Thursday, 20 March 2014

BIM Implementation - Culture Change and Integration

BIM presents a major change in the way we design, document, construct and operate assets. Looking at the current trend of BIM adoption at workplaces and educational institutes, two distinct work forces are emerging and will continue in the foreseeable future

(1) Digital technology savvy young workforce with culturally diverse multi-taskers and non-traditional work agenda

(2) Senior professionals with deep experience and traditional work values and ethics

The challenge for businesses is to establish a work culture where young BIM savvy work force and senior professionals integrate more efficiently to provide the best of both worlds to their own business as well the clients.

Back in 2012, I published a blog post on this very matter. Please CLICK HERE to read the blog post.

At national/industry level this culture change/integration challenge is even bigger. I don't have enough credential to comment on this so I will use a relevant material here for the reference.

Please see an image below which is an extract from the article published last year in Construction Manager. To read the full article CLICK HERE.

Image: An extract from the article published on Construction Manager


Monday, 10 February 2014

Stop Referring to Level 3 and Level 4 BIMs

Do they even exist? Does anyone know if Level 3 and Level 4 BIM exist?

In my opinion they DON'T exist yet. They might in the future future (definitely Level 3 BIM) but not at this moment in time. To be honest, many in the industry are struggling with Level 1 and Level 2 let alone Level 3 or Level 4??? Technologically and contractually, Level 3 and Level 4 (I don't even know what Level 4 BIM is) BIMs are not possible.

My polite request to developers, lawyers and project managers: Please do not refer to Level 3 and/or Level 4 BIM in your BIM requirements. They don't exist at this moment in time. (full stop)

For reference, see the famous diagram below. The UK industry is targeting to achieve Level 2 BIM (private clients as well as government) by 2016. Level 3 BIM is an idea at the moment and not defined fully.

So what is Level 2 BIM? What BIM deliverables should be included in a project that is aspiring to achieve Level 2 BIM?

See an image below that concludes everything. This was taken during a presentation by our 'BIM Mayor of London'. You know who he is!

In summary:

Level 2 BIM includes:

  1. CDE platform
  2. non-graphical data, either COBie or client specified data format
  3. 2D PDFs
  4. BIM protocol documents
  5. 3D models, native as well as a federated

Level 2 BIM DOESN'T mean***:

  1. Live cost data to  BIM models
  2. Live time data to BIM models
  3. Live FM data to BIM models
  4. Live asset management data to BIM models

***NB: All of the above "DOESN'T mean" can be linked with 3D geometry produced by Level 2 BIM process. In other words, 3D geometry produced as a result of Level 2 BIM process can have external link to a database that holds FM/AM/Cost information or in some cases that information can be embedded within 3D geometry. Also, if you manage to achieve all of the above "DOESN'T mean" doesn't mean that you are doing Level 3 or Level 4 BIM. You are still in 'silloed' Level 2 BIM where everyone works in their own BIM environment and contributes to a federated BIM environment.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Three Levels of BIM Implementation

From UK perspective, there are three (key) BIM Implementations levels that every business should be aware of and be engaged at.

The list below goes from smallest to biggest in scale.

1. Project Level
2. Business Level
3. National Level

Assumption: Council level implementation is included in National level.


This is the easiest level and smallest level of three. By now, most of us in UK are (should be) aware of necessary ingredients of successful BIM Implementation at project level. Some of which are:

  1. BIM Execution Plan (first and most important task)
  2. BIM Protocol (or BIM scope of services for project team)
  3. BIM trained project team
  4. Clearly defined project specific BIM roles, responsibilities and deliverables (part of BEP)
  5. BIM capable IT infrastructure
  6. Clear and regular communications
  7. Commitment

There is a plenty of guidance and material available at this level. BIM Task Group website is your official portal for this. EIR, PAS 1192-2, BS 1192:2007, plethora of BEP templates available on the web and CIC Information Manager scope of services are some of the important documents that can be useful in this.

