The BIM Business Improvement Series: No.2

Welcome back to the second in our series where I share with you some of the common non-compliances identified during the Lloyds Register Gap Analysis process, which is the first step towards BIM Level 2 and ISO19650 Accreditation.

The BIM Business Improvement Series: No.2

In part 1, I highlighted three common findings, and part two identifies another three. As before, I will highlight common findings and explain why it might be important to you and your organisation. I will also provide a few tips which although maybe obvious, are often forgotten. 

No.4: No scope of BIM services 
This finding was initially a surprising one for me, but it has been found to be a very common one. When asking the question, do you have a clearly defined scope of services relating to BIM? Many organisations may reply, “we generate our designs using BIM authoring systems like Autodesk Revit”. However, if you ask questions such as; Do you provide information management services? Would you help a Client write their Employers Information Requirements (EIR’s)? Would you provide a Common Data Environment? The answers are less assured and often unknown.

Ensuring you have defined your scope of services relating to BIM is a very important consideration and often a strategic business decision. There may be many elements of BIM that would be considered standard practice, but equally there may be some services that may require additional effort and therefore incur extra costs, or services that would be sub-contracted or wouldn’t be offered by your own organisation. Understanding these constraints may support initial client conversations, cost planning and fee structure, as well as de-risking delivery.

Tip: Developing a spreadsheet that considers the services provided at each project stage is an efficient way of mapping out a company’s standard service offer, services that would incur extra fee, and services that would not be provided. Often customers we have worked with have expanded these spreadsheets to include standards and specifications worked to at each project stage and the technologies used to provide a quick and easily understood guide.

No.5: No Supply Chain Competency Assessments
There are many references within BIM standards and specifications pertaining to the assessment of the BIM competency and capacity of suppliers, and this requirement applies to the entire supply chain. Very simply put, you need to be confident your suppliers can deliver to the Employers Information Requirements and your own project or contractual requirements. A lack of assessment is likely to introduce significant project and business risk and can often result in a BIM enabled project containing suppliers delivering in 2D CAD and ignoring BIM completely, this is to the detriment of the rest of the project team. It is very difficult to work collaboratively and implement clash detection if one of the designers insists on working in 2D CAD as an example.

There are several competency assessment forms available in the public domain, but the main and consistent recommendation is to assess your suppliers in three core areas:

  • Their BIM understanding
  • Individuals experience and qualifications
  • IT systems

So, if you employ or sub-contract BIM related work activities to a third-party organisation, you should apply due diligence and assess their BIM capability.

Tip: You can assess your supply chain at any point, you don’t have to wait for a new project. I would recommend that understanding your own supply chain partners capabilities will enable you to establish their BIM maturity, influence your own BIM strategy and assist in future conversations and support.

No 6. No formal process for design co-ordination, clash identification and method to resolve
It is the responsibility of designers to check and co-ordinate their designs with other disciplines prior to issuing information to a project Common Data Environment (CDE). I do not meet many people across the industry who would not agree with this statement and confirm that they do check designs for interface clashes. However, when asked what the formal process is or if it is documented, this is often undefined.

Clash detection is simply a technology supported process to assist design co-ordination. There is nothing wrong in my opinion to apply this initially using visual inspections within a design authoring system such as Autodesk’s Revit, and then on more complex schemes introducing Autodesk’s Glue or Navisworks to provide improved visibility and control. Whatever the workflow is, employee’s need to be provided with instruction and guidance and this is often in the form of company standards, methods and procedures. One of the main Non-conformances found during a Gap Analysis is a lack of instruction to staff; it is in this area that companies can make the quickest and most effective business improvement.

Tip: Think about that person starting their first job within this great industry. If you are not at their side, how will they know what to do. Providing clear standards, methods and procedures and making them readily available will provide that required guidance when needed and breed confidence for any new employee.         

I hope you found these two blogs useful, and they gave you a few things to consider on your BIM journey. But if you don’t want to do it alone, we can assist you with a Gap analysis, BIM training and consultancy.

Find out more about our BIM Consultancy services here:

Understand what is involved in our Gap Analysis process here

And explore our regularly scheduled BIM training course here:


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