Smart Market Report – The Business Value of BIM for Construction in the Major Global Markets: How Contractors Around the World Are Driving Innovation with Building Information Modeling

How many of you find this report misleading?

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.

Are 71% of US/North America respondents are practicing BIM”?   Is this true?  Or has someone in the organization purchased 3D visualization software and/or worked with someone who has?   3D visualization is not BIM.

Does anyone out there really believe that “BIM is reaching maturity among contractors in Europe and North America”?

Many/most respondent don’t have the tools to practice BIM or even understand the critical “best practices” or processes to achieve BIM.

Like many reports and discussions of BIM, this survey apparently fails to clearly define BIM to survey participants.  Isn’t it time to get smarter about BIM?



BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.   Does it exist today?


BIM requires the integration of previously disparate competencies, processes, and technologies.  Facilities Operations Software (3d modeling (Revit, Bentley, Archicad…) CPMS, CMMS, IWMS, CAFM, EAMS, ERP, BAS/BMS GIS …), Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods (IPD – Integrated Project Delivery, JOC- Job Order Contracting, PPP – Public/Private Partnerships..), robust ontology, metrics, and benchmarks are arguably ALL requirements for initial and ongoing success.

While there are certainly active programs and projects to begin to DEVELOP standardized integration of BIM technology and processes for efficient life-cycle management of the built environment, they do NOT exist.   I see a critical need for the development of a robust BIM Ontology. Far too much time to date has been focused “in the weeds” on “technical issues”.  Technology is NOT the problem, but rather a robust definition of life-cycle management and associated competencies, metrics, benchmarks, and processes. 

The success/failure of ANY repair, renovation, sustainability, or new construction project is largely dependent upon the construction project delivery method and associated composition of a collaborative, experienced team.  


Job  Order Contracting
Job Order Contracting




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BIM Certification – RICS – 2013 – Real or Pure Nonesense?


The issue, of course is that there is NO “industry tested and approved level”.


RICS has announced a BIM Manager Certification.   While BIM is far from a “standard” the certification is an attempt to  define and evaluate the proficiencies of construction professionals with respect to BIM (Building Information Modelling).

A bit of the “cart before the horse” the RICS stand will attempt to assure that  professionals and firms executing construction and infrastructure projects will acquire the related information, experience and expertise in employing BIM at an industry tested and approved level.   The issue, of course is that there is NO “industry tested and approved level”.

Per a RIC representative – “This (the BIM certification) provides the sector with a trusted kitemark that will clearly demonstrate the existing experience and knowledge of construction professionals. We are also planning a Certification for Facilities Managers and Geomatics professionals. In addition, we are looking at the emerging effect of BIM on our traditional qualification routes and will use feedback from the Certification to inform this process.”  To be honest, I just do see how RICs, or any organization can claim to be able to certify the use of BIM at this stage of its development.


Your thought?



National BIM Standard – Survey – NBIMS-US – Building Information Modeling


Share Your Perspective on the Value of the NBIMS-US™

Take the NBIMS-US™ Survey

The Planning Committee for the nation’s building information modeling (BIM) standard is conducting a survey to obtain more information about the building industry’s use and perceived value of theNational BIM Standard – United States® (NBIMS-US™).

The three-minute survey is meant to capture information about the awareness, understanding and implementation of the NBIMS-US™ and find out what industry professionals think should be addressed in future versions of the standard.

The National Institute of Building Sciences buildingSMART alliance™ NBIMS-US™ Project Committee is currently in the process of balloting Version 3 of the standard. With the results of the survey, the Alliance will be better able to plot a path to steer future NBIMS-US™ content to address issues important to the building industry.

Today’s building professionals are increasingly using BIM in their work. The NBIMS-US™ is a consensus-based standard that supports users in their implementation of BIM. Because a BIM covers all aspects of the building process, and everyone in the construction industry will be impacted as the use of BIM becomes standard operation procedure, it is increasingly important that representatives from every segment of the industry participate in development of the standard. With more industry input, the standard can become stronger and more effective, helping the U.S. building industry to become more efficient and productive.

The survey is open until November 15. It consists of 15 multiple-choice questions and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The buildingSMART alliance™ will share the survey results during Building Innovations 2014: the National Institute of Building Sciences Conference and Expo, the week of January 6-10, 2014. Take the survey now.

About the National Institute of Building Sciences

The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

An Authoritative Source of Innovative Solutions for the Built Environment

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BIM Glossary Terms and Definitions – NBIMS-US – 2013

Get involved in the NBIMS-3.0 2013 National BIM Standard today!

There are many exciting things go one.  Below, a list of terms and definitions being submitted for voting is just one of several important initiatives.

