Dear TeamCAD website visitors,
We continue to cover interesting topics related to the BIM workflow. As I announced in my previous article, “The BIM Modelling Convention”, I am going to cover the topic “The Big Savings BEP Brings To The Investor”.
If you read one of my previous articles, „What Is BEP And What Should It Contain?“, I hope I assured you BEP is not one more bureaucratic document in BIM project documentation, that „bothers discipline designers and contractor to express their creativity“, but the key document that in clearly and unambiguously, from BIM implementation point of view, defines roles and arranges relations between disciplines designers, the contractor and the investor in BIM project process.
In my opinion, writing BEP should be investor’s obligation, either by hiring BIM Manager or BIM Consultant, because the quality and consistent BIM model generated during different project phases and organized data generated in it could serve as an excellent base for transforming the BIM model in the digital twin model at the very end of BIM project process. Furthermore, the digital twin model enables big savings in facility maintenance through the cost optimization of facility lifecycle and equipment built into it.
After the introduction, let me continue with considering what way the investor can make considerable savings with BEP making and the control of its implementation in the BIM project process. I am going to present a few ideas and conclusions, which, I am sure, bring considering benefit to the investor:
- The consistency of the BIM discipline models during all phases of the BIM project process allows the investor large savings;
- Well designed and implemented BIM modelling convention brings the investor big savings;
- By optimizing the multidisciplinary coordination of the BIM discipline models, the investor achieves great savings;
- By optimizing BIM elements LOD, the investor achieves big savings;
- By optimizing CDE (Common Data Environment), the investor achieves great savings.
All the above-mentioned recommendations and conclusions can bring significant savings in the BIM project process to the investor and they can be explained in detail. Also, I think that the above-mentioned conclusions need to be confirmed with some examples from the real BIM project environment, which I am going to do below. So let’s go in order…
Note: In the following text, I am going to explain in detail all the above-mentioned conclusions and recommendations based on my personal experience and very successful BIM project process implementation for one of the biggest investors and data center owners in the world.
The consistency of the BIM discipline models during all phases of the BIM project process allows the investor large savings
I am not sure that the vast majority of readers understand why it is necessary to ensure the consistency of the BIM discipline models during all project phases and how this allows the investor great savings, so I think it is necessary to explain this conclusion in detail.
For a start, it would be good to try to put yourself in the role of an investor and consider what would be in your interest, and that is related to the consistency of the BIM discipline models during all phases of the BIM project process. Let’s take the example that the investor, although this is usually not the case, foresaw the same designers of disciplines during all phases of the project, from the concept phase, all the way to the construction stage project. Furthermore, it usually happens that, after the tender phase of the project, BIM discipline models are handed over to the contractor, who extracts from these BIM models the necessary data related to construction dynamics, bill of quantities, quantities of materials needed for construction, materials and equipment that are going to be installed in a building, etc.
If the investor, with the help of his BIM Manager or BIM Consultant engaged in the project, did not monitor the consistency of the BIM discipline models during the previous project phases and if it turns out that BIM discipline models are not usable for the contractor for various reasons, justified or unjustified, the investor can easily face the problem that the contractor requires him to develop completely new BIM discipline models for the construction phase of the project, which exposes the investor to additional and unplanned costs.
An additional absurdity of this situation is that the investor has already paid the designers of the disciplines designing and making BIM models of disciplines, so the investor, in case the BIM models of disciplines generated by the designer are not consistent with the contractor’s requirements, would practically pay the same thing twice. So, in this very simple example, you can see how important it is to have consistency and continuity of BIM disciplines models during all phases of BIM project process, regardless of whether BIM model is in the hands of designer, contractor, investor, company engaged in facility maintenance as a facility manager or the user of the building.
In answer to the question – how an investor can achieve significant savings during all phases of the BIM project process, we can say – by monitoring the consistency of the BIM disciplines models from conceptual BIM model to digital twin model of the building and equipment built into it with the help of BIM Manager or BIM Consultant on the project.
And how can BEP help us in the consistency of the BIM modelling process? You are going to get the answer to this question in the next few sentences…
Well designed and implemented BIM modelling convention brings the investor big savings
It is this part of BEP – the BIM modeling convention – that ensures the consistency of the BIM modeling process during all phases of the BIM project process. You can find much more information about the BIM modeling convention if you read the article “BIM modelling convention” where I covered this topic in detail. In this article, it is not my intention to go into too much detail on that topic. However, I think it is important to note that this part of the BEP largely regulates the manner and consistency of data and information generation in BIM models of disciplines.
This further leads us to the conclusion that special attention must be paid to the field of data and information in BIM models because the transfer of BIM disciplines models by the designers of disciplines to the contractor, as well as the transfer of BIM as built model by the contractor to the investor ensures consistency in the BIM model of the digital twin. And what is most important to me, the investor thus, through BEP and hiring an experienced BIM Manager, gains complete control over the consistency of the process of BIM modelling and generating data and information in BIM models, and thus gains confidence in the data generated at the end of the as built project, ie. at the beginning of the digital twin life cycle.
It may not be necessary, but I am going to mention that the digital twin model of the constructed building and the ownership of it should most often be the ultimate goal of the investor.
By optimizing the multidisciplinary coordination of the BIM discipline models, the investor achieves great savings
Let’s start on this topic with one simple question. Is full coordination between the BIM models of disciplines expected at the end of the project conceptual phase? The answer is extremely simple and it says no. It should be borne in mind that at the conceptual design stage, BIM disciplines models are located in the very early project phase and that major changes are possible, both in the conceptual design phase and in subsequent phases of the project. The same answer can be expected for all subsequent phases up to the as built project.
