6 Plan Infrastructure

The final step in the four-part BIM Project Execution Planning Procedure is to identify and define the project infrastructure required to effectively implement BIM as planned. Fourteen specific categories support the BIM project execution process. These categories, as displayed in Figure 5-1, were developed after analyzing the documents listed below, reviewing current execution plans, discussing the issues with industry experts and revised through extensive review by various industry organizations.

Figure 5.1: BIM Project Execution Plan Categories

This chapter describes each category of the BIM Project Execution Plan. Information for each category can vary significantly by project, therefore the goal of the description is to initiate discussion and address content areas and decisions which need to be made by the project team. Additionally, a template BIM Project Execution Plan has been developed and is available on the project website and referenced in Appendix G – BIM Project Execution Plan Template. Please note that the information contained in the template will have to be customized based on the project. Additional information may be necessary, while other information could be removed.

1. BIM Project Execution Plan Overview
The final step in the four-part BIM Project Execution Planning Procedure is to identify and define the project infrastructure required to effectively implement BIM as planned. Fourteen specific categories support the BIM project execution process. These categories, as displayed in Figure 5-1, were developed after analyzing the documents listed below, reviewing current execution plans, discussing the issues with industry experts and revised through extensive review by various industry organizations.

Project Information
When developing the Project Execution Plan, the team should review and document critical project information that may be valuable for the BIM team for future reference. This section includes basic Project information that may be valuable for current and future. It can be used to help introduce new members to the project as well as help others reviewing the plan to understand the project. This section may include items such as project owner, project name, project location and address, contract type/delivery method, brief project description, project number(s) and the project schedule /phases/milestones. Figure 5-2 includes example project information items. Any additional general project information can and should be included in this section. Additional project information includes unique project characteristics, project budget, project requirements, contract status, funding status, and unique project requirements, etc.

Figure 5.2: Diagram of Critical Project Overview Information

Key Project Contacts
At least one representative from each stakeholder involved should be identified including the owner, designers, consultants, prime contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, and suppliers. These representatives could include personnel such as Project Managers, BIM Managers, Discipline Leads, Superintendents and other major project roles. All stakeholders’ contact information should be collected, exchanged, and when convenient, posted on a shared collaborative project management web-portal.

Project BIM Goals / BIM Uses
The BIM Project Execution Plan should document the previous steps in the BIM project execution planning process. It is valuable for the team to document the underlying purpose for implementing BIM on the project as well as explain why key BIM Use decisions were made. The plan should include a clear list of the BIM goals, the BIM Use Analysis Worksheet, as well as specific information on the BIM Uses selected. The procedure to identify appropriate BIM Uses for a project is outlined in detail in Chapter 2: Identifying BIM Goals and BIM Uses.

Organizational Roles and Staffing
The roles in each organization and their specific responsibilities must be defined. For each BIM Use selected, the team must identify which organization(s) will staff and perform that use. This includes the number of personnel by job title necessary to complete the BIM Use, the estimated worker hours, the primary location that will complete the Use and the Lead organizational contact for that Use. Depending on which phase of a project’s lifecycle this plan is completed several items in this section may be challenging to complete. Like the rest of the Plan, as much as possible should be completed and the remaining should be completed as the information becomes available.

BIM Process Design
The process maps created for each selected BIM Use in step two of the BIM Project Execution Planning Process should be documented in the Plan. These process maps provide a detailed plan for implementation of each BIM Use. They also define the specific information exchanges for each activity, building the foundation for the entire execution plan. The plan should include the overview map of the BIM Uses, a detailed map of each BIM Use, and a description of elements on each map. For further explanation of the steps to create process maps, please refer to Chapter 3: Designing the BIM Project Execution Process.

BIM Information Exchanges
The team should document the information exchanges created as part of the planning process in the BIM Project Execution Plan. The information exchanges will illustrate the model elements by discipline, level of detail, and any specific attributes important to the project. The project models do not need to include every element of the project, but it is important for the team to define the model components and discipline-specific deliverables to maximize value and limit unnecessary modeling on the project. For further explanation of the steps to create information exchanges, please refer to Chapter 4: Developing Information Exchanges.

BIM and Facility Data Requirements
Some project owners have very specific BIM requirements. It is important for the plan to document the BIM requirements in the native format from the owner. This way the team is aware of the requirements and can plan accordingly to deliver those requirements.

Collaboration Procedures
The team must develop their electronic and activity collaboration procedures. This includes model management (e.g., model check-out, revision procedures, etc.), and standard meeting actions and agendas.
Collaboration Strategy
The team should document how the project team will collaborate in general. When planning, consider items such as communication methods, document management and transfer, and record storage, etc.

