Current and Future Use of BIM – 2013 – UK

The following  is from a Master’s thesis prepared by James Murray as part of the MSc individual project 2012/13, via: http://www.4Clicks.com –  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

The study centered upon the development of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the UK construction industry and its pontential affect  on the role of the client’s construction manager (CM).

BIM in the UK was not as advanced as claimed in the literature.

The majority of BIM use remained in the design, procurement and planning stages and as such, only isolated current impacts on the CM were suggested.

More guidance is needed, in order to place BIM in the future of UK construction…. if this does not occur, the development of BIM may stall.

Potential impacts to the CM range from increased efficiencies on site, to loss of project control and increased legislation.

The UK government 2016 deadline for BIM implementation on all UK public construction projects almost guarantees BIM in the future.


The problem with the Construction sector – ‘In a building project, each partner usually plays a specific role. This role follows from the partners’ primary interest, and results in a specific view on the building. A designer’s primary interest is for example the spatial structure, a structural engineer’s primary interest is the load bearing structure, while an energy engineer is interested in climate zones.
As a result of this, buildings and building parts are viewed differently by each partner…’(van Nederveen and Tolman in 1992)

The Origins of BIM -” BIM (Building Information Modelling/ Building Information Management) is a combination of 3D modelling technology and an open and sharing culture (Davies & Harty 2013). The first documented use of the term BIM can be dated back to 1992 (van Nederveen & Tolman). However, the theories behind the culture of BIM can be dated to 1975, when C.M Eastman suggested the use of integrated databases and standardized drawings to aid in project control (Eastman, Teicholz, Sacks & Liston 2008). The software vendor’s competition for BIM dominance began in 1997, after the launch of Autodesk’s Revit Architecture software (Hasan & Yolles 2009). This has since developed into a thriving market, which has resulted in a series of slightly different, competing BIM applications (Howell & Batcheler 2005).   The combination of culture and technology makes BIM unique. To perform BIM on a project, members of the team blend the use of modelling technologies, with behaviors and policies that run throughout a project lifecycle, from cradle to grave (Autodesk 2011).”

“The combination of culture and technology makes BIM unique. To perform BIM on a project, members of the team blend the use of modelling technologies, with behaviors and policies that run throughout a project lifecycle, from cradle to grave (Autodesk 2011).”

“The cultural aspect of BIM implementation requires all contributors to a project to openly share information they hold about the build with the other parties to the contract (Eastman et al 2008). It is this sharing culture that is considered revolutionary in the construction industry, as it is a move away from traditional trends of secretive parties and regular disputes (Davies & Harty 2013).”

Industry resistance to change   “ BIM requires a change in culture to implement the technology available. For example, the use of the BIM model to produce cost and time estimates has been identified as a paradigm shift (Gier 2008). A paradigm shift is a change from an established process and school of thought, to a new one, thus creating a change in cultures. It is in this paradigm shift where the barrier lies. As identified in the Egan report, 1998, the UK construction industry has a reputation of being slow to accept change (Egan 1998), which has caused it to lag behind the adoption of 3D modelling, when compared to other industries (Cabinet Office 2011).
This reluctance to change could also create resistance to overcoming the barriers of trust detailed above. To increase trust, a change away from the current culture of information hording, to one of sharing and transparency should be made.
These barriers of trust and culture could have secondary impacts on the CM, whereby if they are not removed the benefits of BIM may not be realised.”

BIM Levels:

4 Levels of BIM4 Levels of BIM Implementation


Market Share:  BIM Market Share

Open BIM Standards – COBIE, OMNICLASS – IFC / COBIE Report 2012

BIM adoption remains a challenge due to the fact that its many supporters don’t focus upon it’s true relevance, the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.

While any new technology has  barriers to adoption, changing the “status quo”, the fundamental nature of how a business sector does business requires a major event.   The cultural and process changes associated with BIM, namely the need for all stakeholders to collaborate, share information in a transparent manner, and share in risk/reward, remain chasms to be crossed by many/most.    Fortunately, those currently or previously involved with Integrated Project Delivery and Job Order Contracting (the latter a form of IPD specifically targeting renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction) have experience with these “novel” business concepts.  Both IPD and JOC have proven track records and have clearly demonstrated the ability to get more work done on-time and on-budget to the benefit of all involved parties.

