Digital modelling: from Level 2 BIM and beyond…

Building information modelling has been a hot topic in the built environment since the adoption of the 2011 BIM Task Group report. Hywel Davies looks at the current state of developments

The International Alliance for Interoperability introduced digital technology to construction around 25 years ago. However, the real step change for building information modelling (BIM) in the UK was adoption of the 2011 BIM Task Group report, which committed the UK to adopt Level 2 BIM for all centrally procured government projects from 2016. This set off a flurry of activity to develop guidance and standards to deliver this ambitious target.

CIBSEís Digital Engineering Series gives guidance on tackling the practical challenges of BIM processes and digital engineering more widely. These are supported by free templates to help with pre-qualification questionnaires and development of Employer Information Requirements, called for in PAS 1192-2. There is also an ongoing series of CIBSE BIM Roadshows.

Taxpayer-funded documents have been produced for the BIM Task Force by national standards body the BSI. These are supplemented by guidance from the Construction Industry Council (CIC) on contractual and professional indemnity insurance, while the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has produced practical guidance covering security aspects. These are available, free of charge, to both UK and international users, from the BIM Level 2 website and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure website.

Key standards

BS 1192:2007 + A2:2016: Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. Code of practice offers a best-practice, systematic method for development, organisation and management of production information for construction. It gives a template for common naming conventions and approaches to collaborative working, to enable efficient data use in facilities management.

PAS 1192-2:2013: Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling builds on BS 1192, focusing on graphical and non-graphical data, and documents developed for project delivery during design and construction. A new edition is due in the spring.

CIBSE’s Digital Engineering Series gives guidance on BIM’s practical challenges

PAS 1192-3:2014: Specification for information management for the operational phase of assets using building information modelling (BIM) helps asset managers manage information over the longer-term operation of an asset, which can account for around 85-90% of the total cost of an asset. It is a companion to PAS 1192-2.

BS 1192-4:2014: Collaborative production of information. Fulfilling employerís information exchange requirements using COBie. Code of practice outlines the UK use of the construction operations building information exchange (COBie), an internationally recognised schema for sharing asset data between the owner or operator and the supply chain.

PAS 1192-5:2015: Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management describes the cyber-security vulnerabilities when using BIM, and sets out an assessment process to determine appropriate levels of cyber-security for BIM collaboration. This PAS applies to any project where asset information is created, stored, processed and viewed in digital form. It also applies to collection of digital survey data, either for day-to-day asset management or for use in a future project.

In addition to PAS 1192-5, the CPNI offers a range of other security-related guidance, with an eight-page introduction to the PAS and security-minded BIM, and a set of FAQs on BIM and security.

CIC guidance

The CIC publishes the BIM Protocol ñ currently being revised ñ for use on all common construction contracts at BIM Level 2. It identifies the models that project teams need to produce and offers specific obligations, liabilities and associated limitations on their use. Clients can also use it to require adoption of particular ways of working, such as a common naming standard.

The CIC best practice guide for professional indemnity insurance when using building information models addresses the needs of insured parties, in particular consultants producing information using BIM. It identifies key areas of risk that professional indemnity (PI) insurers associate with Level 2 BIM, and outlines what insured parties might be expected to do to ensure their PI insurance is in order.

  • Dr Hywel Davies is technical director at CIBSE