidding, procurement, construction, repair, renovation, maintenance, and demolition is a basic requirement for both new and existing buildings in order to impact sustainability on any type of broad scale.  Associated physical and functional conditions, costs, and what-if analysis tools are just an examples of the information needed.

2. Efficient Project Delivery Methods. The best high performance building concepts, for new or existing buildings, are of no value if they can not be implemented in a timely, cost-effective, and quality manner.   The AEC sector is notorious for waste, poor planning, and lack of efficient business processes.   “Newer” construction delivery methods such as IPD – Integrated Project Delivery and JOC – Job Order Contracting must be employed on a widespread basis.

3. Performance-Based Building Codes and Legislation. Existing buildings are responsible for the lion’s share of carbon output and energy consumption.  Current green initiatives in the private and public sector have been mostly “window dressing”, and strong legislation is required, inclusive of ongoing monitoring and associated incentives and penalties.

Green / Sustainability Building Regulations & Laws

CALGREEN

Effective January 1, 2011,  CALGREEN Code is the first state high performance building / green / sustainabilitys building code.

CALGREEN is mandatory and targets new residential, commercial, hospital and school buildings and a  3 million metric tons greenhouse gas reduction by the year 2020.

Designers, contractors, and owners can plan and build to a certifiable green standard without  for third-party certification and requires field inspections using a public service.

Key targets/requirements.

  • 20% indoor water use reduction (voluntary goal standards for 30%, 35% and 40%)
  • Separate water meters for indoor and outdoor water use for commercial buildings
  • Moisture-sensing irrigation systems
  • Reduced land-fill waste
  • Mandatory inspections commercial buildings over 10,000 square feet
  • Use of low VOC materials

 

[via http://www.4clicks.com – Leading Cost Estimating and Integrated Project Management Software (JOC, SABER, SATOC, IPD, MATOC, MAC, POCA, BOA …)]