Building Information Modeling Model Management


BIM is a term which represents three separate but linked functions:

Building Information Modeling: Is a BUSINESS PROCESS for generating and leveraging building data to design, construct and operate the building during its lifecycle. BIM allows all stakeholders to have access to the same information at the same time through interoperability between technology platforms.

Building Information Model: Is the DIGITAL REPRESENTATION of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle from inception onwards.

Building Information Management: Is the ORGANIZATION & CONTROL of the business process by utilizing the information in the digital prototype to effect the sharing of information over the entire lifecycle of an asset. The benefits include centralized and visual communication, early exploration of options, sustainability, efficient design, integration of disciplines, site control, as built documentation, etc.–effectively developing an asset lifecycle process and model from conception to final retirement.



1. In general, attributes represent the characteristics of objects. e.g. Attributes defined by a building element class may be Name, Length, Weight, Price, etc. The attribute values of a specific building element of a specific building may be Name = ‘Wall-123’, Length=6500.0, Weight=7300, etc.
2. In EXPRESS, (See Standards Section – EXPRESS) an attribute of an entity type has a name and data type, and they represent characteristics of an entity type and relationships between entity types.


BIM Implementation

1. The management of work processes and software tools to produce required project information.
2. In BIM software development, the incorporation of features in software, or the form those features take in the software.
3. In an IFC context, an application’s capability to create, use, import, and export IFC Project data.


BIM Life-Cycle Views

The various perspectives of BIM held depending upon facility phase, facility element, AECOO discipline, and Level of Development. These different views often create unneeded semantic conflict while well-defined and accepted terms for all phases could be achieved.

Construction Delivery Method

See Project Delivery Method

Cost – Avoidance, (Interoperability)

According to a NIST study (NISTR 7417), the categories of costs that are typically incurred to minimize technical, software, and/or data interoperability problems. For example the lack of using an information management strategy.

(3)FALLON, K. K and PALMER, M. E. General Buildings Information Handover Guide. Principles, Methodology and Case Studies (NISTIR 7417), August. 2007.


Raw factual bits of unprocessed information. Can be structured, but as an aggregate, has no more meaning than the individual facts alone convey.



Practice area and specialty of the actors (participants) that carry out the processes and procedures that occur during the life cycle of a construction entity.


IFC Certification Procedure (IFC 4×4**)

Certification testing is a process for testing software’s conformance with a given IFC release specification and its subsets, defined as views. The aim of the certification testing is to promote quality in IFC implementations and demonstrate to end-users that the software passing the certification implements the IFC specification in a consistent way, hence being able to exchange IFC product data with other certified software unambiguously. The buildingSMART IFC Software Certification procedure is intended to promote consistent and reliable implementations of the IFC specification by many software vendors across multiple software applications. The consistency aimed at by the certification program will help drive rapid evaluation, deployment and acceptance of the IFC standard for the exchange and sharing of Building Information Models. In 2010 buildingSMART developed the new IFC Certification 2.0 procedure to significantly improve quality assurance and service to participating software companies. It cancels and replaces the old IFC Certification 1.0 procedure that had been used 2001-2010.


Level of Development


Level of Development is the degree to which the element’s geometry and attached information have been thought through—the degree to which project team members may rely on the information when using the model.


Level of Precision

The closeness of agreement within individual


Life-cycle Assessment


1. A compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.
2. A tool used to understand the energy use, other environmental impacts, and costs associated with all life cycle phases of the building: procurement, construction, operation, and decommissioning. Its use requires a set of guiding principles, which consider the unique character of each “building” design, complexity in defining systems, and related decisions.

1. 14040:2006

2. (10)

Life-cycle Costs


The sum of the present value of investment costs, capital costs, installation costs, energy costs, operating costs, maintenance costs, and disposal costs, over the lifetime of the product, product, or measure


Life-cycle Stages


Four (4) areas considered as components of life-cycle assessment (LCA):
1) Materials Manufacturing: Removal of raw materials from earth, transportation of materials to the manufacturing locations, manufacture of finished or intermediate materials, building product fabrication, and packaging and distribution of building products
2) Construction: All activities relating to the actual building project construction
3) Use and Maintenance: Building operation including energy consumption, water usage, environmental waste generation, repair and replacement of building assemblies and systems, and transport and equipment use for repair and replacement
4) End of Life: Includes energy consumed and waste produced due to building demolition and disposal of materials to landfills, and transport of waste materials. Recycling and reuse activities related to demolition waste also can be included and have a “negative impact.”