A key aspect of BIM, collaboration, can only be efficiently accomplished with a commonly understood and shared taxonomy including terms, definitions, and associated metrics.

So called “open BIM”, such as buildingSMART International’s Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs), are important to enabling collaboration as well as interoperability between BIM software applications.     COBie, a naming convention for facility spaces/components, etc., and its counterparts OMINCLASS, including MASTERFORMAT and UNIFORMAT,  etc. … can be leveraged and generated by IFC appears a goal worth additional focus on a local and global level.   That said, support for COBie, OMNICLASS, IFC, etc. varies and,  far from mainstream.

As noted in the IFC / COBIE Report 2012, BIM’s success depends upon the ability to:

  1. Create model data in a consistent format
  2. Exchange that data in a common language
  3. Interrogate the data intelligently.

There are multiple knowledge domains, technologies, and process involve in the life-cycle management of the built environment, all of which need a common data architecture, taxonomy, set of metrics, etc.

The IFC / COBIE Report 2012 correctly points out that pressing needs remain:

  1. The need for standards

  2. The need for guidance

  3. The need for enhanced IFC import export routines from BIM applications

  4. The need for agreed descriptions of who requires what data and when

  5. The need for an improved audit trail to allow greater confidence in collaboration.

Also, and I paraphrase / embellish…

  1. “Enforcement” of IFC by buildSmartalliance and all BIM “proponents”  is required.
  2. Domain experts must leveraged and queried to deliver structured data templates accordingly.  The industry needs well defined model view definition for each COBie data drop. From this can come clear guidance on the “level of detail” required at each COBie data drop. This will give a shared understanding of what information is required from and by whom and at what stage.  For example needs of Facilities Managers are required to inform the content of the COBie data drops. Facility management must be considered as early as the briefing process.
  3. Weaknesses in the IFC import /export processes exist in current software product implementation. These weaknesses make manual checking necessary and reduce confidence.  Improvement  is vital here.
  4. While IFC can be used when generating COBie data, people will use whatever works and is available. The market requires.  complete flexibility to choose what systems they use. Innovation should not be stifled by mandating a process to achieve the required data.
  5. COBIE is far from complete, but a good starting point.
  6.  Microsoft Excel  provides a view of the structured info of COBie data and one way 0f reporting data, however, in NOT a good authoring tool, nor does it support hierarchal relational data schema.





BIM Implementation – The Business Value of BIM in North America Multi-Year Trend Analysis and User Ratings (2007–2012)

The Emperor is still Naked!

At the end of the day, “The Emperor with no clothes” best describes the this BIM “SmartMarketReport”.   Having run surveys for over 30 years, the first thing you learn is that you must ask the right questions.   This report is evidence of what can happen if you don’t.

“McGraw-Hill Construction predicted that BIM would reach a tipping point in North America in 2008, even though industry-wide adoption at the time was only 28%. Now, in 2012, 71% of architects, engineers, contractors and owners report they have become engaged with BIM on their projects, a 75% growth surge over five years.”

If you believe that 71% of AECOs are engaged with BIM on their projects, I have some swampland for sale.    First and foremost, what is BIM?  BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment support by digital technology.  What percentage of the market is doing that?  Less than 5%.  And more likely less than 1%.

It may be just me, but I am tired of the “hype” and nonsense associated with BIM, especially the emphasis upon 3D visualization.   Life-cycle management of the built environment requires collaboration, common lexicon/terms/information/cost data, efficient project delivery methods and so much more than pretty pictures.  Cloud Computing, combined with true BIM, or as some call Big BIM, and other market drivers will eventually cause a cultural and business shift in our sector.   Until it occurs, how many of you wish to continue to walk around naked?

If you are interested in how true BIM, Cloud Computing and efficient project delivery:  IFMA WorldWorkplace2012 Presentation.

Global Energy Report – 2012 – Global Climate Change

Today the world of energy has many of the features established in the 20th century:
– Energy consumption grows on average at 2% per year, most of it (80%) originates in fossil fuels
– Energy growth is driven by population growth and economic growth, now predominantly in developing countries
and high levels of consumption in the developed countries
– 3 billion people don’t have access to basic energy services and have to cook with solid fuels

However, the present path of uninterrupted reliance on fossil fuels poses four challenges to sustainability:
– Soaring greenhouse gas emissions
– Decreasing energy security
– Air pollution at the local and regional levels with resulting health problems
– Lack of universal access to energy services

Most reviews of the energy system needed for the 21st century start with “business as usual” futures and then analyze the effectiveness of specific corrections of course. For many the preferred options are technological fixes such as such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), nuclear energy and even geo-engineering schemes. However, to achieve sustainable development all the needed attributes of energy services, that is availability, affordability, access, security, health, climate and environmental protection, must be met concurrently.

