Why BIM Project Management is necessary in our growing industry?
What is BIM Project Management?
BIM Project Management is the administration of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) process throughout the project’s lifecycle, ensuring that the utilization of BIM and its potential smart benefits are achieved to the best of its ability throughout the design, construction and post-handover stages.
There are cases where challenges arise when BIM projects are not correctly briefed, resourced and managed.
Here are some contributing factors:
What clients expect?
What builders expect?
What project managers expect?
What consultants expect?
What contractors expect?
With all these confrontational outlooks the potential for the project to be hamstrung ultimately ends with no one winning.
So you often find people wondering why this utopian BIM approach sometimes struggles in reality. The industry has created a number of barriers for itself, which even a decade or so later it is still grappling with.
Firstly Inequitable Return on Investment, this is probably the most prevalent one. The early adopters of BIM were mainly from the design professions; they were leading/bleeding edge firms who took the leap and invested in new software and workflows because they saw potential and wanted to stay ahead of the curve.
Fortunately this investment can result in a substantial return on projects – but the ability for the design professionals to benefit is highly limited on a lump sum competitive fee arrangement. Instead the return is usually realised by the owner or the builder or both, or worst case is not realised at all.
As a result, the industry now has a vast spectrum of firms with differing BIM competency levels, and the average project we see these days will have a mixture of BIM savvy consultants and those who have not yet started on the journey.
This fragmented approach makes it very hard to deliver collaborative BIM models which have any realistic value for construction or operation purposes as they only contain inconsistent data and cannot be trusted. Similarly even on the rare occasions that all design consultants are BIM enabled, without a clear brief and firm management of the project’s BIM requirements expected from each discipline, the result is usually less than satisfactory.
There are several qualities make up a BIM Project Manager:
Design Software Technician
Employer’s Information Requirements
There has to be an understanding of what your employer wants and their requirements for the project. What models will be required and if there will be an assessment of the existing asset. Once this has been established the BIM Project Manager must put together a BIM management plan which is a core-coordinating document which defines ‘how’ BIM will be implemented /executed on the project. The defining ‘How’ requirements will coincide with the employers information requirements outlined at the projects beginning.
BIM Management Plan
The BIM management plan will contain the following:
- Roles and responsibilities, which covers the ownership of data.
- Major project milestones consistent with the project programme.
- Agreed project processes for collaboration and information modelling.
- Agreed matric of responsibilities across the supply chain (i.e. element LOD).
- The standard method and procedures.
- IT solutions – Software versions, exchange formats & process and data management.
What Standards to Use
Useful Governing BIM Documents
PAS 1192-2:2013, PAS 1192-3:2014 & PAS 1192-5
Building Information Model (BIM) Protocol – CIC/BIM Pro 2013
BIM Forum Level of Development Specification 2015
NATSPEC BIM Reference Schedule
The BIM Project Manager coordinates with the following: Managers, Coordinators and Authors.
Once the team has been established, a key skill for a BIM Project Manager is to understand the team and their limitations. We call this the supply chain assessment:
- BIM Assessment
- IT Assessment
- Resource Assessment
With these assessments in mind, the workflow and processes will start to take place. These processes will prepare the models for coordination between services. This is a validation checklist which will become a routine throughout the project ensuring that development can be monitored throughout the project lifecycle.
The coordination stage comes with whole new layer of transparency involved, BIM coordination meetings allows everyone involved to understand the project from a whole new level. Issuing clash detection reports forms a meeting structure and helps the different services agree on and assign clash resolutions between each other in the one meeting. Updating and maintaining reports allows the BIM Project Manager to monitor the development progress through the projects.
Through these coordination sessions you are able to observe the development of the various models, you can highlight critical design issues early on in the project lifecycle, discuss technical issues etc. This shows the importance of the BIM Project Manager as the facilitator for the coordination.
Interested? Find out more about BIM Project Management
BIM Project Manager
Nick has a degree in Architecture from the University of Canberra. After graduating he dedicated himself to the very young Building Information Modelling field of work within Australia in Sydney with JHA Consulting Services. He is currently working as a BIM project manager, alongside the very dedicated team at JHA.
He brings a calm and collected approach when conducting the coordination of building services during the model design stage. His knowledge of the program Navisworks, helps him guide the team he works with, and work on a solution that helps the standard of documentation of building services and productivity during construction.