Metadata, Administrative

Data necessary to allow a repository to manage information objects, such as when, how and by whom a resource was created and how it can be accessed. Elements in administrative metadata can overlap with technical and preservation metadata because it shares the same purposes, i.e., to make the resources accessible in the future. Sometimes technical and preservation metadata are also added as administrative metadata.


Metadata, Structural

Data indicating how compound information objects are put together. Example: how pages are ordered to form chapters.



A collection of data, behaviors, and attributes or properties that is handled in computer applications (and by users) as a single unit with relationships to other objects. May refer either a class or an instance of a class.


Overview Map

A high-level BIM process map that illustrates the relationship between BIM uses which will be employed on the Facility. Each of the BIM Uses then gets its own lower level Process Map. See also Process Guidance Map in Penn State PxP Guides and NBIMS 2.0



In BIM parameter estimating, the accuracy[1] of a measurement system is the degree of closeness of measurements of a quantity to that quantity’s actual (true) value. The precision[1] of a measurement system, also called reproducibility or repeatability, is the degree to which repeated measurements under unchanged conditions show the same results.[2] Although the two words precision and accuracy can be synonymous in colloquial use, they are deliberately contrasted in the context of the scientific method.
A measurement system can be accurate but not precise, precise but not accurate, neither, or both.



See Characteristic


1. Quantitatively, The probability that the system or component will perform its intended function for a specified period under stated conditions. Period can be measured in cycles of use or duration.
2. Qualitatively, a measure of aggregated accuracy, certainty, and precision that may be assumed of a unit of information.


Service Life

The expected serviceable lifetime, or the acceptable period of use of a product. It is the time that any manufactured item can be expected to be ‘serviceable’ or supported by its manufacturer.



When referring to a programming language or command, a set of rules that are associated with the language or command.  When referring to an error, a syntax error is an error that is encountered when the programmer or individual who wrote the code has not followed the rules of the language, causing the program to fail.




V3 Definition*


BIM Wash(ing) A term describing the inflated, and/or deceptive, claims of using or delivering Building Information Modeling services or products.
Event In process mapping, an occurrence in the course of a business process. Three types of events exist, based on when they affect the flow: start, intermediate, and end. 5.3 BIM Proj Exec Planning Guide
Life-Cycle Views Defined sets of information intended for use at specific stages of a project. See NBIMS v1, Life-Cycle Views NBIMS 1.0 and specific figures: 2.1-2; 2.1-4; 2.2-2; 3.1-1
Metadata 1. In context of Information Architecture or Engineering, the structural elements used to construct the data model. From a more generalized perspective, “data about data;” functionally, “structured data about data.” Metadata includes data associated with either an information system or an information object for purposes of description, administration, legal requirements, technical functionality, use and usage, and preservation. In the case of Dublin Core, information that expresses the intellectual content, intellectual property and/or instantiation characteristics of an information resource. See Section 1.1 of this guide. For a history of the term See Caplan, pp. 1-3. See Data Schema or Metadata Repository projects used in advanced organizations such as NIEM, FIBO, etc..1.2. Data useful for the description, administration, legal handling, technical functionality, use, or preservation of the primary data stored in an information management system or model of such a system. For example, if an article in a periodical is the primary information in a card catalog, the publisher is metadata.
Metadata, Descriptive 1. Information used to search and locate data, and/or an object such as title, author, subjects, keywords, publisher. See also, metadata, structural metadata, administrative metadata and preservation metadata.2. Data useful characterizing or classifying other information. Example: In a system where morphology of things is a primary attribute of things recorded in the system, the morphology classification system used and the specific class assigned to each primary data element are descriptive metadata. METADATA STANDARDS AND METADATA REGISTRIES: AN OVERVIEW
Bruce E. Bargmeyer, Environmental Protection Agency, and Daniel W. Gillman, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Daniel W. Gillman, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC 20212
NISTIR 7417 page 76 Fallon definition
Open Format, BIM In the context of BIM supporting software and processes must facilitate, not
inhibit, project planning, design, construction, commissioning and lifecycle
management.Software and processes. support non-proprietary, open standards for auditable information exchange and allow for confident information exchanges across applications and across time. This can be accomplished through professional, public and privatesector adoption of open standards. Many professional assocaitions, public agencies, etc. encourage and/or play leadership roles in the ongoing development of open standards for BIM is open format standards, in contrast to other conditional or limited use formats.
Process Map, Process Plan – BIM