– Stabilizing global climate change to 2°C above pre-industrial levels to be achieved in the 21st century
– Enhanced energy security by diversification and resilience of energy supply (particularly the dependence on imported oil),
– Eliminating household and ambient air pollution, andEssential technology-related requirements for radical energy transformation:
• significantly larger investment in energy efficiency improvements especially end-use across all sectors, with a focus on new investments as well as major retrofits;
• rapid escalation of investments in renewable energies: hydropower, wind, solar energy, modern bioenergy, and
geothermal, as well as the smart grids that enable more effective utilization of renewable energies;
• reaching universal access to modern forms of energy and cleaner cooking through micro-financing and subsidies;
• use of fossil fuels and bioenergy at the same facilities for the efficient co-production of multiple energy carriers and
chemicals with full-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage; and
• on one extreme nuclear energy could make a significant contribution to global electricity generation, but on the
other extreme, it could be phased out.

The world is undergoing severe and rapid change involving significant challenges. Although this situation poses a threat, it also offers a unique opportunity – a window of time in which to create a new, more sustainable,
more equitable world, provided that the challenges can be
addressed promptly and adequately. Energy is a pivotal area for actions to help address the challenges.
The interrelated world brought about by growth and globalization has increased the linkages among the major challenges of the 21st century.
We do not have the luxury of being able to rank them in order of priority.
As they are closely linked and interdependent, the task of addressing them simultaneously is imperative.


The Reasons BIM is Going Nowhere Fast

July 16th, 2012 – NIBS Report –  National Institute of Building Sciences Consultative Council  

Per the NIBS  Consultative Council there are four areas where our industry needs to focus highlights four  in order to improve buildings and infrastructure.

  1. Defining High-Performance and Common Metrics
  2. Codes and Standards Adoption and Enforcement
  3. Energy and Water Efficiency; and
  4. Sustainability.

The Consultative Council provides findings and recommendations to the President and Congress on issues impacting the built environment. A summary of the report, “Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations from the Consultative Council,” is in the Institute’s 2011 Annual Report to the President of the United States.

  • The building community should work to define metrics for achieving high-performance buildings—including both qualitative and quantitative measures.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Institute and others should encourage cities and smaller communities to adopt and enforce updated model codes.
  • Regulators and the building industry should support efforts by codes and standards developers and adopting jurisdictions to format criteria in ways that simplifies and enhances the ability to verify compliance.
  • Software developers, regulators and building professionals should support the development of building information modeling (BIM ) for use as an automated code-checking tool that can improve compliance and streamline the approval process.
  • The U.S. Government should develop incentives for state and local governments to require water metering of all buildings and to adopt and enforce comprehensive “green” building or plumbing codes.
  • The U.S. Government should provide a tax incentive for building owners who voluntarily get their buildings audited and that implement the recommendations to reduce energy and water use.
  • Policy makers and members of the building community are encouraged to use a common definition for sustainability.
  • The building community needs mechanisms (e.g., budgets, insurance and tax incentives) to help finance sustainable life-cycle performance for buildings and related infrastructure.

There is virtually nothing “new” in any of the above, nor any plan to gain traction in any particular area, let alone all.  Until our industry and our Nation realizes the importance of efficiently managing the life-cycle of the built environment and defines processes and deploys digital tools to support requisite changes, BIM doesn’t have a chance.


















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Consultative Council members that contributed to the 2011 report include: ASTM International; American Institute of Architects; American Society of Civil Engineers; ASHRAE; Associated General Contractors of America; Building Owners and Managers Association, International; Construction Specifications Institute; ESCO Group; Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association; Glass Association of North America; Green Mechanical Council; HOK; Illuminating Engineering Society; International Association of Lighting Designers; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; International Code Council; Laborers’ International Union of North America; National Insulation Association; NORC at the University of Chicago, and United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry.


While LEED is not for everyone, nor is it likely the “best” high performance building approach, it would appear that ROI can be significant for this and similar approachs.

