BIM – Attempting to Run before you can Walk? – BIM EU-wide Procurement Initiative

Public sector projects would best be served in the short term by adopting collaborative construction delivery methods.   Integrated Project Delivery – IPD for major new construction and Job Order Contracting – JOC for renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction are just two of several proven processes.  

A focus upon these and principles associated with the life-cycle management of the built environment would be of far more value than 3d modeling.    Adjusting priorities would provide more significant value such as: 1. getting stakeholders/participants to learn to work collaboratively (a requirement for BIM), and 2. more efficient procurement and management of the existing numerous renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction projects required to meet sustainability and economic imperatives.

More education and resources should be expended upon life-cycle management of the build environment vs. 3D modeling.  The latter, while important, is the least significant aspect of BIM.

BIM - Life-cycle Management Perspective (2)aacei 4

BIM Technology and Process Road Map
BIM Technology and Process Road Map





via:  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

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

BIM Generic Content – UK

National BIM Library generic content release 2

BIM objects are as much about the embedded data and information as they are about the spaces and dimensions that they represent graphically. Here Stefan Mordue, NBS Technical Author and Architect, looks at the thought process behind the National BIM Library’s next phase of generic content.

Laying the foundations

Since the inception of the NBS National BIM Library in 2011 we have been laying the foundations for a robust library of quality BIM objects that are applicable to the UK construction industry. The library is produced with input from Autodesk, Bentley, Tekla, Nemetscheck and Graphisoft as well as comments and suggestions from a number of user groups and forums.

The next phase of generic content includes floor finishes, panel partitions, panel cubicles, signage, sanitaryware and hard landscaping.

Graphical data

The National BIM Library includes objects with sophisticated and consistent graphical and parametric control. These objects all carry varying degrees of graphical data such as size, shape and area, and feature different levels of parametric control to manipulate them graphically. We have considered the level of information which is represented. For example, the detailed modelling of a toilet flush lever could include many facets and extrusions, and at the early stages of design generic objects have little need for very high levels of detail.

Aside from the dimensions of the objects themselves we have further considered their relationship to other objects and zones of clearance. For example, an accessible WC package is made up of a number of items such as WC, sink, hand dryer. These are available in a number of sizes that can be grouped within a data set. However, when assembled to make an accessible WC package, we have considered further dimensional information such as wheelchair turning circles, clearance zone and tolerances. The clearance zones for the accessible WC package are based on documents such as BS 6465: Part 2 Sanitary installations and Approved Document M of the Building Regulations (E&W). Standards and regulations have been taken into account in a number of other objects, for example vision panel layouts, effective clear widths and side clearances in our doors have observed BS 8300.

Non-graphical data

Performance information is perhaps the most important non-graphical data as it defines a product by its output characteristics, and assists the designer in with product selection. While we may use an in-built application within the BIM platform or an add-on plug-in to analyse, say, structural or energy performance, we must remember that this data has to come from somewhere, therefore the more information we put in the more we will get back. The intention of the National BIM Library objects is that they follow the construction work flow. So as a project develops, the specifier uses concept objects, detailed objects and (based on our work with manufacturers) proprietary objects. Evolving from generic to proprietary objects during the design process and not, as often happens, during the construction phase, means that we have the opportunity to see in real time the effects on project objectives such as performance and cost.

Consistent maintained data

We have added a rich set of properties for construction and Facilities Management that are presented in a consistent and structured manner. Pour layer based objects are created using a database through IFC which provides consistency of nomenclature etc.. across the board and also allows for automated checking before information is disseminated into objects across all BIM platforms.

When considering the properties behind each object we included the following:

  1. The IFC international standard property sets for that type of object
  2. The COBie UK 2012 properties that have been defined by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group for Facilities Management
  3. Our own standard National BIM Library properties as defined by our technical teams.
IFC International property sets

Each National BIM Library object has IFC parameters embedded within it, the definitions of which have been obtained from the BuildingSMART IFC2x3 website ( In the case of a shower object, for example, information includes data such as drain size, tray and shower type.