Collaboration Activity Procedures
Specific collaboration activities should be defined, which may include:
1. Identify all collaborative activities that support or are supported by BIM
2. Determine which project stage or phase that activity will take place
3. Determine the appropriate frequency for that activity
4. Determine the participants necessary to conduct that activity properly
5. Determine the location for that activity to take place

Model Delivery Schedule of Information Exchange for Submission and Approval
Determine the schedule for information exchange between parties. Information exchanges should be analyzed in earlier steps; however, it is helpful to document them all in one place. Information that should be considered includes:
1. Information Exchange Name ( should be drawn from step 3 of the planning process)
2. Information Exchange Sender
3. Information Exchange Receiver
4. One-Time or Frequency (is this a one – time or periodic exchange? If periodic, how often?)
5. Start and due dates
6. Model file type
7. Software used to create the file
8. Native file type
9. File exchange types (receiver file type)

Interactive Workspace
The project team should consider the physical environment it will need throughout the lifecycle of the project to accommodate the necessary collaboration, communication, and reviews that will improve the BIM Plan decision-making process. Describe how the project team will be located. Consider questions like “will the team be collocated?” If so, where is the location and what will be in that space? Will there be a BIM Trailer? If yes, where will it be located and what will be in the space such as computers, projectors, tables, table configuration? Include any necessary information about workspaces on the project.
Electronic Communication Procedures
Establish communication protocol with all project team members. Electronic communication with stakeholders can be created, uploaded, sent out and archived through a collaborative project management system. Save copies of all project related communication for safekeeping and future reference. Document management (file folder structure, permissions and access, folder maintenance, folder notifications, and file naming convention) should also be resolved and defined.

Quality Control
Project teams should determine and document their overall strategy for quality control of the model. To ensure model quality in every project phase and before information exchanges, procedures must be defined and implemented. Each BIM created during the lifecycle of the project must be pre-planned considering model content, level of detail, format, and party responsible for updates; and distribution of the model and data to various parties. Each party contributing to the BIM model should have a responsible person to coordinate the model. This person, as part of the BIM team, should participate in all major BIM activities as required by the team. They should be responsible for addressing issues that might arise with keeping the model and data updated, accurate, and comprehensive.

Quality control of deliverables must to be accomplished at each major BIM activity such as design reviews, coordination meetings or milestones. The standard of data quality should be established in the planning process and agreed upon by the team. Standards such as AEC CADD and National Building Information Model Standards may be appropriate for the team to consider. If a deliverable does not meet the team’s standards, the reason why the deliverable is lacking should be further investigated and prevented in the future. The deliverable needs to comthe ply with standards required by the owner and agreed upon by the project team.

Quality Control Checks
Each project team member should be responsible for performing quality control checks of their design, dataset and model properties before submitting their deliverables. Documentation confirming that a quality check was performed can be part of each submittal or BIM report. The BIM Manager should be the one to confirm quality of the model after the revisions were made.

The following quality control checks should be considered when determining a plan for quality control:

  • Visual Check: Ensure there are no unintended model components and the design intent has been followed by using navigation software
  • Interference Check: Detect problems in the model where two building components are clashing by a Conflict Detection software
  • Standards Check: Ensure that the model is to the standards agreed upon by the team.
  • Element Validation: Ensure that the dataset has no undefined or incorrectly defined elements

Each party should designate a responsible party to make sure that the agreed-upon process for quality control of models and data has been followed before accepting submittals and model revisions.

Technology Infrastructure Needs
The team should determine the requirements for hardware, software platforms, software licenses, networks, and modeling content for the project.

Teams and organizations need to determine which software platforms and version of that software is necessary to perform the BIM Uses that were selected during the planning process. It is important to agree upon a software platform early in the project to help remedy possible interoperability issues. File formats for information transfer should have already been agreed upon during the information exchange planning step. Additionally, the team should agree upon a process for changing or upgrading software platforms and versions, so that a party does not create an issue where a model is no longer interoperable with other parties.

Computers / Hardware
Understanding hardware specifications becomes valuable once information begins to be shared between several disciplines or organizations. It also becomes valuable to ensure that the downstream hardware is not less powerful than the hardware used to create the information. In order to ensure that this does not happen, choose the hardware that is in the highest demand and most appropriate for the majority of BIM Uses.

Modeling Content and Reference Information
The project and reference information, such as Modeling families, workspaces, and databases, must be considered to ensure that the project parties will use consistent standards.