A project specific BIM-supported list of tasks and/or diagram along with information exchange requirements. Syn: Process Diagram project which, Page 103, Figure 5.2-9
Project Delivery Method A contractual method / business process which assigns responsibility for project development and execution services. Examples of delivery methods for design and construction services include “Design-Bid-Build” (DBB), “Design-Build” (DB), “Integrated Project Delivery” (IPD), “Job Order Contracting” (JOC), and “Private Public Partnerhip” (PPP). An example of a delivery method for constuction services only (a Construction Delivery Method) is “Construction Manager at-Risk” (CMAR, CM at-Risk). An example of a delivery method for all project development services, from concept and feasibility through initial occupancy is “Turnkey”. Adapted from – Primer on PROJECT DELIVERY,2011, Joint publication by AIA and AGC.
Project Team Contract Agreements Signed documents specifying roles, responsibilities, rewards, and penalties for achieving time, quality, and cost milestones over specified facility lifecycle phases, made between members of a project team and designed by a qualified BIM attorney.  for general Project Team roles and conditions; also see BIM SCORE for risk management guidelines –
Reference Information Structured information resources (enterprise and external) that assist or are required to accomplish a BIM use. NBIMS 2.0 Reference Information sections
Subject Something that can be distinguished from other things and that can be recognized as such, and is represented by a name. In the bSDD, a subject is formally distinguished as an object (tangible or intangible), where objects are defined by formal characteristics. See also “Concept”. NBIMS V2
Unstructured Information Form 1. Information is data recorded in some Form (Document or Display). Unstructured Information is Data that cannot be readily machine interpreted. Data, in context of BIM, is said to exist in one of two forms: Structured Data or Unstructured Data. The distinction is usually made on the basis of “Machine Readability”. “Unstructured Information Form” is data that’s traditionaly been thought of as non-machine (computer) readable. However, recent technology development by IBM (See Watson vs. Jeopardy), Apple (See Siri), and others (Kayvium) strongly indicate that this distinction is disappearing in specific sectors as information tools for reading and interpreting massive amounts of unstructured text evolve and are commercialized for trustworthy use in construction law, environmental case law, construction liability and similar knowledge bases.2. Information exchanged by human language and generally not thought to be interpretable by a machine. Machines are extending their range of understanding of information previously thought to be unstructured.
Workflow(s) 1. A sequence of connected steps intended to produce a result. Historically, workflows have evolved without conscious management attention. Thus many workflows are woefully wasteful, ineffective, and self-reinforcing. Since 1917, Management pioneers have attempted to visualize workflows in order to achieve optimization of labor, materials, creativity, or related goals. Today, the identification and diagramming of how and why an exchange of data from one application/party to another is made. The CII Study of construction labor shows over 60% time is non-productive. Thus the NBIM Standard workflow will use the information exchanges, IDM process and model views to support a collaborative environment for building optimized workflow management. See the Construction Industry Institute Study at A sequence of connected steps intended to produce a result. The subject of abstract and applied study since many accepted management and production processes were shown to be wasteful. Improved workflow efficiency is a high priority goal of BIM.
Term Acronym Definition Source  
BIM Best Practice   BIM techniques, methods, and processes that provide consistent results superior to those achieved by other means. NBIMS Version 1                  
BIM Goals   Objectives used to define and prioritize the potential conflicting values of BIM within a facility or organization. NBIMS Version 1[1]  
Exchange Requirements Model ERM The data model addressing requirements for a single industry process is known as an Exchange Requirements Model (ERM). NBIMS Version 1[2]   
Geospatial Information Systems GIS A geographic(al) information system (GIS) captures, stores, analyzes and manages data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the Earth. In the strictest sense an information system capable of integrating, storing, editing, analyzing, sharing and displaying geographically-referenced information.  A building and each of its elements has GIS references – in 3 planes. Thus the increasingly large interest in improving BIM – GIS linkages. The OGC works closely with bSa – NIBS in the BIGie project. NBIMS Version 1[3]  
Harmonization   Comparison and normalization of two or more similar standards including issues such as scope, specifications, guidance or implementation. NBIMS Version 1  
Information assurance IA The practice of managing information-related risks. More specifically, IA practitioners seek to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and their delivery systems. These goals are relevant whether the data are in storage, processing, or transit and whether threatened by malice or accident. In other words, IA is the process of ensuring that the right people get the right information at the right time. NBIMS Version 1  
Meta Model   A meta-model is an explicit UML Diagram of the constructs and rules needed to build specific models within a domain of interest.  A meta-model can be viewed from three different perspectives:• as a set of building blocks and rules used to build models & ontologies• as a model of a domain of interest, (modules for distributed ontologies) and• as an instance of another model and this where the model views come into play. NBIMS Version 1[4]  
Roadmap   The overall implementation strategy document used to set the definition, direction, sequence and usually milestones for an initiative. For example, the FIATECH Capital Facilities Technology Roadmap at NBIMS Version 1  