To supplement this guidance material, there are plenty of project case studies published in the UK media as well as shared at BIM conferences around the country.

To summarise, we have plenty of proven case studies and guidance material available to guide you to achieve successful BIM Implementation at project level. While I am at this, I wouldn't mind sharing 100 Bishopsgate BIM Implementation link here as a reference.


This one is a tricky one. I have seen a lot of companies (failing) struggling with BIM because they either ignore the business level implementation completely or didn't give enough importance to it.

So why is business level BIM Implementation so important and should be addressed first before you address project level implementation? Mainly, because if the business is not clear about why it is implementing BIM then the project team is going to make their own assumptions and use BIM in a non-structured way without meeting any business goals.

Some of the items you should look at:

  1. BIM will involve considerable time+money investment so first of all business drivers behind its implementation need to be defined and understood. Without this you cannot go further in your BIM journey. 
  2. Define and understand your business BIM deliverables/capabilities targets
  3. Set yourself phased targets to achieve your BIM  deliverables/capabilities targets
  4. Define and understand Finance+IT+People resources required  to achieve your BIM deliverables/capabilities targets
  5. Define and understand change management process required to achieve your business BIM deliverables/capabilities targets and sustain that change
  6. Define and understand a plan/platform for BIM knowledge management
  7. KPIs
  8. Finally capture all of above (and any additional things you may want to cover) in a document and name it "BIM Implementation Strategy and Action Plan"
This is it. Simple as that.

Actually, not. It is not as simple as this list of 8 bullet points. Business level BIM Implementation requires you to think deep and many more issues such as:

  1. How is your legal team going to integrate BIM your contracts or respond to contracts you receive where BIM is mandatory?
  2. How are you going to supplement your bids team with additional skill for BIM technical submission?
  3. What is your HR plan for BIM team career progression?
  4. If you are a contractor, how are you going to integrate BIM within design management, QS, H&S, Planning, QA, Procurement, M&E, Commissioning etc.?
  5. Many more...list goes on and on

So it sounds like this level of BIM Implementation is very important. YES it is. Is there enough guidance and case studies available in the industry to address this? Unfortunately, NO. There is very little guidance and real case studies available on this matter. And to be honest, this is the area where majority of the companies could benefit by some guidance on. There are some case studies available but they mainly focus on ROI etc and shade very little light on how to integrate BIM at the business level irrespective of cost. To be honest, I have never understood the point of BIM ROI; maybe I am naive. Anyway, this is a discussion for some other time or may be not.

To summarise, Business Level BIM Implementation is the most important level and should be looked at first before you look at the Project Level BIM Implementation. However, to my knowledge there is no (real) guidance material available on this. I would be happy to be wrong on this comment. If so, please direct me and my blog readers to any material that you think can help with this matter.


BIM Task Group. (full stop)

In addition to the above link:

National BIM Library
BIM hubs
Various BIM4 groups
Various RUGs (and NUGs, AUGs, BUGs, TUGs, SUGs etc)


NB: My apologies for not including links to above; running out of time.

I don't have credential to say more on this level of BIM Implementation as our authentic national figures such as David Philip, Mark Bew, Mervin Richards and many others are driving BIM Implementation at UK level with success. And I am proud to be part of this implementation effort through my engagement at business level + project level BIM Implementation and public forums.

To summarise, BIM Implementation at UK level requires all publicly procured project to use Level 2 BIM by 2016. There is plenty of material available on this matter. Just visit the first link in this section.

Having shared my views on these three levels of BIM Implementation, in year 2014/2015 I hope we see some guidance material on Business Level BIM Implementation in UK BIM conferences or public media.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

My AU2013 Run Down

It was an amazing event as usual. Meeting lots of technology/process enthusiasts, learning from experts and having fun with BIM geeks!

Before I set off for AU2013, I mentioned that I would like to focus more on Asset Information Modelling (AIM) so I focused more on AIM classes and peers this year.

