Monday 10 December 2012

BSI BIM Conference

The last BIM event of the year for me was the BSI BIM event at The Palace Hotel in Manchester. This was a free event and a nice location - so quite a good event to finish the year off on, also a lot of familiar faces.

Session 1
The first person up was Mark Bew from the UK Government BIM Task Group who was chairing the day. He started by introducing Dave Philp was the first speaker. Some quick summary points from Dave's presentation:
Palace Hotel Manchester
  • We now have a new Government BIM logo – BIM and Government Soft Landings in a circle.
  • Use information - Make decisions - Add value - Reduce risk.
  • "What actually is level-3 BIM?" This will be defined next year.
  • Government Soft Landings (GSL) – a big part if the Post Occupation Review that will then feed the lessons learnt back into the next brief.
  • Software vendors have got to make it very easy for customers to generate COBie data
  • “Build Digital Britain” will be the legacy from this BIM ride we are all on.
  • The right amount of information at the right time has provided £100,000 worth of savings on the first BIM trial project.
  • The information is more important to Government than the geometry.
  • Precisely what information the Government wants is very important for the BIM programme going forward.
The Philpster - Aiming for first place

My presentation was a bit of a mash-up between the “information in BIM” ICE event and the Uniclass 2 slides from the day before.

And then finishing the first session we had Alan Muse from RICS. Alan explained what RICS was doing to support its members in a BIM world:

  1. How will it be possible to get capital cost and operational cost databases linked to objects around BIM? There are a lot of Cost Consultants with very well developed databases with fantastic information in. The challenge now is linking this into the BIM process. Where environmental cost data exists? – this would be fantastic too.
  2. There was discussion on whether BIM will "automate a percentage of QS work". And if so, will this mean a loss of professionals? Alan was of the strong opinion that the sort of professional judgement that RICS members bring will be increasingly valued in a digital world - and that any automation will allow organisations to give better value and improved services.

There were two or three delegate questions about the publication of a Uniclass 2 classification system by CPIC and an NRM system from RICS that do not align. Clearly this is not ideal, but there has been close collaboration between institutes in the recent past with SMM7 and CAWs – this can hopefully happen again. Equally, objects in a BIM world can contain many parameters – IFC supports multiple classification. So BIM will allow information to be translated to a format that is required for a specific purpose.

Session 2
After break time there were a number of sessions on the various British Standards that have been released around structured information for the construction industry. Marek from Autodesk gave a high level overview before Mervyn Richards look at BS 1192:2007 in detail.

Essential reading as recommended by Marek:

  • BS 1192:2007 - Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information - code of practice, 2007
  • BS 8541-1:2012 - Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction. Identification and classification - code of practice, 2012
  • BS 8541-2:2011 - Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction. Recommended 2d symbols of building elements for use in building information modelling (incorporating corrigendum No. 1), 2011
  • BS 8541-3:2012 - Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction. Shape and measurement - code of practice, 2012
  • BS 8541-4:2012 - Library objects for architecture, engineering and construction. Attributes for specification and assessment - code of practice, 2012
  • PAS 1192-2:draft - Building Information Management – Information requirements for the capital delivery phase of construction projects
[Hopefully copies of all of these will be under your Xmas tree for the 25th December?]

Mervyn is one of those that has been around BIM since the very start. I was interested to scribble down his top 5 tips for BIM:

  1. No cheating – (example don’t over-ride dimension text – get it to work properly)
  2. Agree a common project origin and coordinates across the project team
  3. Model your objects once, maintain them centrally and reuse them again and again.
  4. Deliver structured data
  5. Manage structured data

You want to save some money? - see Mervyn
Autodesk Customer Success Manager Paul Markovits then presented on how they had taken British Standards and worked with their solutions to develop a process for Jacobs world-wide.

After lunch
I missed the first part of the afternoon session, but when I caught up with things Nick Nisbet was delivering a master class in open data standardisation. Nick many references to the work we’re doing around our and NBS Create property set initiatives (thanks Nick!).
  • What is critical to include in any as-built set of information is the specification properties. Only this will allow the client to replace any systems and products as the building ages”.
  • If you give us rubbish COBie, we’ll know. Because we have programs that automatically check it
It was fascinating to see the existing Government FM systems – for MoJ they have their own 99 point classification system. Will be a fun job trying to sort the existing data or map new data???
Supply chain can use the tools they like - but this is what the Government as client demands
Roundtable discussions then followed in which the tables were asked to advise the BIM Task Group where they should next focus. Our table really pushed strongly for standardised object property sets so that the end users and manufacturers could communicate effectively. The final votes from the tables were (1 vote per table):
  • Better client education – 2 votes
  • Standardised object property sets – 2 votes
  • Focus on IFC/interoperability between software – 2 votes
  • Accredited training – 1 vote
  • Proper university engagement – 1 vote
  • A greater focus on FM – 1 vote
Bew and Nisbet ask the delegates for their thoughts on the "focus for 2013"
Mark Bew then summarised. In the next 12 months Mark predicts that there will be more standardisation of construction products. Cemex and Saint Gobain were named. This will accelerate and there will be more international opportunities. Off-site manufacturing will also grow to lend itself to more “manufacturer and assemble” style construction.

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