BIM Level of Development Specification – LOD

LOD Spec 2013

The Level of Development (LOD) Specification as created and presented by ” is a reference that enables practitioners in the AEC Industry to specify and articulate a high level of clarity the content and reliability of Building Information Models (BIMs) at various stages in the design and construction process. The LOD Specification utilizes the basic LOD definitions developed by the AIA for the AIA G202-2013 Building Information Modeling Protocol Form1 and is organized by CSI Uniformat 2010. It defines and illustrates characteristics of model elements of different building systems at different Levels of Development. This clear articulation allows model authors to define what  their models can be relied on for, and allows downstream users to clearly understand the usability and the limitations of models they are  receiving.  The intent of this Specification is to help explain the LOD framework and standardize its use so that it becomes more useful as a
communication tool. It does not prescribe what Levels of Development are to be reached at what point in a project but leaves the  specification of the model progression to the user of this document. To accomplish the document’s intent, its primary objectives are:

  • To help teams, including owners, to specify BIM deliverables and to get a clear picture of what will be included in a BIM deliverable
  • To help design managers explain to their teams the information and detail that needs to be provided at various points in the design process
  • To provide a standard that can be referenced by contracts and BIM execution plans.

It should be noted that this Specification does not replace a project BIM Execution Plan (BIMXP), but rather is intended to be used in  conjunction with such a plan, providing a means of defining models for specific information exchanges, milestones in a design work  plan, and deliverables for specific function,”

Download 2013 LOD Specification

LOD is sometimes interpreted as Level of Detail rather than Level of Development. There are important differences.
Level of Detail is essentially how much detail is included in the model element.

Level of Development is the degree to which the
element’s geometry and attached information has been thought through – the degree to which project team members may rely on the  information when using the model. In essence, Level of Detail can be thought of as input to the element, while Level of Development is reliable output.

Fundamental LOD Definitions 
LOD 100 The Model Element may be graphically represented in the Model with a symbol or other generic representation, but does not satisfy the requirements for LOD 200. Information  related to the Model Element (i.e. cost per square foot, tonnage of HVAC, etc.) can be  derived from other Model Elements.
LOD 200 The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a generic system, object, or assembly with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 300 The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object or assembly in terms of quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 350 The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object,  or assembly in terms of quantity, size, shape, orientation, and interfaces with other building  systems. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model Element.
LOD 400 The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object  or assembly in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation with detailing,  fabrication, assembly, and installation information. Non-graphic information may also be  attached to the Model Element.
LOD 500 The Model Element is a field verified representation in terms of size, shape, location,  quantity, and orientation. Non-graphic information may also be attached to the Model  Elements.
Example – light fixture:
100 cost/sf attached to floor slabs
200 light fixture, generic/approximate size/shape/location
300 Design specified 2×4 troffer, specific size/shape/location
350 Actual model, Lightolier DPA2G12LS232, specific size/shape/location
400 As 350, plus special mounting details, as in a decorative soffit

What is BIM?

If you can’t see the whole picture… you can’t appreciate BIM.

elephant BIM

Hard to believe…perhaps to some… but many /most of us in the Architecture, Construction, Owners, Operations sector still don’t know how to define BIM.

Anna Winstanley and Nigel Fraser of Lean BIM Strategies Limited provided the most likely reason in a recent perspective…  if you can’t see the whole picture… you can’t appreciate BIM.

BIM Definition – Short – The life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.

BIM ToolsBIMF - Building Information Management Frameworkvia –  Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software supporting JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA … and featuring integrated contract, project, document management, visual estimating/quanity take-off. QTO, and an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line itme RSMeans Cost database.

Moving from Design-Build, DB, to Integrated Project Delivery, IPD

Providing the opportunity for the kind of collaboration that the construction industry so badly needs….

Design-Build has a spectrum, ranging from almost as dysfunctional …. all the way to almost as collaborative as Integrated Project Delivery.

Shifting Design-Build toward IPD

This blog entry was co-authored by Oscia Wilson and Lisa Dal Gallo

We are big proponents of Design-Build because it places designers and builders in the same room, thus providing the opportunity for the kind of collaboration that the construction industry so badly needs.  Opportunity for collaboration, however, is not the same as a guarantee of collaboration.  Design-Build has a spectrum, ranging from almost as dysfunctional as Design-Bid-Build all the way to almost as collaborative as Integrated Project Delivery.

Design Build continuum

Figure 1: Depending on how the Design-Build structure is implemented, a project can be nearly identical to an IPD structure or very dysfunctional

On the left of this spectrum, you have those Design-Build projects that use bridging documents, lowest bidder selection, and a team that doesn’t work well together.  Although the builders are contractually combined with the architect of record, these projects are not collaborative, let alone integrated.