As I mentioned in my blog post last month, AIM is happening now and it was good to see some of the classes reinforcing this.

See below some of my highlights of AU2013, in order.


Monday - Computational BIM Workshop in the morning

Monday- Revit certification exam

Hurray!!! I am now Revit 2014 certified professional

The following is an image from James's LOD class. I was bit disappointed to hear that there was no link between LOD and project phases. Why not? If the BIM is genuinely used as a primary tool to author design then why can't clients have SD BIM model, DD BIM model, CD BIM model, record/as-built BIM model? How can clients/AEC industry decide what SD/DD/CD BIM model  mean without having a direct link between LOD and project phases?

For this very reason, I quite like UK's take on this subject. Level of Model Definition (LOMD) are directly linked to project phases and LOMD defines LOD (Level of geometric Detail) and LOI (Level of non graphical Information).

Following image is from a class which was brilliantly executed and very well thought out. The message was simple "one picture is better than 1000s of words" but the execution of the message was brilliant. For me, this class/speaker wins best class/speaker award.

The conference was ended with this message. I couldn't agree more with this message. That's the reason why I was at AU to find out how can we de-risk our business using the latest digital technologies! ;-)

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

@StephenHamilNBS Level 2 BIM Master


I have just passed the UK BIMTaskGroup's BIM quiz with 100%.
I am now a proud Level-2 BIM Master certified by the UK BIMTaskGroup.

Am I one the first 10 Level-2 BIM masters? I don't know but looks like it...-;)

There were couple of questions where I was not sure whether or not I should follow (current) general  perception of clients (images below?? you decide) or follow my own understanding (images below?? you decide). But at the end, as usual, I followed my own understanding and I passed with 100%!!!!



Friday, 29 November 2013

BIM: Is this a reality or still a vision?

What do you think?
Is this happening (not saying mainstream) now or still a vision?

My opinion is this is happening NOW! and looking forward to see something along this line at AU2013 next week.

Proactive BIM vs Reactive BIM

Before I leave for AU tomorrow, I thought I share some of my thoughts on these two fundamentally different BIM approaches.

After I tweeted about this few weeks ago I got couple of DMs asking to explain the difference between the two, and one was from a Client. Which was very encouraging.

So here we go!

ASSUMPTION MADE: The readers know the meaning of three words: Proactive, Reactive and BIM.


When the project team is using BIM proactively (Proactive BIM), the design coordination happens automatically and clashes are identified and resolved as you design. If the clash cannot be resolved because it involves other discipline(s) then you raise that in your next possible design review workshop. PAS1192-2:2013 explains this process quite clearly.

Image courtesy: PAS1192-2:2013
The closest analogy of this process is comparing this with Health & Safety on sites. The contractors community focuses on avoiding accidents on site in the first place rather then spending their energy in counting accidents and then report them and fix them. Can they be fixed? NO, because here we have lives involved and once accident happened it happened and we cannot fix it.

Likewise, Proactive BIM lets you focuses on avoiding design clashes to happen in the first place. The focus is not on clash counting (clash detection), reporting them and fix them.


If all key members of the project team have each others' models linked in their authoring BIM software constantly while developing their BIM model then you know they are being proactive in avoiding clashes.


Reactive BIM is just that, reactive. If you are relying on "clash detection" to tell you how many clashes your design has and then fix them then you are doing "Reactive BIM", which defeats the whole purpose of using BIM for improved design coordination. I don't want to write more on this as 'Reactive BIM' is a dead end for me so no point wasting my time/energy on it.


There are many. But one of the signs is, when you see the team is relying on a third party BIM consultant to tell them how many clashes they have and then fix them then it is Reactive BIM.

Clients want to see Proactive BIM so that they receive well coordinated design at every step of the project, inherently. Smart clients are using clash detection to QA check the level of design coordination.

So to summarize this, Proactive BIM is the way forward and clash detection is the way to QA check level of design coordination.