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.

Getting Ready for AU 2013

Just downloading class handouts now in another window. Looking forward to some classes and meet some BIM experts. Every year AU has something special to offer. Looking forward to see that special offerings for this year!

Stay tuned. I will be publishing my summary report sometime in December 2013.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Tekla IFC Export

As I am getting more and more involved with construction side of BIM, I come across many interoperability issues particularly while working with our subcontractor supply chain.

Recently our site team received an IFC file from our steel subcontractor (generated using Tekla) and when we opened that file in TeklaBIMsight and Navisworks Manage we noticed that there were quite a few elements missing. How did we find out? Well, the issuer had also issued 3D DWG export from Tekla as well so when we looked at the both files side by side it was obvious that many elements were missing in IFC. See image below, left side IFC and right side DWG.

This baffeled me a bit because I know Tekla can export clean IFC files. So I contacted the "author" of the model and asked him to try different IFC export settings. They tried few different things and exported IFC again but no luck and gave up thinking it is a software issue.

Luckily our friends at Tekla were quick enough to get on the case and helped the "author" export with right settings. One thing which was quite impressive was that the whole "Tekla support" process took only couple hours between us contacting them and the "author" sending them the file and tekla checking the file and advising with detailed explanation and screenshot. I include their support response in their own words here. Well done team Tekla and thanks David E.

"Thanks for the model.

I’ve done a quick check on the model.

Each member in a Tekla model has an IFC export setting in the User defined attributes tab.(see image below)

The ‘IFC Entity’ is currently set to ‘none’ for the majority of Plate girders and beams in your model.

This needs to be set to ‘Auto’.

This will then export correctly to the IFC and be visible in TEKLA BIMsight / Solibri model viewer etc"

The "author" then tried this setting and it worked!!! They sent us their new IFC export and it was spot on. It was such a simple setting which was causing this issue. I wonder why Tekla has export settings to "None" by default instead of "Auto".

The images below shows my experiment of opening the same IFC file in Tekla BIMsight, Solibri Model Viewer, Navisworks Manage (and Revit just out of curiosity). What do you think which one is better??

Navisworks Manage
Solibri Model Viewer
Tekla BIMsight
Revit 2014

Friday, 2 August 2013

QC Check BIM Models - Part 3

In the previous blog post of this series Part-2 I discussed software specific QC checks. Now let's look at design specific QC check.


  • "Design QC check" BIM models is referred as a process of checking your "Design BIM" models for compliance with BIM Execution Plan and official design documentation
  • "Design QC check" BIM models should not be confused with checking your BIM models for technical design issues or coordination issues or building regs check etc.
 After spending some time discussing this matter with some designers and senior team leaders, I have come up with the following list that should be part of your BIM QA/QC process every time you issue your models for coordination.

Who performs this task?  Ideally, this task should be performed by the same person who is checking and approving drawings or equivalent (with the help of a BIM Modeller if required).


The following is a list of minimum items (in no particular order) that should be checked when issuing your BIM Model(s) for coordination.

  • Model contains agreed elements as per the model elements matrix set out in BIM Execution Plan 
  • Model elements contain right INFORMATION (i.e. Mark, Type Mark, Fire Rating, Description etc.) for that particular stage of the project [suggest you setup QC Check schedule for this]
  • Model elements reflect agreed LOD (3D geometry) for that particular stage of the project
  • Build-up of system families such as wall, floor, roof, ceiling etc
  • Materials used within system families (i.e. wall, floor, ceiling, roof etc) as well as other key elements such as doors, windows etc. [suggest you setup QC Check schedule for this]
  • Levels [suggest you setup QC Check Elevation or Section view] 

I am sure there will be some more Design QC Checks that one should perform. So if you have anything to add to this list then feel free to drop your thoughts under comments area.

To conclude my QC checks blog post series, there are many benefits of having BIM QC/QA checks in place for you as an individual, your design team, your business and ultimately the industry. It will increase (BIM) confidence level within the industry, which will help BIM adoption. So get your BIM QC/QA process in place and be prepared to impress your clients with any BIM audits! :-)



Tuesday, 25 June 2013

BIM4Real Takeaways

Last week I attended a unique one day BIM workshop called BIM4Real.
Why unique? Because it was...