Owners, this is bad for you.  The biggest problem with this model is that when you have an architect prepare bridging documents, you’ve just made all the big decisions without the input of the building team.  Since 80% of the cost decisions are made during the first 20% of the design, you’ve just cheated yourself out of the biggest source of potential savings that come from collaboration between the contractors and the designers.

On top of that, now you’ve divided your design team into two groups: the architects who did the bridging documents, and the architects who finish the project.  This creates knowledge transfer loss, inefficiencies due to effort repetition, and prevents the second architect from holding a sense of ownership over the design.

In addition, if your selection is based solely on price, the Design-Build team will price exactly what is on the bridging documents; there is no incentive for the team to engage in target value design.  This situation could be improved by offering an incentive through savings participation, but that kind of aggressive innovation requires a high functioning team.  If the selection was based on lowest bid, the team may be too dysfunctional to achieve real gains because the lowest prices generally come from the least experienced and least savvy of the potential participants.  Often in these settings, cost savings are achieved at the expense of quality design, as general contractors under great pressure to achieve aggressive cost savings revert to treating architects and engineers as venders instead of partners.

For owners who want intimate involvement in the process, Design-Build based on low bidding offers another disadvantage.  In order for the Design-Build team to deliver for that low price you were so excited about, they have no choice but to ruthlessly cut you out of the process.  They are carrying so much risk that they can’t afford any of the potential interference, delay, or scope escalation that comes from involving a client in the back-room discussions.

If you have a team that works well together, you move farther to the right on the spectrum.

If you hire the design-build team based on good scoping documents instead of bridging documents, you move farther to the right on the spectrum.  (Partial bridging documents may be a good compromise for public owners whose process requires a bridging step.)

Starting somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, you start seeing successful projectsA successful, collaborative Design-Build project is light years ahead of Design-Bid-Build.

Some projects are pushing the envelope so far that their Design-Build projects look very similar to Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).  Lisa Dal Gallo, a partner at Hanson Bridgett is an expert in IPD and partially integrated projects, including how to modify a Design-Build structure to get very close to an IPD model.  She recently discussed this topic at both the San Diego and Sacramento chapters of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). The discussion was mainly to assist public owners who have design-build capability to improve upon their delivery, but same principles apply to private owners who may not be in the position to engage in a fully integrated process through an IPD delivery method.

Several recent and current projects in California are operating on the far right side of this Design-Build collaboration spectrum, by crafting a custom version of Design-Build that uses IPD principles.  Here’s how they’re doing it:

  • Skipping the Bridging Documents. Instead of using bridging documents as the basis for bidding, owners are creating scoping criteria or partial bridging documents that provide performance and owner requirements, but allow the design team to collaborate on the design and present their own concept to achieve the owner’s goals. Under this type of scenario, the design-build teams would typically be prequalified and then no more than 3 teams would be solicited to participate in design competition.The team is usually selected based on best value.  After engagement, the owner and end users work with the team through the scoping phase and set the price.
  • Integrating the Design-Build entity internally
    • To assist in a change in behavior, the general contractor and major players like architect, engineers, MEP subs, and structural subs can pool a portion of their profit, proportionally, sharing in the gains or pains inflicted based on the project outcome.
    • Through downstream agreements, the major team players can also agree to waive certain liabilities against each other.
    • They enter into a BIM Agreement and share information freely, using BIM to facilitate target value design and a central server to allow full information transparency.
  • Partially integrating with the owner.  The owner can play an active role, participating in design and management meetings.

The extent to which the owner is integrated with the design/build team is a subtle—but crucial—point of differentiation between an extremely collaborative form of Design-Build (which I suggest we call “Integrated Design-Build”) and Integrated Project Delivery.

Here is the crux of the biscuit: Under an IPD model, the owner actually shares in the financial risks and rewards associated with meeting the budget and schedule[1].  Therefore, they are part of the team and get to fully participate in back-of-house discussions and see how the sausage is made.

Under Design-Build, even an Integrated version of Design-Build, the design-build entity is carrying all the financial risk for exceeding a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) and/or schedule, so they deserve to collect all the potential reward if they can figure out how to bring it in faster and cheaper.  Since the owner’s risk for cost and schedule is substantially reduced when the project uses a GMP, the owner doesn’t really deserve a spot at the table once they’ve finished clearly communicating their design and performance criteria (which is what the scoping documents are for).

It can be an awkward thing trying to incorporate a client who wants to be involved, while making sure that client doesn’t request anything above and beyond what is strictly communicated in the scoping documents upon which the GMP is based.