COBie UK 2012

Once installed, products need maintenance, replacement or upgrade and so attributes such as lifespan and replacement costs become beneficial when planning scheduled maintenance. Examples of the type of data in National BIM Library objects includes details of warranties, start date, production year and replacement costs. The objects also include COBie parameters for which we have sought guidance from BuildingSMART. Through their work on COBie UK 2012, the objects will be updated in this and future releases, for example our Phase 2 content now incorporates parameters for accessibility, Code and sustainability performance.

When we consider installation information it may not be practical or necessary to add step by step instructions regarding the installation of a component. In many cases installation information is a reference to NBS workmanship clauses or the manufacturer’s installation guide. When we change from a generic to a proprietary object we have the opportunity to include manufacturers’ installation instructions as a hyperlink.

National BIM Library properties

In addition to the IFC and COBie properties we have added our own National BIM Library parameters. Data must be categorized and arranged so that it can be easily retrieved otherwise it is difficult to use – it is standard formats that drive the ability to use the data outside the BIM project file. In order for the information to be meaningfully reused it requires a consistent set of parameters and attributes, with consistent naming conventions. As a bare minimum, a product can be identified by a trade name or model number. However, the National BIM Library parameters provide a consistent set of attributes across all objects, giving information such as version number, issue date, Uniclass title, section and clause number and system outline reference. This work is backed up by a team of Technical Authors comprising architects, structural engineers, landscape architects and service engineers.

Relevant to the UK construction industry

As these objects are intended for the UK market, we have incorporated sizes that are typical of UK standards. We have added commonly available optional items that would often be associated with sanitaryware such as enclosures to showers, screens to baths and gratings to cleaner’s sinks. We have also looked at rationalization of how components are structured. We’ve carefully considered how the objects are used and provide useful ways to configure a variety of sizes quickly, accurately and robustly. For example multiple sizes for signage can be selected from one object. We have started to develop our signage objects with the inclusion of fire and safety signage. In determining signage sizes and taking into consideration observation distance we have referred to BS ISO 3864-1 and BS 5499-4.

In looking at how users will be using the objects we have added parameters that control the visibility of the 2D detail symbol of the sign on plan. This representation of the sign in plan view is purposely not to the scale or to the measurement of the actually sign object itself as its intension is for a graphical symbol and reference on the drawing. We have further considered which dimensional parameters will be user configurable and which parameters are set by formulas and cannot be altered. For example the width of the border surrounding the sign is fixed with a formula 0.025xHeight and so will be always proportional and sets the minimum requirements for the signage boarder width. Our shower screen on our shower bath has the ability to amend the height. However due to the shape of the bath the screen can not be controlled parametrically and therefore this parameter has been locked. The length of the shower screen is fixed and changes automatically when the bath size changes.

To make the objects as user friendly as possible we have considered how objects are hosted and relate to their surroundings. Our ceiling mounted signs are automatically hosted to the ceiling and have further parameters to define the hanger length and spacing while WC assemblies that are fixed to a wall will host to a wall when inserted into the model. Similarly while our panel cubicles will host to a vertical surface we have incorporated a parameter to activate an offset. If the panel cubicle was to be used with an integrated plumbing system then the user has the ability define the distance between wall, and rear extremity of the panel cubicle component to accommodate an integrated plumbing system.

Mind the gap

The National BIM Library objects complement the information that is included within NBS Create. One important principle of BIM is to say it once.. If we take our new floor finishes for example, the user may define the dimensions in their chosen BIM platform. However when compared to the specification we can begin to appreciate the level of detail that is included , such as adhesives, fasteners, accessories, and that is before we have even begun to discuss workmanship, execution and system completion. National BIM Library objects are designed to work with NBS and the more integration between these two tools the easier the building design becomes..

Useful links

NBS Create

Related NBS information:


July 2012

via – Premier cost estimating and project management software for efficient project delivery – JOC – Job Order Contracting – SABER – IDIQ – SATOC – MATOC – MACC – POCA – BOA ….


