Thursday 8 November 2012

RIBA Guerrilla Tactics – BIM CPD

Today I was at the RIBA for the Guerrilla Tactics BIM CPD sessions. Notes below...

BIM and the RIBA Plan of Work
Richard Fairhead – bblur architecture
The 2012 BIM overlay is just a start
Richard Fairhead started the BIM day off, Richard has past experience from 3DReid and is now with bblur architecture.
A new plan of work coming. But how will BIM integrate into this? It will be released in April next year after a successful consultation period earlier this year. As part of the consultation with RIBA members, 75% are either looking to use BIM or using it already.
The Plan of Work was first published in 1963. It will be 50 years old next year. The current plan of work isn’t just a simple sheet – but has variations for procurement and links with the soft landing framework and also has a green and a BIM overlay. It also links to the RIBA client advisory service. However, this has all fragmented things a little. The new plan of work will bring it all together. The “letters” “Stage A”, “Stage L” will go – a clear separation between old and new will have “numbers” – Stage 0 to Stage 7. This will also align with work being down by the CIC and other professions.
There will be variable task bars within the Plan of Work “Procurement, Programme and Planning” – these will be configurable in an online tool (SJH note – the team at NBS will be developing this). Online will be functionality to tailor the template to a particular practice or project to give the version of the Plan of Work that is correct for you.
As a summary Richard explained “better briefing, a more defined design process - this will produce better outcomes. Then the lessons learned can loop back into the briefing process for the next project.”
Richard then took the delegates through the different work stages with examples of a recent project that he had worked on. For each stage examples were given of the BIM process from this project.
“Fatten the design time” and get it “right first time”. “It’s all about design - and building better buildings.”

BIM Demystified
Steve Race
Steve has been running the CPD sessions on the road for the RIBA all year. We also have a bit of content from him on the BIM area of our website:
Steve’s session started with a fantastic look back at the past, the Prime 750 computer 250KB memory – £90,000 in 1979.
Check out the picture below – which one is Steve?
Spot Steve
The BIM Overlay to RIBA Plan of Work  defines BIM as:
…digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility creating a shared knowledge resource for information about it forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle, from earliest conception to demolition”.
Steve has been launching the BIM Hubs around the country to work as an interface between those working in the construction industry and Government.
The 4 most important words in BIM – openshareable, asset, information.
Steve’s interpretation of BIM is “Better Information Management” – find slightly better ways to manage your information every day.
The move from BS 1192 to PAS 1192 was then presented. Methods of naming files and objects on a project to allow for better collaboration.
BIM is about objects. Modelling real world information. Watching this particular slide, this reminds me of learning to program using C at university in the early 1990s. Object-Orientated-Programming. I think this is why I probably am such a BIM-fan. The mix of construction and digital technology – the two things that interested me most when I left school.
Work together for better results
Steve then moved onto interoperability and demonstrated copying and pasting an image from Powerpoint to Word, to Excel to Access. This makes the point pretty clearly. Of course it is possible to take this analogy further with structured data such as an email where you go from one software vendor on one platform to another software vendor on a different platform.
A three year BIM plan diagram was shown – prepare to invest in year one, break-even year two and then see increased profit in year three.
A nice example on collaboration – “the two mules” illustration – pulling in different directions doesn’t work. The overriding principles for the JCT Construction Excellence were presented – work together, better for all.

Steve finished on some thought provoking slides on technology advances into such things like the semantic web.
And a tiny tiny book push at the end too… buy Steve Race’s book BIM Demystified from RIBA Bookshops:
Buy Steve's book
Managing BIM implementation
James Austin, Autodesk
James is now working at Autodesk but previously BIM Implementation Leader at _Space. James kept the Autodesk corporate stuff to an absolute minimum and even joked about it with a Darth Vader slide (the “dark side”).
The start of the presentation looked back at his time at _Space Group. How they went from 2D to 3D and then BIM – then diversify through offering wider consultancy services such as BIM object authoring and BIM consultancy.
Looking sideways - over last 40 years productivity as reduced in construction industry whilst costs have grown. This is the opposite of certain other industries.
And it is not just costs in terms of finance - 2.4 deaths in construction per 100,000 workers - whereas 1.1 per 100,000 in manufacturing.
Apple invest 30% of profit into R&D. What percentage of profit do construction industry companies invest in R&D?
[Edit – this figure was queried in a mini-Twitter-argument – but nevertheless the principle remains – whether this is 3, 8 or 30% doesn't matter – to have success as a company you must invest in the future]

A Building Information Model should be stuffed full of information that is accessible to everyone. BIM is about challenging your business processes to change to do things better.
When looking at small versus large practices James had some interesting thoughts. Small practices have a nimbleness to change their business processes rapidly (picture of humming bird) – within six months – a large practice (picture of ferry) could take much, much longer.