So the key differences between this Integrated Design-Build and full Integrated Project Delivery are:

  • The contract model (a multi-party agreement between Owner, Architect and Contractor vs. an agreement between owner and usually the contractor)

  • The level of owner participation in the decision making process

  • The fee structure and certain waivers of liability (shared risk) between the owner and the other key project team members.

Delivery model diagrams

Figure 2: Traditional design-build is hierarchical in nature. An integrated design-build model is collaborative in nature (but only partially integrates with the owner). An IPD model is fully collaborative with the owner and may or may not include consultants and sub-contractors inside the circle of shared risk & reward, depending on the project.

The IPD contract form of agreement is aimed at changing behaviors, and its contractual structure exists to prompt, reward, and reinforce those behavior changes.  However, full scale IPD is not right for every owner or project; it is another tool in a team’s tool box.  The owner and its consultants and counsel should determine the best delivery method for the project and proceed accordingly.  The important thing to remember is that any delivery model can be adapted to be closer to the ideal collaborative model by making certain critical changes.  What is one thing you might change on your next project to prompt better collaboration?

[1] Under IPD, a Target Cost is set early (similar to a GMP).  If costs exceed that target, it comes out of the design & construction team’s profits.  But if costs go so high that the profit pool is exhausted, the owner picks up the rest of the costs.  If costs are lower than the target, the owner and the team split the savings.

Lisa Dal Gallo

Lisa Dal Gallo is a Partner at Hanson Bridgett, LLP, specializing in assisting clients in determining the best project delivery method to achieve the teams’ goals, developing creative deal structures that encourage use of collaborative and integrated delivery processes and drafting contracts in business English.  She is the founder of California Women in Design + Construction (“CWDC”), a member of the AIA Center for Integrated Practice and the AIA California Counsel IPD Steering Committee, and a LEED AP.  Lisa can be reached at 415-995-5188 or by email at




Oscia Wilson headshotOscia Wilson, AIA, MBA is the founder of Boiled Architecture.  After working on complex healthcare facility projects, she became convinced that Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) was key to optimizing construction project delivery.  She founded Boiled Architecture to practice forms of Integrated and highly collaborative project delivery.  She serves on the AIA California Council’s committee on IPD.

via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software ( JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA… featuring an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line RSMeans Cost database with line item modifiers and full descriptions and integrated visual estimating/QTO, contract/project/document management, and world class support and training!

Job Order Contracting – JOC – is a proven form of IPD which targets renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction, while IPD targets major new construction.

IPD - Integrated Project Delivery and JOC - Job Order Contracting
IPD – Integrated Project Delivery and JOC – Job Order Contracting
JOC Process
JOC Process

BIM graphic #6

Legals Aspects of BIM – UK – 2013

Here’s a quick overview of a recent meeting discussing the legal aspects of BIM held July 2013.

‘Experts’ we gathered by RIBA Enterprises to discuss the topic.  Key items a noted below:

1. CIC Protocol requires employers/onwers to put the protocol in place for all team members and upate the model production delivery table is updated and that an information manager is appointed.Project team members are required to provide specified levels of information, with a reasonable level of care.

2. Key to manage expectations early on in the project.

3. Protocol doesn’t really change liability in itself.  That said, the concept of Level of Detail (LOD) become important in determining what information is considered ‘sufficient’ when team members are delivering information to “employers/owners”.   Greaeter definition is required for both “data”, i.e. COBie and geometries.

4. Common data is a central requirement and robust management/business rules must be followed to assure development and use.

5. An information manager should not be confused with a design manager.  The information manager role spans multiple disciplines / competencies.

6.  Copyrights and other intellectual property issues are not any more complicated and appropriate licenses/rights should be established/obtained for owners/team use at the onset of the project.

The key principles of the application of the CIC BIM Protocol are as follows:

  • All parties that are responsible for the production of Building Information Models on behalf of the Employer should have the Protocol incorporated into their contract/appointment.

  • The same version of the Protocol and Appendices should be incorporated into each contract.

  • The wording of the CIC BIM Protocol should not be amended

  • The Protocol should detail all Building Information Models that are going to be produced by all parties contracted to the employer on the project

  • The Appendices have to be completed with project specific information for all projects.  This should be available from pre-appointment documentation such as the Employer’s Information Requirements.

  • Changes to the Protocol and its Appendices should be treated as variations to the Contract

BIM-Protocol-appendix-2 (1) BIM-Protocol-Appendix-1 The-BIM-Protocol

BIMF - Building Information Management Framework

via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software – JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA… featuring integrated contract, project, and document management, visual estimating/QTO, and an exclusively enhanced 400,000+ RSMeans line item cost database with line item modifiers and full descriptions.