COBie 2012 UK

COBie is formal schema that helps organise information about new and existing facilities. It is general enough that it can be used to document both Buildings and Infrastructure assets. It is simple enough that it can be transmitted using a spreadsheet. It is means of sharing structured information, just like CDM and BIM. You can learn more about COBie from the BIM Task Group Website

Purpose of Templates

Both the design and supply side of the AEC sector can benefit from the use of a common set of construction objects, classifications and property names. In particular, the UK Government BIM strategy includes as a key purpose for handover information the information needed to support the process of product replacement, specifically “specification and selection”. [Read More]

The Templates

The templates can be used to guide the creation of specific product data. Manufacturers and suppliers can include their detailed contact information and product information. There are currently 700 template sets available for general use. The RIBAE NBL initiative will be contributing suggested UK specific properties. [Search]

U.K. National BIM Survey Released 2012 – BIM in UK as Confusing as in the US?

“In the long history of humankind… those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
Charles Darwin

Latest BIM Adoption Figures for the UK

(Reference Source-NBS National NIB Survey)

As annual industry wide survey, carried out by NBS was completed in late 2011 by nearly 1,000 construction professionals representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry in the UK, including architecture, engineering and surveying. Over 200 RIBA members were among the participants, making sure the views of the membership came across.


BIM Awareness
Organizational Use of CAD
General Responses
Attitudes towards BIM
  • 78% agree the BIM is the future of project information, though how that future will look is uncertain, with 4 out of 5 agreeing that the industry is not yet clear enough of what BIM actually is
  •  31% of construction professionals are now using BIM – up from 13% in 2010 (to what degree appears uncertain however)
  • 75% of those construction professionals currently aware of BIM predict they will be using it on some projects (another indication of uncertain implementation levels)  by the end of 2012, and almost 19 out of 20 people expect to be using it in five years’ time
  • 80%+ agreed BIM increases the coordination of construction documents, with 65% of those using the technology saying BIM delivered cost efficiencies.

Survey Notes:

1000 Respondents from a range of business sizes, with a quarter coming from very small organisations (one or two employees) and 14% coming from very large businesses (more than 500 employees). A majority, 52%, of respondents came from organisations with 15 or fewer employees.

Job Description
Use of CAD
CAD Tools Used

Noteworthy quotations-

Unfortunately, the second NBS National BIM Survey provides a potentially worrying picture of a divided UK construction industry in which real progress has been made but where real areas of inertia remain.

it still heresy to say that construction is endemic with waste?

… the term BIM has become universally commonplace (though often misused) in our construction vocabulary; so what do we (the Cabinet Office BIM Task Group) mean by BIM? Well,
expectedly, the clue is in the title: constructing a managed digital information 3D model of an asset (interesting as 3D is NOT in the title), be it a building or an infrastructure project (both new-build or retained estate) that is infused with data. This information model can be used to inform the decision-making process and answer questions throughout the entire project life-cycle.

In order for this process to be effectively implemented, however, it needs to be undertaken in a truly collaborative environment (with iterative feedback loops), and here lies the real challenge. Manifesting BIM beyond the technology and process to a cultural paradigm shift (never easy) is where the real challenge lies. BIM is very much more a verb than a noun.

A large part of BIM success and a potential industry shift will be down to education and training, ensuring that new entrants to the
construction arena have the apposite blend of knowledge and skills: a BIM literacy to fit their function.

Although much has been written about BIM, few have truly considered it from the perspective of the Client.  …the real big value proposition lies in the bandwidth consequent to practical completion where the data (in our case COBie) and model outcomes can be used to ensure optimal asset performance… Modelling for better user outcomes and being able to feed this data back to inform future projects is where the real Client value proposition sits.

In the current commercial environment the ability to do more for less has been a considerable advantage. Being able to offer additional services outside our traditional scope has helped to differentiate us in a difficult market particularly with services like Quantity-Take-Off. We are also confident that the consistency in our output is generating repeat business, not least because mwe have been able to drive efficiencies from project to project as our database of standard components has become richer.


BIM Process