  1. an event organised by three (Graham Stewart @ Ramboll, Ray Purvis @ Atkins and Rob Clark @ Excitech) of #UKBIMCrew for #UKBIMCrew
  2. a free event without any hidden 'marketing' agenda
  3. an event focusing on the reality of BIM rather than all the fluff around it
The event was invitation only and was well attended by Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Clients, and an OBE (Old BIM Expert that is). In fact there were some 'unofficial' OBEs in the room.

My takeaways of the day:

  1. Employer's Information Requirements (EIR) is a must have document on any BIM project
  2. Information Manager role should be carried out by a Design Lead until a Main Contractor is appointed. The Main Contractor should undertake Information Manager role upon appointment or appoint a member of that project team to carry out the Information Management task.
  3. Design team should work with 'clash avoidance' in mind as part of their day to day 'BIM' work; removing the need for a third party to perform 'clash detection' for the team. This is not to say that we don't need overall/project wide Information Management.
  4. IFC, there are still some reservations in the industry mainly due to software vendors' implementation of it. Most of attendees expressed their concerns about loosing information (graphical and/or non-graphical) when exporting IFC from different sources.
  5. COBie, still a concept. May not be practical on complex / large jobs. Personally, I yet have to see a useful case study where COBie and data drops are used throughout the project life cycle as COBie is intended to be used.
  6. Asset Information, It is still not clear where, how, who adds these information. Is it useful to *manually* add this information in BIM model and then extract it into a COBie or is it better to *manually* add this information straight into COBie or Asset Management database and link 3D BIM geometry to it? Personally, I *think* the later is more useful and efficient.
  7. LOD, a detailed breakdown of BIM model elements such as AIA is preferable specially for responsibility matrix; i.e. who own concrete stair, slab etc. and what point the ownership is transferred
  8. BEP, BIM Execution Plan is the most important document and should be an evolving document starting it's life as a Pre-Contract document (mainly design team, client and QS involvement led by the Design Lead) and then becoming Post-Contract document once a Main Contractor is appointed (involving design team, key sub-contractors, client, QS MC etc, led by the Main Contractor)
  9. BEP, QS's input is useful to define modelling requirements for quantity take-offs
  10. Main Contractors input/involvement in overall BIM process is paramount. Design team should start sharing their models with Main Contractors like they do with design team members, with caveats if required, to encourage contractors' involvement. 

Thanks @StewartGH1970, @Clarkrob and @RayPurvis for organising this event. Look forward to see more of this.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Calling Future Construction Leaders

I usually don't advertise for anything on my blog but I thought I share this advertisement with my blog readers mainly for two reasons:

  1. Giving construction graduates an opportunity to join one of the most rewarding (in all aspects) graduate scheme in the UK
  2. Giving construction graduates an opportunity to join a graduate scheme with well mapped out career development paths including BIM/VDC integration
 If you are interested then click on the following image to download the leaflet and follow the process specified. Good luck!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

BIM in Daily Commuting Life

Metro newspaper is part of daily commuting life in London and other 50 cities in the UK and has the distribution of up to 1.3 million copies everyday.

As usual, today I was commuting to work in the piccadilly line reading my copy of Metro. To my delight I saw word BIM in an article. Albeit in an advertisement, it is a sign of BIM going mainstream here in the UK. Here is an extract from the page for non-Metro readers.

Now it's time to get real about BIM!:-)

 "...delivering construction projects increasingly needs newer (digital) skills: professional who can work collaboratively, have digital BIM expertise.."

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


I am pleased to release BOLT-ONS 2014 today. I have now grouped four of my Revit API plugins under BOLT-ONS.

BOLT-ONS is a collection of Revit API tools developed to enhance efficiency in some day to day Revit tasks.

BOLT-ONS include following commands.