Namely, even in the construction phase of the project, it is not expected that all BIM models of disciplines are perfectly coordinated and do not have the slightest collisions (Zero clash model), as it often happens that changes occur on the construction site due to unforeseen circumstances – justified or unjustified. The BIM multidisciplinary model of the construction phase of the project can be said to be the “liveliest” and to be the one to experience the most changes. It also requires daily coordination due to the high cost of every mistake on the construction site and so on until the construction is performed satisfactorily. In the end, we can conclude that an ideally coordinated BIM multidisciplinary model is expected only in the as-built project, which is also an excellent basis for the model of the digital twin of the building.
And what is the connection between BEP, investors, savings and coordination? Well, the answer is simple and I am going to give it through a practical example. Suppose a scenario where an investor in BEP stated that in the main project the frequency of VDR – Virtual Design Review is once a week. This exposes the investor to unnecessary additional costs, as each discipline designer and the BIM Manager himself will add the cost of too frequent multidisciplinary BIM coordination meetings to the project price. Also, there is no significant progress in project terms at VDR, especially in the early project stages to benefit from frequent VDR on a weekly basis.
Therefore, it is common practice to organize VDR every two to three weeks and as the project progresses to the next phases, VDR becomes more frequent. Since the frequency of VDRs is most often the responsibility of BIM Manager and each project is a story for itself, I would not give me the freedom to give a strict recommendation on the frequency of VDRs, but would leave the decision to the BIM Manager or BIM Consultant.
By optimizing BIM elements LOD, the investor achieves big savings
This conclusion does not require much explanation. If you read the article “What Is LOD – The Level Of Detail Of BIM Elements?”, I believe you could easily conclude that, the higher the LOD of BIM elements, the more demanding it is, both from the BIM modeling perspective and from the perspective of generating data and information related to BIM elements, so we come to the very simple conclusion that the more demanding the LOD of BIM elements, the model development will require more resources, and this will result in a more expensive BIM model for the investor.
Very often, to explain this conclusion, I take the BIM element – the elevator car as an example. Let’s look at the BIM model of the elevator car in the BIM context and what you need to know about it. It is good to know the dimensions of the elevator car, for the FM model and for the digital twin model it is good to know the basic geometric information, but also information related to regular and extraordinary elevator servicing. I consider all additional information related to the detailed geometry of the elevator completely unnecessary because apart from the visual effect, they have no practical application from a BIM perspective.
Let’s ask ourselves why it is necessary to go into the very detailed geometry of the elevator car when in the model it only has the role of “information holder” for service information? Okay, I have to admit that it’s nice to see a perfect digital replica of an elevator car, but someone has to pay for it, the investor in this case. Often in BIM models, we find very detailed models of certain BIM components. The most common reason for this is that they can be downloaded from the websites of equipment manufacturers completely free of charge. If the perfectly modeled elevator car reached the BIM model in that way, it is quite okay to see it in the BIM model, because making such a digital replica of the elevator car is not expensive and is cost-effective for both the designer and the contractor, as well as the investor.
I hope that after this short and simple example of the elevator car, you came to the conclusion that it is not necessary to model all the elements in the BIM model in great detail if they are used only as “information holders”, as such an approach saves time and money to the designer, contractor and the investor as well.
By optimizing CDE (Common Data Environment), the investor achieves great savings
This conclusion is perhaps the most significant because it explains to the investor how in a very simple way he can achieve full control over the entire BIM project process. In short, a common BIM project environment usually involves working in the cloud. During my career, I used the Autodesk BIM 360 platform the most and it allows all participants, and most of all the investor, complete control over the BIM project process.
In such a BIM project environment, all BIM models of disciplines are located on the BIM 360 cloud and are available to authorized persons participating in the project, both for virtual verification of BIM models and for verification of data and information. The multidisciplinary BIM model is also located on the BIM 360 cloud, all BIM models of disciplines are linked, so BIM multidisciplinary coordination is always and at any time possible, which greatly helps in the early stages of the project and in the process of finding the most optimal solutions for all participants in the BIM project process.
I will give you much more information about the common BIM project environment and BIM 360 platform in one of my following articles.
At the very end of this article, also at the very end of the series of articles about BEP, I would like to make a short summary of this topic.
BEP is a necessary document of every BIM project and its purpose is to regulate and arrange the relations between the designers of disciplines, contractors and investors. Based on my experience, it is most logical for the investor to be engaged and responsible for the preparation and development of the BEP, because it brings the most savings to him. If the investor is not able to compile a valid BEP or has no experience in it, it is the best to hire a professional BIM Manager or BIM Consultant for such work, who will carry out all activities on the BEP development and control the implementation of BEP requirements in the investor’s interest.
This would also conclude the article “The Big Savings BEP Brings To The Investor” and my view on how BEP, as the most important BIM document, can help us establish automation of BIM project process in all phases of BIM project process, then optimize multidisciplinary coordination and finally improve the implementation of the entire BIM project process. At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to announce my next article “Data Is The New Gold, Does The Same Apply To Data In Digital Twins?”.
If you have any questions, comments or want to know more details about the topic I covered in the article “The Big Savings BEP Brings To The Investor”, please contact TeamCAD, who will be pleased to give you additional information.
Also, if you need any help in making BEP, the BIM modeling convention or BIM consulting services to optimize the BIM project process, TeamCAD will be happy to support you.
Until the next article,