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New OGCA design guide brings BIM into mainstream

Don Wall
New OGCA design guide brings BIM into mainstream

The Ontario General Contractors Association has released a new publication, the OGCA Guide to Construction and Design Technology, intended to offer general contractors guidance in integrating BIM technology into their practices.

OGCA president Giovanni Cautillo explained in the preface to the 30-page illustrated guide that over the past 15 years, BIM (Building Information Modeling) has developed from a tool producing 3D project models to an all-encompassing process that integrates almost all technology and processes needed for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of projects.

Tyler Holditch, director of technology with Matheson Constructors, serves as chair of the BIM/VDC (virtual design and construction) task force that developed the guide, which was released Sept. 30.

“There’s starting to be a better understanding that BIM surely does nice, pretty 3D models but it encompasses all that data within it and now you’re really at a data management level,” he said. “When it comes to BIM, you have involvement from all of your stakeholders from the conception of a project through handover.”

The new OGCA Guide to Construction and Design Technology is intended to offer OGCA members a foundation in BIM, VDC, reality capture and geographic information systems.
OGCA — The new OGCA Guide to Construction and Design Technology is intended to offer OGCA members a foundation in BIM, VDC, reality capture and geographic information systems.

Dorin Nitta, technical services manager of Kenaidan Contracting, was the first task force chair and is credited by OGCA manager of public affairs and innovation Erich Schmidt with gathering a “dream team” to serve on the task force.

Members include Alena Tokareva of EllisDon, Heather Anne Popovich of Eastern Construction, Tanner Clark of Bird Construction, Daniel Doherty of PCL Construction, Markus Hahn of Kenaidan and Shubhkarman Singh Kakkar of CSL, with Schmidt as staff lead and Yuri Bartzis of Pomerleau as editor.

Like the task force itself, Holditch said, BIM brings together specialists from different tech niches.

“There’s specialties out there in the industry, and it’s not really just a bunch of BIM managers,” he said. “For instance, somebody might be an IoT expert, but that rolls all back up into BIM management. You’ve got other people on the call that are BIM managers specifically and they’ve got the process of BIM model management down, but they might not necessarily be aware of the internet of things.

“So if you look at BIM as a whole, it does have all these subcategories and within gurus in the room we kind of covered each of these topics, which allowed us to explore the variations, all the different perceptions and then try to amalgamate them into the BIM guide.”

The guide lists such benefits for contractors using BIM as better co-ordination with the project team, trades and stakeholders; clarity in design concepts and intent; increased trade efficiency and allocation; live 3D quantity take-offs; higher submission quality; faster co-ordination processes; removal of silos; KPI/dashboards for ongoing project information; and enabling up to 5D simulations — 3D plus time plus money.

“If you look at the intent of BIM, it’s supposed to reduce time on design and construction itself or reduce any potential interferences,” said Holditch. “It’s supposed to communicate to the design team and to all the other stakeholders what is our intent, before we go and build it.”

BIM is now prevalent in the industry but Holditch suggested there are still gaps in understanding, and it might take another 10 years before there is complete adoption.

“The snowball is big enough and it’s moving fast enough that it’s not going to stop,” he said. “So, get on board now.”

Otherwise, “They’re going to work themselves out of a job.”

Schmidt said the guide, which is available for free download on the OGCA site, is intended to establish a foundation in BIM and associated technologies such as VDC, reality capture and geographic information systems among BIM members. The guide will be updated regularly.

Additional programming to support the guide will include an upcoming webinar on Building a BIM Team featuring members of the BIM/VDC task force.

“The first few chapters of the guide are very basic, and that’s intentional,” Schmidt said. “It was also intentional to talk about building a team, because we don’t expect our members to all of a sudden become experts in BIM, but there are plenty of experts out there. So, establishing a team and being able to then communicate with them in an effective manner, that’s how you really develop this technology in your firm.”


Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

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