1)  Update Door From/To Room Information - Updates From/To Room information in door schedules

2) Occupancy Load Calculator - Calculates occupancy load for each Room and Area objects based on occupancy load factor specified

3) Custom Area Calculator - Calculates custom area for each Room and Area objects based on custom area factor specified - ***NEW in 2014

4) Room Sheet Generator - Generates Sheets for each room in an active project - ***NEW in 2014

NOTE: Occupancy Load Calculator and Custom Area Calculator included in BOLT-ONS support ROOM and AREA objects.

Go to BOLT-ONS page to get further details.
Please leave any comments/suggestions you may have on BOLT-ONS page.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

QC Check BIM Models - Part 2

In the previous blog post Part-1 I touched upon two main QC check categories. In this blog post I will look at the first category in detail.

I have now discussed the software specific checks with some Design/BIM folks and come up with the following software (Revit) specific QC check list.


The following is a list of minimum items (in no particular order) that should be checked when issuing your BIM Model(s) for coordination.

  • Model Naming convention
  • Model Origin (shared coordinate)
  • All Revit+CAD+DWF+Other links are removed
  • Model is purged
  • Model elements are on appropriate worksets
  • Model elements are modeled using appropriate categories, i.e. floor is not modeled using ceiling command etc. 
  • Check in-place families and find out reasons for them being in-place as oppose to custom families. Ask them to be converted to custom families where possible. [this one is biggie for model performance]
  • Model elements reflect agreed LOD and LOI as per the project specific BIM Execution Plan
  • Model contains agreed elements as per the modelling responsibility matrix set out in BIM Execution Plan
  • Model title page is updated with the revision information (if you have one)
  • Model title page is set as "Start View" (if you have one)
  • Delete sheets, schedules and views as per your office standard protocol
  • Family naming convention meets your internal protocol or project specific protocol [suggest you set up QC Check schedules in your template to quickly check critical items such as Walls, Floors, Ceilings, Roofs, Doors, Windows etc.]
  • Worksets exist as per the agreed breakdown mentioned in BIM Execution Plan
  • Worksets are named as per the agreed naming convention (if you have one in place)

Phew! Good luck with this. I would like to know how many of these QC checks you perform every time you issue your model(s) Or If there are any additional software specific checks you perform.

Please leave your thoughts under comments here so that all readers can see how software specific QC checks are performed universally.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

QC Check BIM Models - Part 1

Do you perform a QC check every time your BIM models go out of your office? If Yes, that's great! If No, ...well why not? If your company is ISO 9000 compliant then you should QC check your BIM models every time you share your BIM models with the project team.

Forget ISO 9000 for time being. One could argue that BIM Model(s) (oops!) are not contractual deliverables  therefore we don't QC check them. IMHO, that's just bollocks. If you are generating most of your contractual 2D deliverables from your "For Information" BIM Model(s) then how can you afford to ignore QC checking the single source of your 2D deliverables even though you share your BIM Model(s) "For Information" only?

As you know, BIM is going to become contractual on publicly procured projects by 2016 in the UK. This means your BIM models will become part of contractual deliverables and therefore you will be required to perform QC checks every time your BIM Model goes out of the door.

So what should you be looking for when you perform a QC check? I will throw some ideas here for a starter.

First of all prepare a QC check list with two distinct categories as shown below. Now sit down with your Revit (or BIM for that matter) users and populate software specific check list and sit down with your design team (if you are lucky, your design team would be same as your Revit team) and populate design specific check list.



While you are populating your checklists, I will sit down with my BIM/Design team and populate this checklist in next couple of days and share my list with you soon. Stay tuned!

In the mean time if you have any ideas then please feel free to share with other readers by leaving your comments here.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Revit API - Skipping Unplaced Rooms

Using Revit API, if you want to collect all "Placed" rooms in a given Revit project file and want to skip all "Unplaced" rooms then use the following method.

Get "All" rooms in a project file using standard filter collector method and iterate through each room object to check the following before you add them to your final "Placed Rooms" collection.

// find the rooms, skip those rooms which are not placed but exist in a project file. Checking if Area property of room is 0.0 and location property is null.

