Is ‘BIM Level 2’ Gov Implementation Faltering?

Is ‘BIM Level 2’ Gov Implementation Faltering?

John Ford, Snr Business Information Development Manager at Carillion Plc, comments on whether ‘BIM Level 2’ Gov implementation is faltering, as published on LinkedIn. 

“BIM Level 2 & real change, is only possible when there is a great enough push or pull requirement from somewhere in the supply chain. This change often comes greater from the chain’s source, ‘The Customer’.

The Government, being the largest customer for the UK AEC industry started this journey in 2011 with the mandate that BIM Level 2 would be the foundation of all new construction projects from 2016 otherwise you can say goodbye to continued work from them.

Many of us know that the implementation of Level 2 from Government hasn’t been quite as expected, with many government departments not quite following the standards they themselves have mandated to be part of like PAS1192 2 &3 like the fact they haven’t done a full internal review of their organisations info requirements (OIRs) and often don’t review the specific requirements for their upcoming new asset (Tailored AIR/EIR) and preferring to choose off the shelf templates. It is often the case that little or no input from operational teams input into these either meaning the whole thing becomes a paper exercise with no specific focus on the asset or the needs of the customer being correctly passed down the supply chain resulting in more waste than before.

Ultimately, the most concerning issue is the above isn’t getting better its getting worse from many private and public sector customers. It seems that BIM Level 2 has lost complete momentum in Government since 2016 as the deadline has passed and the general feeling is that their task of producing an EIR template was all they needed to do. I was expecting continued training and improvement of the early BIM Documents like their ‘EIRs’ or ‘BIM Protocols’ but I have seen little or no changes at all. More worryingly is that I am now no longer seeing EIRs or BIM protocols at all during many tenders with generic references to BIM Level 2 with no actual defined information requirements. Below is a few examples of what I am seeing today as part of my work with many different AEC organisations and it concerns me greatly.

  • I am rarely seeing examples of where the Government or private sector customers are including a BIM protocol within the early design stage appointments meaning that the early design team are not being asked to do any design work using BIM, and if they are, they are not being required to follow any standards or make their work available for others to use under the protocol`s agreed licence of use. This means they often have no obligation to share their Models/Data with the contractors at a later stage.
  • I am seeing less and less BIM protocols being included with tender information at designer or contractor appointment stages meaning no Information Requirements are being included within ERs at any stage
  • When I do see a BIM protocol, its often void of a project/asset specific EIR or sometimes void of an EIR entirely.
  • PQQs seem to be replacing the Pre BEP & even the EIR in some cases. The point of the Pre BEP is to respond to the specific requirements in the EIR, providing confidence that the requirements can be met with outlined proposals. It seems that PQQs seem to be doing this now as they did before with many asking questions on BIM, collaboration and information exchange and asking for specific 500 word responces via word documents rather than placing all of this within an EIR and obtaining a BEP response. Some ask for both meaning the responses are duplicated and often conflicting as the EIR asks for one thing and the PQQ asks for another which dont align.
  • Interestingly, often no one within the customers team understand what these documents are and what to do with them. They simply download the latest templates from their internal intranets, often dont bother to fill in the yellow text “Insert project Name Here” and we end up responding to a useless empty template that will unlikely offer any value. They dont understand what the BEP is and dont have the capability to read and score them.
  • And I have only seen 1 customer from both the private and public sectors who are actually validating an end of stage information exchange with the intention of truly using that data for the Operational stage. I have personally inspected 32 COBie outputs from designers & contractors related to over 21 projects and I can say with certainty that more than 90% failed to meet the integrity tests vs the COBie schema meaning many automated tools that can import COBie SpreadsheetML files would reject them. I can provide more info on this if you would like (anonymity of organisations in question will remain)
  • And I have yet to see any Government or Private sector customer use any of the COBie SpreadsheetML files given by any of the partners I work with to populate Asset management systems/CAFM to undertake the many tasks that need to be undertaken and obtain those huge savings that BIM level 2 is meant to deliver primarily from the OPEX stage. Even early design COBie files that can be used for various tasks are being exchange but I have yet to see evidence of them being used.

I believe the main above is the fact that BIM Level 2 isn’t a product of the Government, they are simply the distributor of it expecting to receive the dividends as promised from the working group report. Governments change, and so do those who work within it. I fear that the early momentum has stalled because the 2016 deadline has passed and many still sell BIM Level 2 as Business as Usual. I also have yet to see any BIM consultant or an affiliation with the BTG show a true BIM Level 2 case study that shows the standards were followed from A to Z with evidence like early OIRs>AIRs>EIR> Stage 2 Designer BEPs > Stage 3+ Contractor BEPS > Early and late COBie outputs > FM importing COBie > OPEX managing and maintaining that data ready for continued COBie exchanges to the next FM provider etc.

I predict that within the next few years, whilst people are still talking about BIM Level 3 that we will have yet another industry report being published showing how again the industry has failed to implement real change with wide reaching value adding activities being lost. I believe that the BIM Task groups (Plural) need to look into the fine detail of many of the government projects to help support the Cabinet Office and check for compliance so as to provide feedback to them and the industry. We still have a 2025 strategy to meet but I think a complete audit of the 2011 strategy needs to be undertaken on a few projects that commenced in 2016 or early adopters.”

For the original article follow this link to LinkedIn


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