The Institute for BIM in Canada (IBC) has developed and released a set of practical documents, including project planning toolkits, contract language, and practice manuals, that are designed to support firms with the implementation of BIM.
"Where BIM (Building Information Modeling) has failed and where it gets a black eye has been when people haven’t been prepared for doing it," said John Dickinson, president and consulting partner with Advanced BIM Solutions.
"What I have been involved in is the project execution plan tool kits. And, really it was conceived as a way to simplify and make acceptable that first step, that planning bit, that preparation or getting a good grasp about what you are going to do."
Dickinson made this comment at a one-day symposium hosted by the IBC and buildingSMART Canada in Toronto on Oct. 30, which examined the advantages of using BIM in the Canadian and international context.
The IBC scheduled the launch of a unique BIM toolkit package that supports the development of a project execution plan to coincide with the symposium. The theme of the symposium was BIM Worldwide: Solutions for All Project Sizes – Success for Lifecycle Management.
"The toolkits are very much about a process, sort of a linear progression, or a template, that guides you through," said Dickinson.
"It asks the right questions and gets the right answers, so when you are going to execute a BIM project, you have actually put enough forethought upfront, that the end result is far more likely to lead to success."
Dickenson said a number of fairly typical projects were identified or typical phases in which BIM is used. As a result, the BIM toolkit package is divided into three main parts: design development, construction management and facility management handover.
"The first tool kit was on design development, which is sort of flushing out a project, mostly architect, some of the engineer, and a lot of communication with the owner to make sure what you are creating will meet these end goals, especially on the functional side," said Dickinson.
"Usually, by then the concepts are achieved, but the functional side needs to be hammered out."
In the design phase, BIM is used to improve collaboration among the team. This leads to improved design quality and completeness. When used to produce bidding documents and selecting a general contractor, the use of BIM can result in stronger and more accurate proposals.
In the construction phase, BIM is used to help coordinate activities and to identify issues with the design that might require requests for information or change orders.
BIM is used to manage risks that arise from an unknown design. By modeling aspects of the project before breaking ground, issues can be identified and addressed in advance.
BIM models are used to document project progress and coordinate activities between trades. They are also used can be used to protect against future liability or contract disputes.
Finally, BIM documentation of the completed facility is used in handover transitions and operational phases of a project.
Building owners and managers can identify and keep data required for maintenance and operations, as well as renovations over the life of the facility.
The toolkit uses a range of examples to demonstrate the various uses of BIM, who takes responsibility in each of these phases and how to develop a project execution plan.
The first example is a mixed use university, which combines teaching space, common areas and space for vendors. It is a simple building with a couple of floors and a foyer where students gather.
Next, there is a theme store which isn’t a standard square building. The last example is a hospital, which has many critical systems that need to be maintained over the lifecycle of the building.
Dickinson said the contract language document package is used as an appendix to other prime contracts, which defines the roles and responsibilities of parties who use BIM for their project.
It explains clearly how the model will be used to replace the paper documentation trail that has been relied upon in the past.
"So, there is less liability or risk to the people providing the models, and more confidence or reliance on those who receive the models and use it to do their tasks," said Dickinson.
One of the main objectives of the IBC is to develop and maintain Open BIM Standards for the Canadian market through the Canadian Chapter of buildingSmart-International.
The constituent organizations of the IBC are: the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, the Canadian Construction Association, the Construction Specifications Canada and The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Follow Richard Gilbert on Twitter @buildingcanada.