                Room tmpRoom = obj as Room;
                if (null != tmpRoom.Location  && Math.Round(tmpRoom.Area) != 0.0)

The reason why I list this method here is because I used the following up until now and it worked well but for some reason it stopped working in Revit 2013 API while I was updating my plugins. When I checked using Revit snoop database..all unplaced rooms show Level property that they were last placed and deleted and show null property in object type.

// find the rooms, skip those rooms which don't locate at Level yet.

                Room tmpRoom = obj as Room;
                if (null != tmpRoom && null != tmpRoom.Level)

Friday, 12 April 2013

@UniWestminster @UoWBECi Open Lecture on BIM

Recently, I was invited to deliver open lecture on BIM at the University of Westminster. The brief was to start from BIM What, Why, Benefits and then cover where the UK industry is in terms of BIM, role students have to play and some references.

Here is a link to my presentation video. As usual, there is no audio so no need to put on your headphones! Hope you enjoy this and find it somewhat useful for you. 

Disclaimer: The content of this video is not suitable for any person over (x) years of BIM experience. If you fall under this category and ignore this disclaimer and hit the play button then the author does not take any responsibility of loss of...well, your time!


Msc BIM Management

It is official now! No, not just the course itself. Some of you would have already heard about this course (that I am going to mention below) but what is official is "BIM Management" as oppose to "Information Management". Ok, this should be enough to provoke your thoughts on lovely Friday afternoon. 

Middlesex University has launched a brand new course called MSC in BIM Management, starting from Oct2013. It is a part-time distance learning course so you can do this while you are doing your day job of Information Management!-;)

I think this is the first BIM course that focuses mainly on management of BIM whereas other courses out there in the UK are more either mixed bag of BIM/Design Management/Construction Management etc or not touching upon management aspect of BIM at all.

"BIM is a process involving the structured sharing and coordination of digital information about a building project throughout its entire lifecycle, from design through procurement and construction and beyond, into the operation and management stage, all the way through to demolishment.

As a direct response to this industry need, we have developed this course which aims to produce practitioners with a qualification to be BIM enabled in their discipline with a critical awareness of contemporary BIM issues informed by technology, research and management skills in standard and unpredictable scenarios.

Importantly, the course provides practitioners in the property and construction sector, and related stakeholders providing services for it, with a qualification to be employed in a management role in BIM projects. These include technical BIM management positions, operational/administrative BIM management positions, and strategic BIM management positions."

Thursday, 11 April 2013

£20k for Innovative Ideas

No! My BIM friends, this is not for 'BIM' innovative ideas and not for practitioners in the industry. However, I wish someone (you know who I mean from UK perspective) extends this idea to 'BIM' and introduces prize for innovative ideas in BIM adoption. BIM technology is already innovative, well kind of, but what we need to be innovative is in BIM's implementation, engagement at all levels and collaboration. So, the proposed prize for BIM could be called:

"The UK Government's 2016 BIM Prize, looking for innovative ideas from UK students to help the UK Construction industry adopt Level 3 BIM by 70% by 2025"

For now, The mayor of London has launched "The 2013 Mayor's Low Carbon Prize" in partnership with  Seimens for students in London.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our future and poses a huge challenge for London. That's why we must act now to reduce our emissions and adapt to the changes climate change will bring.

The 2013 Mayor's Low Carbon Prize, in partnership with Siemens, is looking for innovative ideas from London's students to help us slash London's CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2025."

Image Courtesy:
 Read full article HERE.


Friday, 5 April 2013

4D BIM Case Study

I have been swamped with so many new/exciting things in my work life since I joined my new employer that I hardly get time to share my BIM thoughts with the community. But the good news is that those busy days are over so you should get regular BIM commentary from me. 

Some exciting stuff is coming (including some Revit BOLT-ONS that I was planning to release in Dec 2012)  but today I am going to start with my last week's BIM experience.

I was fortunate to attend the first ever RICS BIM Conference in Scotland on 26th March 2013. The event was a smaller version of RICS BIM National event held in February 2013 in London but the values/objectives were similar to that of any other UK BIM event; that is to raise awareness, learn from project BIM experiences and build your BIM network in Scotland region.

