As use of building information modeling (BIM) continues to gain ground, are owners reaping the full value of the technology during all phases of a project, including post-occupancy? In a word, no, according to the Washington, DC-based National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).
With that in mind, NIBS has released the 36-page “National BIM Guide for Owners” (NBGO), a manual funded by the US Department of Defense and developed in collaboration with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA).
The freely downloadable NGBO is intended to assist owners in developing internal polices and procedures for BIM and help them execute contracts pertaining to the planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities, according to NIBS President Henry L. Green.
“As BIM adoption in the US continues to rise, the owner stands to benefit most, by implementing BIM as a tool to maximize a building’s value throughout its lifecycle,” Green said in a statement. “BIM potentially facilitates better-informed owner decision-making, design-intent communication, project coordination across various phases, enhanced project delivery, schedule and budget management, post-construction asset and facility management, building automation and control, and many other benefits, including increased property resale values of the building as well as leasing revenues.”
The manual is divided into three sections: “The Process,” “BIM Infastructure and Standards,” and “Execution” each with key takeaways:
The Process section establishes ground rules for BIM’s role in project development. During this phase, the owners contract with designers, contractors, and other stakeholders and specify BIM requirements for various delivery methods, including design-bid-build and design-build. In addition to identifying the roles of project team members in executing BIM, the manual calls for collaborative development of a BIM product execution plan (PxP) and “compliance with PxP and contract requirements, including model and data deliverables.”
To ensure BIM models remain useful for maintenance and operation during post-occupancy, the BIM Infrastructure and Standards section urges owners to require that BIM-related work maintain compatibility with their computer platforms and demonstrate the ability to support current and legacy file formats. The document further suggests implementation of agnostic BIM-related work products—meaning systems that are “compatible across common OS, hardware, or software systems.” BIM work products should also be “adaptable and scalable with respect to potential future computing … and support open, consensus standards to maximize future flexibility.”
Furthermore, for each project phase, from planning to facility management, “the owner should consider how information is created, stored, exchanged, secured, backed up or achieved and delivered, and whether each should be localized, cloud- or web-based, or a hybrid,” according to the NGBO.
The Execution section provides step-by-step guidance in developing a BIM-based plan, beginning with the development of a BIM PxP, whose initial version “should be developed by the Project BIM Manager, assisted by the owner and the Project BIM Team to detail BIM requirements for the project.” It also details activities that should leverage BIM, including existing conditions; design authoring; design review; coordination and record modeling. “Enhanced” BIM uses include cost estimating, phase and 4-D planning, site analysis-development, digital fabrication, 3-D location and layout, engineering analysis, sustainability analysis, codes and standards compliance, and construction systems design.
The NGBO is based on a number of foreign, federal, state, and local BIM guides and “geared to a generic facility with uniform requirements for use by a variety of government, institutional and commercial building owners,” according to the NIBS. “It references a number of documents, including those contained within the ‘National BIM Standard–United States.’”
NIBS indicated the next step is to submit the NGBO for publication as an industry standard.