Note:  The above is not intended as legal advice of any type, but rather a simple report on the session.

A Snapshot of International BIM Status and Goals

Year Country Action Reference
2007 Finland Requires IFC BIM in its projects and intends to have integrated model-based operation in future Senate Properties
UK Standard: Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. Code of Practice. BS 1192:2007
2008 USA Mandatory BIM for government projects GSA; USACE
2010 Norway Requires IFC BIM for new buildings Statsbygg
3 BIM pilot projects running Norwegian Defence Estates Agency
Singapore Establish Centre for construction IT help key agencies and construction firms to kick start BIM Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012
UK Building Information Management – A Standard Framework and Guide to BS 1192 Joint publication of BS 1192:2007 and BSI/CPI
2011 Singapore Work with key agencies on pilot projects Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012
UK Creation of the implementation plan and team to deliver Government Construction Strategy (May)
Evaluate trial projects and recommend (ongoing)
Standard Due: Library Objects for Architecture, Engineering and Construction. Recommended 2D symbols of building elements for use in building information modelling. BS 8541-2
Standard Due: Library Objects for Architecture, Engineering and Construction: Identification and grouping BS 8541-1
Report/Strategy Paper for the Government Construction Client Group (March) BIM Industry Working Group
2012 Korea Public Procurement Service to fully adopt IFC-based open BIM
Singapore BIM as part of public sector building project procurement Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012
Work with key agencies to prepare consultants and contractors who undertake the public sector projects to be BIM ready
BIM Guide – published Singapore BIM Guide
Finland Common BIM Requirements – published buildingSMART Finland
UK Begin phased roll out ot all Government projects (Summer) Government Construction Strategy
Define and mandate expected standard (information set) for Government projects (April)
Identify trial projects in multiple departments to achieve delivery via 3D fully collaborative BIM (July)
COBie-UK-2012 BIM Task Group
Standard due: Library Objects for Architecture, Engineering and Construction: Shape and measurements BS 8541-3
Standard due: Library Objects for Architecture, Engineering and Construction: Attributes for specification and simulation BS 8541-4
Building Information Management Management – Information requirements for the capital delivery phase of construction projects PAS 1192-2:2012
Operational Asset Management – Processes and data for the commissioning, handover, operation and occupation stages BS 1192-3 (not yet published)
2013 Australia Develop and deliver a BIM awareness and promotion program for key government and broader industry participants (July 1) Implementation Strategy – National BIM Initiative Report
Develop and start delivery of BIM training packages to industry practitioners (July 1)
Enable progressive access to an Australian library of generic BIM objects and information for manufactured products that comply with Australian BIM standards (July 1)
Singapore Mandatory Architecture BIM e-Submissions for all new building projects . 20,000 m² Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012
2014 Australia Develop Australian BIM contracts (July 1) Implementation Strategy – National BIM Initative Report
Encourage the inclusion of BIM as a collaborative technology for both professional education and vocational training in the tertiary sector (July 1)
Develop industry protocols for information exchange to underpin BIM and collaborative practice (July 1)
Coordinate activity between relevant sectors of the Australian economy to enable integrated access to land, geospatial and building information (July 1)
Singapore Mandatory Engineering BIM e-Submissions for all new building projects . 20,000 m² Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012
2015 Australia Develop Australian technical codes and standards for BIM (July 1) Implementation Strategy – National BIM Initative Report
Align Australian BIM codes and standards with international equivalents (july 1)
Develop a model-based building regulatory compliance process demonstrator (July 1)
Develop and implementation plan for the transition of Australian regulatory codes and compliance mechanisms to model-based performance based systems (july 1)
Require BIM for Australian Government procurement for built environment projects (July 1)
Encourage State and Territory Governments and the private sector to require BIM for procurement for built environment projects (July 1)
Singapore Mandatory Architecture & Engineering BIM e-Submissions for all new building projects . 5,000 m² Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012
Target = Singapore Construction Industry to use BIM widely
2016 UK Deliver Level 2 BIM (Collaboration) – Introduce a progressive programme of mandated use of fully collaborative Building Information Modelling for Government projects. Level 2 = Managed 3D environment held in separate discipline “BIM(M)” tools with attached data; Commercial data managed by an ERP; Integration on the basis of proprietary interfaces or bespoke middleware could be regarded as “pBIM” (proprietary); the approach may utilise 4D programme data and 5D cost elements. UK Government Construction Strategy & BIM BIM Strategy Paper (2011)
 Source:  Susan Keenliside, 2013-email, via
2020 Singapore Realise the vision of a highly integrated and technologically advanced construction sector that will be led by progressive firms and supported by a skilled and competent workforce. Singapore BIM Roadmap 2012