For us, the whole life cost of a building stands at the centre of all considerations around BIM. We see BIM methodologies as one part of the toolkit that we, our clients and stakeholders have available to us to optimise the economic and ecological impact a project will have.
From early project kick-off meetings, through to feasibility studies, design and construction, to handover and operation, we seek to optimise processes and outcomes to achieve the best design.
Drawing from our expertise gained through research projects, such as 7D BIM, we always aim to agree methods and standards across the project team that allow us to deliver with consistency. To create a continuous cycle of improvement, experiences and lessons learned are captured throughout our projects to inform future projects.
While innovation and the use of emerging methodologies and technologies is important to us, we understand that this only works when the entire delivery and operations team can make use of information produced. We seek to engage with our clients, and ideally the final operators of the building, as early as possible to understand what digital data and processes would benefit the project the most.
We believe that the future of construction is in working together, improving collaboration, and sharing information with more trust and where we all recognize that each project can be part of an infinite process of continual improvement for our industry as a whole.
According to research, the cost of operating a building over a 30-year period can be four times the cost of designing and constructing it, and 80% of the operation, maintenance and replacement costs are influenced in the first 20% of the design process.
7D BIM is a design decision support tool that integrates advanced BIM with whole life cost and carbon (WLC) databases, enabling us to understand the long-term viability of alternative design options from those early stages of the process and beyond.
Following the completion of an award-winning two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership funded by Innovate UK and eight industry partners, we created the world’s first prototype 7D BIM model as a proof of concept.
While guidance from the UK BIM Alliance (ISO 19650) provides a strong starting point for clients, it often needs interpreting to suit a particular project.
Building on many years of successfully delivering projects to national BIM standards, we also advise clients on setting up their information requirements (EIR), choosing a suitable common data environment (CDE) and processing the appointment of professionals and contractors.
Our services range from simple exploratory discussions about the potential for added value in asset delivery via BIM, to bespoke appointments as client BIM representatives, validating and verifying information, or undertaking full-scale BIM project audits.
Drawing from our experience and research into 7D BIM and successfully delivering projects to UK BIM standards, including COBie asset information delivery, we can help you harness all of the benefits that BIM has to offer.
The UK BIM Framework (and BS EN ISO 19650) express the need for the appointment of a BIM Information Manager. We see this function to fall naturally with the Architect, Lead Designer or Lead Appointed Party, and have acted as BIM Information Manager on projects across many sectors.
Whatever the scale of the project, a solid BIM Execution Plan (BEP) can bring significant benefits as a means to ensure that the design team take a coordinated approach, both through how the design is developed and communicated, and in delivering the actual built asset. We always seek to have an open conversation with all stakeholders at the earliest possible opportunity to develop project standards that everyone can work towards and which will inform the development of the BEP.
To facilitate the 3D coordination process and to allow for an optimised information flow, we promote the project information model as being central to the information exchange process. As far as reasonably possible, we encourage all important asset information to either be hosted within or consistently linked to the project information model.
From these models, project documentation is generated in form of drawings and schedules. Models can then utilise open standards such as IFC & COBie to share the information among project stakeholders with long-term accessibility.
We know the importance of communication for the sucess of any project and invested early in real-time render technologies, including Virtual Reality. Beyond the application of these technologies for design visualisation we also see exciting potential for these tools in design and technical reviews.
Using the federated 3D model, real-time render engines allow us to undertake virtual site visits before construction commences. This helps the project team to identify and discuss important design decisions early on and in a collaborative environment.
As Architects, design coordination has always been a key part of our scope and we see semi-automated clash detection as a crucial tool for the coordination process.
We therefore do not think of clash detection as exclusively applicable to BIM projects and like to see it applied to all of our projects.
We are also investing in tools that go beyond typical clash detection software and see immense potential for further improving the quality of projects by using rule-based model analysis.
We have seen first hand how projects benefit from clear information exchange requirements and collectively agreed standards. We have developed our own BIM Execution Plan (BEP) template, based on the original CPIx.
Based on industry standards such as the UK BIM Framework, ISO 19650 series and common practise, this template allows us to develop a project specific BEP in consultation with the client and design team right from the start.
By carefully assessing and reviewing the outcomes of each of our projects, we have developed a robust approach for the delivery of Asset Information Models, including COBie.
This approach is targeted at enabling aggregation of relevant data from the earliest design stages and, by following industry standards such as BS 1192-4, facilitates efficient integration of the supply chain during the delivery and handover phase.
Clients that are in the process of developing standards such as Exchange or Asset Information Requirements (EIR/AIR), or are still making their mind up about the added value of BIM can draw from our experience in delivering projects to UK BIM Framework standards for many years. We provide informal advice for existing and prospective clients about the value of BIM and have also provided formal consultancy services such as taking on a more active role in EIR development.