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.


  1. A nice roundup of a very fast-paced event. My main takeaway was that even the professionals struggle to agree! Lot's of eduction to be done in every stream at all levels, but I can see that exciting times are ahead.

  2. As they say, great minds don't think alike!

    Having said that, I managed to align all great minds in the room on one thing. I got a big "YES" from almost everyone on "QSs should be involved in BEP exercise".

  3. Great post.

    Not sure if you are aware, but the full summary is now online at www.bim4real.co.uk and can be downloaded from here as well.