Introduction to BIM - Part 2

01 Jul

In April’s technical blog I touched upon some of the basic principles of BIM and then started to look at what this could mean for our industry in general.

In the couple of months since the BIM Part 1 blog, many column inches have been written in the construction press about BIM. Despite this, there seems to remains an underlying lack of understanding and some confusion, particularly in the temporary works community on how to embrace the concept of BIM. This is exacerbated by some suppliers exaggerating their own BIM capabilities.

The government set target of BIM level 2 implementation by 2016 (on schemes where the government is the client) is described in BS1192:2007 and PAS1192-2:2013. The fundamental principals are listed within these documents. The BIM Project Execution Planning Guide by the CIC is freely available via download and has guidelines on strategies to help in BIM adoption. While these documents are more suited to large construction or design companies they do contain useful information that will help in deciding the standards and guidance documents to consider as part of a BIM implementation plan regardless of your company size.

With regards BIM level 3 implementation, it is apparent that the various bodies and steering groups do not yet have a clear vision for exactly what level 3 will look like and for most companies getting to level 2 by 2016 will be challenge enough.

For a company that is primarily focussed on temporary works schemes and more specifically the hire of equipment to facilitate temporary works schemes, it may be even more difficult to understand what needs to be provided to support the BIM model and what the demands of the changing methodology will be.

At Groundforce Shorco we have offered free download of industry standard AutoCad blocks for all our equipment via our technical site for some time. However as many of our clients may be using different software platforms such as Tekkla, Revit, Navisworks to name a few, we have decided to be expand the library to include a wider range of formats. This will include components in .dwg, .dgn, .rfc .adsk as well as the .ifc sharing format.

Most people are familiar with the concept of “Blocks” in AutoCad or “Families” in Revit as a way of grouping components or groups of components together, to be stored as one entity so that it can be inserted or referenced quickly into a drawing or model. These items can “carry” attributes that can be extracted or viewed in various ways. In a BIM model this capability can be used to extract whatever data was attached to the components such as weight, price and manufacturer’s data. This potentially allows for accurate and fast extraction of data but it will only ever be as good as the information or the accuracy of the model allows.

It is hoped that by supporting a wider range of file formats that we at Groundforce will be able to offer coherent and useful design assistance, regardless of the platform, and that we can save our clients time by converting components in advance. Our BIM component library will mean that designers will be able to add/overlay our components to their models in 2D or 3D to aid in planning and clash detection as required.

In the technical office we have invested in both software and training in an attempt to try and second guess what our clients will require from us as both a supplier and a designer. We have the capabilities to produce design drawings in multiple formats if required with the ability to upload/download references and to update them as they become available via various server options.

In an effort to meet both the requirements of our customers and to gauge the demand for differing solutions we have appointed a BIM coordinator who in the first instance will be able to advise you on technical aspects of your designs (as with any Groundforce design) as well as provide information regarding the various format options, component libraries and updates to our services. Please call the technical office on 0113 259 7440 if you wish to discuss any aspect of BIM in the meantime.

To conclude this session; BIM is firmly in the spotlight and will not be going away. However until all become fluent with the understanding of this concept it seems that smaller companies and suppliers in particular will have to continue to make some educated guesses for some time to come and be prepared to be flexible in an effort to meet the demands of their particular client base. 

Tony Gould
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