The below is from –  Series: Green Corporate Climate, Source: – via


LEED For Commercial Interiors Can Result In Productivity Gains, Energy Savings

By Rod Vickroy and Rob Moylan

Green buildings have long been called high-performance buildings in Europe and in segments of the U.S. facilities market. The idea is that, while environmental responsibility is noble, sustainable design also should support better human comfort and business results.

Experience — and related research — bears out this thinking. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system, for example, is widely seen as a way to improve a building’s environmental profile and energy use. Yet research indicates that it improves workplace effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). A 2009 Michigan State study, Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Occupant Well-being and Productivity in LEED Offices, found that groups moving to LEED office buildings missed less work and put in almost 39 hours more per person annually. According to the study, the total bottom-line benefits from gains related to fewer allergic reactions and reduced stress. The productivity boost ranged from $69,601 to more than $250,000 per year, the study showed.

Yet there are even greater returns. Today, leading companies and institutions are using LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) — which certifies the sustainability of tenant improvements and interior renovations — as an opportunity to transform their business cultures and even enhance their brands. Add to that gains in energy efficiency and the market value of a space, and it becomes hard to imagine not building green.

The key to linking LEED to ROI and other valuable measures of organizational effectiveness is to plan early and strategically. The experience of several leading office tenants across the country demonstrates how implementing a LEED-CI-based plan can create measurable value through green interiors. What’s more, the following six tactical solutions are surprisingly achievable and economical when LEED-CI is viewed as integral to project planning rather than as an “add-on” to interiors projects (see “Debunking LEED-CI Myths on page 28). The examples show how these organizations thought performance could be improved, why they chose LEED-CI as part of the answer, and what it has delivered.

1. Corporate brand performance. Viewed as critical to competitiveness, branding has practically become its own industry in recent years. For many organizations, environmental stewardship is seen as central to brand identity: It’s the right thing to do, for their own people and society at large. So a workplace build-out to LEED standards simply reinforces these core values.

The power plant engineering firm Sargent & Lundy saw a 2008 relocation of their Phoenix regional office as a way to symbolize their expertise and forward-thinking attitude on global energy issues. Not surprisingly, the LEED-CI Silver build-out features energy-efficient lighting and systems. But more than that, the 14,000-square-foot open environment appears collaborative and interactive, reflecting the firm’s consulting approach. Wall-free clusters of sun-drenched workstations with mobile components encourage flexibility and communication, while designated “quiet rooms” allow privacy behind closed doors. Glass, light-toned wood and stone give tactile evidence of Sargent & Lundy’s green streak.

Similarly, health care software developer Burgess Group, based in Alexandria, Va., saw LEED-CI as another way to reinforce its image as a large, stable company — both for employees and for customers. As in the case of Sargent & Lundy, corporate goals intimately connected to the company’s brand drove project decisions as much as energy efficiency or workplace comfort. The result is a statement to the outside world and to employees that resonates with the tenant’s identity and mission.

2. Human performance. Among the benefits of LEED cited in studies like the Michigan State report are direct gains in overall health for office workers. These improvements come from better indoor air quality (IAQ), increased daylighting, and other changes seen to enhance morale or reduce stress. The bottom line: Happier, healthier, more relaxed employees tend to produce better work.

This thinking informed the planning of a 68,000-square-foot headquarters for an office furniture manufacturer. The company chose to renovate its 100-year-old former window sash factory, reaffirming its commitment to the local community and business line in the process. Using exposed brick and timber with new interior construction, the company created a clean, contemporary look in flexible and open loft-like spaces. The effect on employees working in the renovated space, who report gains in output and work enjoyment, quickly validated the approach. The facility, targeting LEED-CI Silver, was designed to be “open, productive and approachable,” according to executives.

The headquarters of Burgess Group (targeting Gold certification) was installed in a well-located new building with a green roof and bicycle facilities. Glass-walled offices and open workstations allow daylight deep inside office areas. Recycled materials, low-flow fixtures and GreenGuard-certified finishes are often touted by employees of this health care software developer. Beyond pride of place, Burgess Group workers are now more effective and efficient, says the company.

3. Organizational performance. By exploiting a LEED-CI renovation as a means for strategically reconfiguring the workplace, savvy occupants have improved organizational functioning, too. In this case, the bottom-line gains go beyond productivity to measures of work satisfaction such as reduced employee turnover and improved recruitment. Anecdotal and measurable improvements to organizational effectiveness include increased interaction, reduced e-mail volume, and shorter product development cycles.

