Understanding the BIM Protocol and Execution Plan
The UK BIM Task Group describes the BIM Protocol as a supplementary legal agreement that is incorporated into professional services appointments and construction contracts by means of a simple amendment. The Protocol creates additional obligations and rights for the employer and the contracted party.
The BIM Protocol is based on the direct contractual relationship between the employer, the project team and suppliers. It does not create additional rights or liabilities between different suppliers.
The BIM Institute offers a series of guided documents aimed at all designers, professionals and contractors, who are, or looking to, work with Building Information Modelling in a consistent and coordinated approach. The protocols and execution plan listed in the Resource Library is, for want of a better description, an implementation guide to deploying BIM protocol standards. It offers an example of the AEC (UK) BIM Protocol and BIM authoring software templates , specifically Autodesk Revit and ArchiCAD.(The document has been revised for the South African built environment and construction sector and is currently referred to as the AEC(SA) BIM Protocol.) There is also an example of a BIM Execution Plan to help assist professionals with a BIM implementation project and the data exchange processes required that need to be adhered to in accordance with other international standards.
The BIM Protocol documents made available have been designed to be used by Design Professionals and Contractors as guidance notes and model contract amendments. It is possible that South African consultants and contractors will use these versions of the Protocol to manage the work of sub-consultants and sub-contractors.
Overall, the BIM Protocol documents are a highly recommended starting point for those without a proven BIM methodology or, for those who have, it provides invaluable best practice approaches validated by many renowned design firms. Despite being aimed at the SA market, it has been adopted by many more companies beyond the SA’s borders, providing a cohesive open dialog between Canadian, United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand BIM protocols to name but a few.
BIM is part of your Business
BIM allows software systems effectively to connect the architectural model of a building with various other systems that play a role in completing the project. These include structures, surveying, measurements, costings, planning, energy efficiency, etc. The co-ordination of these different parts or activities of the project are made possible through a cloud-based BIM systems, which allow collaborative work and real-time data updates to take place between project participants throughout the project’s life cycle. The common data environment (CDE), is the single source of information for the project, used to collect, manage and publish documentation, a dump for graphical models and non-graphical data for the whole project team. Creating this single source of information occurs best in a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform where collaboration between project team members and client and helps avoid duplication and mistakes.
With cloud-based software, 2D systems are a thing of the past and 3D elements are now the order of the day, making project collaboration more meaningful, detailed and in-depth. Some BIM systems perform intuitively, quickly identifying various construction elements or data of the project as they are added and defining these per their physical, technical and maintenance properties.
The BIM process requires people, technology and collaboration.
Each constructive element of 10 pillar guide is parametric, meaning that it allows for information to be populated or captured. Each element on the diagram is a task or data driven and includes design information of the project from its initial conceptual phase, including all the necessary information and specifications to enable users to study and control the entire life cycle of the project and not leave any possible issues to chance. Without BIM, it is unfeasible to study and assess project phase systems like energy efficiency studies, environmental feasibility, use and maintenance, etc.
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