Two key documents that ensure this happens are the Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) and the BIM Execution Plan (BEP). The EIR is a scope of services provided by the client and the BEP forms a technical response to these client requirements, providing instructions to the delivery team as to how the project must be fulfilled.

BIM benefits When used for digital prototyping, the BIM methodology helps to keep design and construction activities focused on the key performance indicators (KPIs). It also enables lifecycle analytics and operational metrics to be embedded into the earliest stage of a project, thereby delivering improved asset quality and usability.

BIM supports more effective and more confident decisions by combining virtual inspections and visualised information in a way that facilitates understanding by building owners and investors. This can dramatically reduce the number of changes and corrective actions, greatly improving the likelihood that a project will be completed on schedule and within budget.

As all delivery team models follow the RIBA stages, the modelling responsibility and ‘Level of information NEED’ required at each stage should be documented. All team members will then have a crystal-clear understanding of what information is required from them.

By centralising all project-related data and virtualising communication and collaboration, BIM enables real-time access across disciplines and locations, providing all parties with continuous access to accurate and up-to- date project information. In addition, project scheduling is more accurate and easier to monitor, supporting more efficient and streamlined processes with traceable responsibilities and visual coordination.

The increased transparency of project information generated by BIM makes it easier to identify and resolve discrepancies and errors related to design, materials, construction and documentation. Model-checks for spatial, material, cost and schedule issues provide building owners and investors with increased insight into their project. This allows them to communicate more effectively with engineers and architects and increases accountability. Operational safety, regulatory and legal issues are also clearly documented, so that asset holders have a clear understanding of all relevant matters.

BIM supports the collaboration between architects, engineers, service designers and facility managers in evaluating multiple energy usage scenarios in the context of other project requirements. This allows the delivery team to adjust construction specifications and materials to maximise natural resource efficiencies. This can result in reduced operational costs as well as a higher asset value, such as supporting a higher level of sustainability certification.

BIM can significantly improve overall operational excellence. As models can serve as an object-related database for other systems, this allows data from actual operations to be fed into and out of the BIM model. BIM

models, lifecycle management practices and performance benchmarks can therefore be further refined and modified.

Full adoption It is important to note that these key benefits are achieved only when the BIM methodology is adopted to its full potential and executed in the three dimensions of strategy, tactics and operation. In projects where BIM has not been effectively implemented or executed, there is likely to be an increase in budget and resource time, often caused by reprogramming incorrect data standards or redeveloping BIM models.

“BIM supports the collaboration between architects, engineers, service designers and facility

managers in evaluating multiple energy usage scenarios in the context of other project requirements.”

Major construction projects are becoming increasingly more complex, involve multiple task teams and span several years, making projects fraught with challenges. Without BIM, as individual task teams work in isolation from other members of the delivery team, the result is unsynchronised processes and procedures with no defined standards for quality control. Consequently, issues are only identified as work commences on site, causing abortive work and wasted materials which all comes at a cost to the project and the environment.

This is why our industry is embracing digitalisation with open arms as it realises the benefits and potential it has to offer. However, BIM is an evolving technology with a steep learning curve, which will take time to fully adopt and embed across all sectors of the built environment. This is because BIM is a change to the traditional methods in which the industry works and peak efficiency will not occur overnight.

BIM has the potential to increase efficiency and reduce construction costs during the planning, design and execution stages, while also improving overall project quality and utility. Building owners, investors and asset holders would therefore benefit from the effective adoption of BIM as an essential process to design, plan and operate assets over their entire lifecycle. The ability to integrate state-of-the-art materials and technologies into designs to increase usability, maximise efficiency and promote sustainability, is surely a prize worth fighting for? TOMORROW’S FM | 45

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