We presented our 4D BIM case study on the largest hospital project on site in the UK, New South Glasgow Hospital. This BIM case study is one of the many lonely/partial BIM case studies out there where project participants used "Lonely BIM" for their own benefits. The whole day was full of collaborative BIM talks so it was kind of a change! for the audience to see how "Lonely BIM" could benefit on such a large project.

Image Courtesy:

Here is the full presentation in a video mode for your reference. Apology for no audio in the movie.
Hope you enjoy and learn something from it. As usual, feel free to drop your comments.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

C3 for Project BIM Success

Recently, I was asked to advise on "Design BIM" setup for a large tower project with the team dispersed in different geographical regions. I spent some time establishing BEP, Model break down, BIM resourcing and the like. During my time with them, one of the team members asked me for some tips on successful BIM management on that project.

My advise to him was C3. Having robust BEP and other protocols and procedures setup is a first step toward successful BIM implementation on a project. But what sits above all is this C3. I advised them to focus on the C3.

Here what C3 looks like.


Communication is the first ingredient for BIM success on any project. So what should you communicate? Basically everything that you do in your 'BIM' model (oops!) that affects a person sitting next to you should be communicated. For instance, in Revit world, simple things like tidying up project browser and filing views under appropriate folders, introducing new workset or migrating objects on appropriate workset, areas in abeyance, key changes in model elements, introducing new method of doing something, deviating from family/type naming convention etc. The list could go on and on. Also, decide protocols for internal communication and external communication; i.e. what, when and how for internal communication will be different to external communication. Establish some basic communication protocols and "communicate" that to the entire team in a clear manner.


Consistency is the next ingredient for BIM success, specially on a large project with disperse teams and multiple users. When I was managing "Design BIM" side of things in my previous roles, I used to tell my users that focus on consistency and not what is right or wrong. Nothing is right or wrong, at least in BIM world. Agree a method and stick with it. Consistently 'wrong' can be rectified quicker than a mixed bag. The reason why I used to insist this to my teams is because many times a "User A" would come to me and say look! I have found a sophisticated way of doing 'something' so I think we should model in this way. Next is "User B" who finds another way of doing that 'something' and he/she thinks we should approach modelling that way. Now as a BIM Manager my focus shifts from BIM management to people's management, you know what I mean! To avoid that I used to tell my users that focus on consistency so that we can achieve efficiency in what we do. Sophistication can be achieved later.


Commitment is the third and last ingredient for BIM success, specially on a large project with disperse teams and multiple users. You need commitment from all users so that they communicate as per established protocol and maintain consistency throughout the project.

If you manage to achieve C3 on your project then BIM success on your project is virtually guarenteed.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Holy Grail

Forget BIM for FM or O&M. Here is the ultimate BIM for end users.

"Rio de Janeiro is mixing technology with tradition to provide tourists information about the city by embedding bar codes into the black and white mosaic sidewalks that are a symbol of the city."

"We use so much technology to pass information, this makes sense," he said, noting he'd seen QR codes on tourist sites in Portugal, where they were first used for this purpose. "It's the way we do things nowadays."  

Read full article HERE

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Level Of Alphabets

These days I come across so many 'Level Of.....' acronyms that It is difficult to remember them all. It is about a time for me to list them all somewhere so here it goes. Enjoy!

Feel free to leave your version of  'Level Of ....' under comments.

Level Of  Awareness
Level Of  BIM
Level Of  Completeness
Level Of  Detail (or Development)
Level Of  Engagement
Level Of  Functionality
Level Of  Granularity
Level Of  Hindrance
Level Of  Information
Level Of  Junk
Level Of  Knowledge
Level Of  Leverage
Level Of  Modelling
Level Of  Naivety
Level Of  Output
Level Of  Predictability
Level Of  Quality
Level Of  Resolution (or Reliance)
Level Of  Satisfaction
Level Of  Transparency
Level Of  Usage
Level Of  Viability
Level Of  Willingness
Level Of  X-factor
Level Of  Yelling
Level Of  Zen