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BUILDING DESIGN Ricci Piper – Senior Consultant. Arup, Australia


BIM success: consistency andstandardisationthekey


In an ideal world, Building Information Modelling (BIM) would be a basic and necessary tool for all construction projects in the healthcare industry. The interconnected network of services, the scale of the base structure and the specification in the fit-out of healthcare facilities demand a coordinated and holistic approach to design and construction. A segmented approach simply does not deliver the results that an approach using BIM can deliver.


While it is becoming increasingly commonplace for healthcare facilities in Australia to use BIM as part of the design and construction process for both new and retrofitted facilities, there needs to be consistency and a standardisation of the BIM requirements for Australian projects – such as there currently is in the UK. If project teams can maximise the


opportunity to collect, store and interpret information (structured data) from the earliest moments in project planning, we can derive insights and opportunities that can shape the future design of healthcare in Australia and the world.


What is BIM? The acronym ‘BIM’ can together be defined as a thing (the model) and an activity (process).


Building Information Model – The ‘Building Information Model’ is a key component and facilitates output of the process. It can be defined as ‘a 3D object database that can be easily visualised, has rich data and structured information.’1 Figure 1 shows an example of the user interface of a building information model. In the interface you can visualise the graphical information and see the


Figure 1: Building Information Model screen-shot of model software package.


associated data attributes and parameters applied to each element as selected. Building Information Modelling – The


process of Building Information Modelling is ‘a process of representing building and infrastructure over its whole life cycle from planning, design, construction, operations, maintenance and recycling.’1


diagrammatic representation of the BIM process, which indicates how data collection is progressively collected over the planning, design, construction and handover phases of a project to supply. BIM has been practiced in various forms


for some years, both internationally and within the Australian architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. Common applications generally relate to 3D graphical representation of some or all of the building during the design process. There is now also a growing use of BIM in the construction phase.


‘There needs to be consistency and a standardisation of the BIM requirements for Australian projects – such as there currently is in the UK.’


IFHE DIGEST 2014


The business case The 2011 Built Environment Industry Innovation Council (BEIIC) study concluded that the widespread adoption of BIM on projects would result in not only cleaner, healthier buildings but could save owners up to 10% on the cost of their building.2


As a Figure 2 shows a


result there are many benefits to be harnessed by owner-operators, in particular within the healthcare sector, firstly in the design and construction of facilities, but also in the ongoing operations, maintenance and refurbishment phases.


Ricci Piper


Ricci Piper is a registered Architect and Project Manager based in Australia. She has worked both in the UK and Australia in the design and delivery of public infrastructure projects. Her current role is a Strategic Design Management Consultant with Arup in Sydney, largely focussed in the healthcare sector. She is currently working with CEOs and business leaders in government and industry, developing strategies focused on innovations in project delivery and operational improvement. Her pioneering work on BIM strategies in Australia has also informed some government policy. She has recently completed postgraduate studies ‘BIM and Integrated Design’, Salford University, UK.


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