Model Structure
The team must identify the methods to ensure model accuracy and comprehensiveness. After agreeing on collaboration procedures and technology infrastructure needs, the planning team should reach consensus on how the model is created, organized, communicated and controlled. Items to consider include:
• Defining a file naming structure for all designers, contractor, subcontractors, and other project members
• Describing and diagram how the models will be separated (e.g. by building, by floors, by zones, by areas, and/or by disciplines)
• Describing the measurement system (imperial or metric) and coordinate system (geo-referenced / origin point) to be used to allow for easier model integration.
• Identifying and agreeing upon items such as the BIM and CAD standards, content reference information, and the version of IFC, etc.

Project Deliverables
The project team should consider what deliverables are required by the project owner. With the deliverable project phase, due date format and any other specific information about the deliverable should be considered.

Delivery Strategy / Contract
When implementing BIM on a project, attention should be paid to the delivery method and contraction methods before the project begins. Ideally, a more integrated approach such as design-build or Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) would be used. While it usually yields the best results for the project, an integrated approach is not always possible on all projects. This could be because of a number of reasons. Additionally, the contract type and delivery method may have already been selected before BIM planning takes place. If this is the case the team needs to consider future subcontractors and consultants and also consider what steps are necessary to ensure successful BIM implementation no matter what the delivery method. BIM can be implemented successfully within all delivery methods.

Definition of Project Delivery Approach
If the project contract type or delivery method have not yet been determined, it is important to consider how they will affect the implementation of BIM on the project. All delivery methods can benefit from the use of BIM; however, core concepts are more easily implemented with higher levels of integration in the project delivery process. When planning the impact of BIM on the delivery approach, the planning team should consider the four main decisions:
• Organizational Structure and Typical Delivery Method
• Procurement Method
• Payment Method
• Work Breakdown Structure

Consider BIM requirements when selecting the delivery approach and when drafting contracts. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Design-Build are highly collaborative delivery methods that facilitate information sharing based on the risk and reward structure, and several new contract forms were recently released to address BIM, delivery structure and contracting.
If you do not plan to use IPD or Design-Build on a project or the delivery method has already been selected, BIM can still successfully be implemented with other delivery structures, such as Design-Bid-Build or CM at Risk. When using a less integrated delivery structure, it is important to work through an initial BIM Execution Process and then assign roles and responsibilities in the contract structure. It is also important that there is buy-in from all the team members so that all parts can have as much success as possible. Without buy-in from all members, it will decrease the quality of the BIM product, lead to added work by other project members and could result, at worst, an unsuccessful implementation of BIM on that project.

Team Selection Procedure
The planning team needs to consider the criteria and procedure for the selection of future project team members based on their organization’s BIM ability. When creating the criteria, the team needs to review the competencies for each BIM Use selected during the planning process. After the required competencies are determined, project teams should require the new project members to display that they have those competencies through examples of prior work or demonstrations. It is critical that all team members have the ability to perform their BIM responsibilities.

BIM Contractual Language
Integrating BIM on a project not only improves particular processes but also increases the degree of project collaboration. Collaboration is of particular importance when the contract affects the degree of change in the project delivery process and provides some control over potential liability issues. The owner and team members should pay careful attention to the drafting of BIM contractual requirements since they will guide the participant’s actions.

The following areas should be considered and included in contracts where applicable:
• Model development and responsibilities of parties involved (Chapter Four)
• Model sharing and Model reliability
• Interoperability / file format
• Model management
• Intellectual property rights
• The requirement for BIM Project Execution Planning

Standard contracts may be used on BIM projects, but edit the contents to include the necessary items mentioned. There are several contract addendums or modified contract forms that address BIM implementation on a project (see below ). A written BIM Project Execution Plan should be specifically referenced and required within the developed contracts for the project so that team members participate in the planning and implementation process.

BIM requirements should also be incorporated into consultant, subcontractor and vendor agreements. For example, the team may require each subcontractor to model the scope of work for 3D design coordination, or they may wish to receive models and data from the vendors for incorporation into the coordination or record models. Modeling initiatives required by consultants, subcontractors, and vendors must be clearly defined within the contracts including the scope, schedule for delivery of the model, and file/data formats. By having the BIM requirements in the contract, team members are legally required to complete implementation as planned. If BIM was not written into contracts, additional steps are required to ensure that the BIM Plan is followed by all project participants.


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BIM Project Execution Planning Guide, Version 3.0 Copyright © 2021 by Computer Integration Construction Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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