For a Microsoft sales office in Chevy Chase, Md., LEED-CI strategies were integral to designing a space that would entice road warriors to spend more time with colleagues in the home office. The interiors needed a timeless aesthetic appeal that would suit a broad demographic spectrum, from retired generals to recent college grads. Company executives say the LEED-CI features — and the label itself — have helped galvanize the team.

One furniture manufacturer’s workplace offers similar conclusions. The company’s transparency and openness is reflected in open perimeter areas, sunlit atriums and light wells, and even a glass-enclosed boardroom. Employees — called “members” — enjoy casual meeting areas and a café during the workday.

4. Cultural performance. The precepts of green building have been shown to support such intangibles as customer relations, internal camaraderie and personal work satisfaction. The Michigan State study shows that IAQ, daylighting and views to the outdoors correlate with the highest post-move increases in employee satisfaction.

The law firm Bowman and Brooke took advantage of this cultural aspect in creating its Minneapolis headquarters. First, the firm takes pride in not seeming like a typical buttoned-down litigator, and it saw LEED-CI certification as a chance to be the first of its kind to differentiate from competitors. Second, the firm’s directors wanted a fresh, bright feel, not the dark, wood-paneled foxholes so common in the legal field. Third, LEED-CI would be another reminder that Bowman and Brooke does what’s right for their clients, employees and community. The resulting renovation — with its three-story open stair and innovative materials — ties into the firm’s brand identity while also supporting its personality and cultural uniqueness.

5. Energy performance. Another significant and highly tangible performance gain for LEED-CI projects is reduced utility costs. Energy savings can be reinvested immediately into the business, and the reduced carbon footprint benefits the community and environment as a whole. The power plant designers at Sargent & Lundy were especially motivated to showcase energy-saving technologies. From simple ideas such as passive solar daylighting integration to “seamless electronic interfacing with staff and resources” at their Chicago headquarters, which cuts travel expense and waste, the design spared few energy-saving ideas.

Similarly, construction and real estate development firm The Christman Co. in Lansing, Mich., transformed a former power plant into an energy-efficient headquarters, earning dual-Platinum LEED certification with CI and LEED for Core and Shell (LEED-CS). The building beats minimum requirements for energy efficiency significantly, cutting carbon dioxide emissions. A T5 fluorescent lighting system on occupancy sensors and daylight-regulated dimming are important elements of the energy- efficient design. According to Christman, a Web-based building management system tracks power use at the sub-tenant level to encourage conservation, but even the power is green: Every kilowatt-hour of electricity for the headquarters is offset by renewable wind energy certificates.

6. Facility performance. Add it all up, and the gains that accrue to the brand, to individual and collective work, and to operating costs speak to the multifaceted power of great facilities. The workplace is a platform for serving business needs on a daily basis, and LEED-CI makes it a stronger and more agile infrastructure. Leading organizations are jumping on this opportunity, including the charitable group Easter Seals for its low-cost, LEED-CI Silver headquarters in Chicago and the consultancy Deloitte for the firm’s global “workplace of the future” project.

The Deloitte office in San Diego encapsulates how LEED-CI will shape facilities as the United States climbs out of a recession.

Recognizing the need to balance cost and effectiveness, the firm targeted low to moderate build-out costs, quick turnaround times, and LEED-CI ratings as key components of their facilities strategy. The result combines space layouts using “neighborhood planning” with more open-systems furniture and more natural light to produce gains in productivity and employee wellness. LEED-CI, as it turns out, is a good model and a neutral checklist for developing progressive workplace criteria.

There’s one more thread connecting many of these case studies where LEED-CI led to so many performance rewards: Most came about as the result of a move. Clearly, there is no better time to reinforce one’s brand and revamp organizational performance goals than when the company is fitting out a new space. That’s the time to ask big questions and to remember one overriding idea that links LEED and business goals — that organizations are valuable because of their people, and LEED-CI helps make the most of who they are.

Rod Vickroy, IIDA, LEED AP is a principal and design director for Chicago’s workplace studio at SmithGroup. Rob Moylan, IIDA, LEED AP, Associate AIA, serves as one of SmithGroup’s sustainable design leaders specializing in commercial interiors. Vickroy and Moylan participate in the firm’s collaborative workplace practice. The firm specializes in the workplace, health, learning, and science and technology markets.