Process centric data models are needed for BIM and ….

BIM, the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology is all about the integration of PEOPLE and PROCESSES and INFORMATION.

The following are MANDATORY on any BIM implementation checklist.  Please add to the list and/or comment!

1. Collaborative construction/project delivery method:  Integrated project delivery (IPD), job order contracting (JOC), private-public partnership (PPP) …

2.  A robust ontology – clearly defined terms, definitions, metrics, benchmarks and their inter-relationships with each other and associated processes.

3.  Linkage for multiple “competencies” and/or “knowledge domains” associate with strategic and capital planning, design, procurement, construction, project management, repair, maintenance, sustainability, operations, and deconstruction/re-use.


Examples of domain specific technologies/processes:

CPMS – Capital Planning and Management Systems

CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management Systems

CAFM – Computer-aided Facility Management

BAS – Building Automation Systems

GIS – Geographical Information Systems

Visualization/QTO – 2d/3d visualization, pattern search,

Procurement/Project Management – IPD, JOC, Cost Estimating, Scheduling ..


To date,  ongoing efforts continue relative to the specification of batch and transactional exchanges, upon which this process models can be based.   The concept of a model view defintion (MVD) and or a facility management handover model view defintion (FM MVD) are “pioneering” attempts to add structure to previously disparate and ‘ad-hoc’ methods.   Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) are open and neutral data formats,  and the IFC View Definition and the MVD are synonymous.   The MVD is a subset of IFC intended to provide implementation guidance for classes, attributes, relationships, property sets, quantity sets, etc., however, the issue that these have yet to be adequately described.    Omniclass, for example, is far from complete, and MasterFormat and Uniformat, while both are robust, do not have fully defined relationships.

The FM MVD specifically is an attempt to transform paper-based deliverables into a rich dynamic electronic information repository.  The attempt however will fail without are robust ontology and clear definition of all requisite competencies, information, processes, and their inter-relationships.

COBIe ( Construction-Operations Building information exchange0 and its offshoots LCie, SPARKie, etc.  are schema/data architectures intended to provide an open framework for the exchange and delivery of construction handover information, and eventual life-cycle management of the built environment.  Great care, however, must be takes not to “reinvent the wheel”, or to “automated existing ad-hoc or inefficient AEC practices.    COBIe and its peers MUST be applied and used with fundamental changes in construction delivery methods and standardized ontologies spanning all “competencies”.   In short, keep what is good, through out what is bad, and do so in an open/transparent manner using commonly defined terms, metrics and benchmarks.

While the “COBie model” does fairly well at showing b the relationships among  model entities and the  overall staging of COBie information delivery, it does little to advance fundamental process changes.   It does not clearly define the concept of life-cycle management of the built environment nor COBie’s role in the endeavor.

Planning, design, procurement, construction, repair, maintenance, operations.. can no longer be thought of a discrete.  All are interdependent relative to total cost of ownership and life-cycle management.

BIMF - Building Information Management Framework

via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software solutions for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, BOS … featuring an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line item RSMeans Cost Database, visual estimating/automatic quantity take off ( QTO),  and collaborative contract/project/document management, all in one application.   Our technology is currently serving over 85% of United States Air Force bases and rapidly growing numbers of other DOD and non-DOD (United States Army Corps of Engineers,  Army, GSA, Homeland Security, VA..) federal departments/agencies, as well as state/county/local governments, colleges/universities, healthcare,  and airports/transportation.  RSMeans Strategic Partner

BIM and Change Management – Sustainability and Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.    3D visualization vendors have marketed BIM poorly.  Their focus has generally been upon 3D modeling and associated visual objects vs.  the collection and use of valuable and enabling INFORMATION.  Sure 3D visualization is a great tool, and a useful component of BIM, however, it’s not even the most important aspect.

Many, if not most organizations will  require significant “change management” in order to successfully implement life-cycle management / BIM. Owners, AEs, Contractors, Oversight Groups, Business Product Manufacturers,  and Software Vendors  will need to adopt a better understanding of several, currently disparate knowledge domains / competencies and technologies and work towards efficient, transparent information sharing and collaboration among all area, professionals, and stakeholders.

Cloud computing / social media, BIM, and other ‘disruptive technologies’ combined with market demands driven but altered environmental and economic global landscapes will likely help to drive change, however, timing is uncertain.

There is a serious hole in the Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Owner Sectors’ level of understanding of building performance and legacy beliefs and process simply don’t work.   – adaptation of work by Melanie Thompson of Get Sust!


We must  initiate a wider discussion on what constitutes an appropriate, progressive life-cycle management of the built environment.

“We are moving from the era of ‘talking about deployment’ to the era of ‘deployment’ – over the next few decades there will be billions spent on energy-efficiency retrofit projects and it is crucial for policies to be underpinned by reliable technical data and strong evidence of the benefits that can be achieved.” – Bob Lowe, Deputy Director of University College London’s Energy Institute

The effectiveness and efficiency of this deployment will  be dependent upon people asking the right questions.    Efficient project delivery methods such as Job Order Contracting – JOC, a form of Integrated Project Development – IPD, that specifically targets renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction will be integral to successful BIM or life-cycle management based solutions.   Collaboration and longer term relationships are primary components of JOC and equally central to BIM processes.

IPD – Integrated Project Delivery and JOC – Job Order Contracting

“… We are in a war-like situation and therefore have to accept a two-stage process: do the best we can with what we’ve got, plus keep on researching.” – Jim Skea, Chair – Sustainable Energy, Imperial College of London

Behaviors across all AECO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner) professions, building users, and oversight groups must change.  Ad-hoc, inefficient, and adversarial construction delivery methods such as Design-Bid-Build represent a serious impediment to efficient use of resources.  Additionally,  life-cycle management must be addressed on portfolio and local levels within the context specific buildings (or structures), inclusive of type, activity, and utilization. For this we need a fundamental shift in approach, applying the proven as well as yet to be developed methodologies and tools developed.

The impacts of social media and social sciences will expand exponentially.    ” Conventional building researchers are ‘positivistic’ (measuring and monitoring objects and systems) while the social scientists, who inhabit a world of case studies and qualitative data, are ‘interpretivist’.  Interpretivist research include studies of:

  • occupants and their engagement with technologies;
  • technologies and policy mechanisms in-use (implementation); and
  • changes in business models, supply chains, the distribution of risk and responsibility, professional identities, the division of labor and so on.

Job Order Contracting Process

September 2012 –  via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software for JOC, Job Order Contracting, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, POCA, BOC, MACC ….  featuring exclusively enhanced 400,000 line item RSMeans Cost Data with modifiers and full descriptions.