Better collaboration and Integration is the dream for any practice – but there are still big benefits of what you can achieve by yourself as the first steps. Become more efficient to produce more for the client for the same fees. Three steps 1. CAD to BIM, 2. Collaboration and then 3. Full integration. As a practice you need to plan out your journey and take your time.
A similar message to Steve Race was shown in terms of adopting BIM and seeing benefits. For cycles – taking a hit, improving, profitable, really efficient. James then talked through the lessons learned from his time going through this at _Space Group.
Top down support and managing change is a real challenge – it needs leadership – trying to push up is extremely hard. Top down support is extremely important.
Where do you start for the best support on BIM? – Twitter is great (UK BIM Crew slide below – is your twit-pic on display?) – the best – so many free resources… National BIM Library, AEC Standards, bimstore
Who's face is that top left?
Turnover per head slide and investment against turnover analysis was shown. A blurry image of this is below (as shown first at AU last year) – James if you are happy to send me the actual charts for this I’d love to add them to this article???
Fee income per head since BIM adoption
One thing that will change over the next few years is that manufacturers will provide their information digitally – accurate property sets and parametric objects that represent their products.

Practice Story: adopting BIM
Fiona Clark and Anna Davies – David Miller Architects
David Miller Architects kindly presented at one of our NBS events two weeks ago. This time it was Fiona and Anna using Prezi to tell their BIM story. A written version of this presentation is at:
Of all of the presentations today, interestingly Anna had by far the largest number of questions at the end of her session. “How do you do this?”, “How did you find that?” etc… etc… - I think this is a sign that a presentation has really hit the mark with the delegates.
Anna giving a Prezi master class
Fiona then took over and looked into the business side of BIM from a small practice background.
The big question on cost is that DMA spend around £30,000 per year on software, training and hardware. Comparing this to the staff cost and fee income though, this has allowed DMA to flourish in tough times. Looking back at the example from James – invest a percentage of your profits in R&D to succeed.
The story of how a practice grows from doing high-end kitchen extensions to £35million schools in three years is a great story.

Live BIM demonstration
The final session was a one I chaired was the live software demonstration. The presenters were given twenty minutes to show off some technology. Before the session I asked whether the delegates thought that BIM was the best thing since sliced bread, or, the Emperor’s New Clothes. The show of hands indicated that half thought “sliced bread” and half were undecided.
Which is it? tweet your answers to @StephenHamilNBS
After my short introduction, first up was Anna Davies from DMA. Starting with an empty Revit model she added objects to create a simple building. Drawings and schedules were then generated from the 3D model. In true Blue Peter style, a design that had been created earlier, was then shown for a housing scheme. More detailed scheduling, visualisations and drawing sheet creation was then demonstrated.
Putting the session together I was keen to ensure that more than one software platform was demonstrated and also that the demonstrations were relevant to the sort of work that small practices undertake. So it was fantastic to introduce Tom Jacques who showed similar functionality to Anna but using ArchiCAD. The demonstration from Tom was around a house extension. A reasonably small value project, but still using BIM to demonstrate construction sequencing (before demolition, after demolition, extension complete), drawings, schedules and visualisations from the model. Tom was also brave enough to hook is iPad up to the projector and navigate the model as he would do with a client.
BIM can be used for small projects too
The final presentation of the day was from George Mokhtar. George has been one of the BIM experts working on the National BIM Library project. – One of the real expenses behind BIM is for a practice to have to generate their own UK specific content. Some of the largest practices can afford this, but many cannot and it is a real barrier to BIM adoption with SMEs.
George discussed how the National BIM Library had looked at all of the standards and guides that were being used in the market and set out to generate UK specific content for the industry. One of the most fascinating parts was looking at the creation of parametric objects in different software platforms. The challenges of creating identical geometry and property sets that worked well when exported to IFC in tools such as Revit and ArchiCAD.
The National BIM Library is of course a free resource for the industry providing both generic and manufacturer BIM objects.
Multi-platform object creation from George
And then it was back up North again. Good bye to London for another week.
View from the Wren Room - 6th floor of the RIBA - tops of Shard and Gherkin definitely visible
Guerrilla Tactics over for another year

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