Implementation of BIM in an organization can be a rather uncomplicated and speedy process; provided it is preceded by the appropriate amount of preparation and planning. This ‘appropriate amount’ depends largely upon the processes and goals of an individual firm. Let us have a look at the four generic phases of BIM implementation.
The Four Phases of BIM Implementation
These four phases can help AEC firms to make BIM implementation a less complicated and error-free process:
- Phase 1: Evaluation/Assessment
- Phase 2: Preparation for the Transition / Project Pre-Planning
- Phase 3: Execution of the Plan / Design and Construction
- Phase 4: Operations and Maintenance through Experience and Expertise
Phase 1 – Evaluation or Assessment
Establish the implementation plan and intent for Building Information Modeling in your organization as part of an internal assessment procedure. The following steps give you a rundown of what needs to be done in the first phase of BIM implementation, as per Construction Round Table 2010.
- Review the organization’s capabilities in terms of technology and personnel so as to determine whether or not your organization is BIM ready.
- Check the openness of staff members to embrace a complete change in the underlying processes and workflows of the organization.
- Understand the changes required in legal contracts and deliverables expected from each party.
- Ensure that the higher management fully supports the decision to adopt BIM in the organization.
Phase 2: Preparation for the Transition / Project Pre-Planning
Project pre-planning is a crucial step that must be performed before going ahead with BIM transition. It includes the following:
- Software Interoperability: Make provisions for a uniform standard for information exchange among all parties. Apart from this, there must be a way to archive and update data on a real-time basis so that no crucial information is lost.
- Training of Personnel: Plan for training and development sessions for your taskforce so that they gain proficiency in using BIM to its full potential.
Phase 3: Execution of Plan/Design and Construction
The execution of the plan must be decided collaboratively in accordance with every stakeholder in the project. This phase defines the social interactions of the project team throughout the BIM construction life cycle. A BIM execution plan includes:
- Portfolio management
- Test case based planning and implementation
- Spatial planning
- Team restructuring
- Information handover
- Defining new roles and responsibilities
- Measuring performance
Phase 4: Operations and Maintenance
The high level digital model built in the design phase acts as the basis for the operations and maintenance phase as well. The building data from this model can be reworked to incorporate operations and maintenance for the facility, as suggested by Construction Users Round Table 2010.
Factors that determine whether the design model can be used for operations and maintenance:
- Which elements were integrated into the model in its design phase?
- Was the digital model regularly updated to include the most recent and accurate information?
- Were all stakeholders who are authorized to access the digital model able to retrieve data with ease?
Activities performed in these four phases differ according to the organizational structure and requirements. The extent to which BIM is successfully implemented in an organization depends on the willingness and capability of the individual organization. However, the prescribed step by step process can help AEC firms in laying down a set of rules to follow throughout implementation.