Creating Corporate BIM Standards in Construction

April 10, 2013

Many large construction projects have successfully adopted BIM (building information modeling), with standards being put in place on a project-by-project basis. However, now some owners are developing and adopting formal BIM standards on a wider scale—across an entire organization, rather than simply on a project-by-project approach.

Jarrod Krug, marketing communications manager, Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., speaks to construction technology adoption in general, saying many owner organizations and construction companies tend to adopt on a companywide basis or a project-by-project basis.

“ … it always is a dichotomy because either the contractor is project-based for their acquisition of technology or they just have it as part of their philosophy, that they adopt technology,” explains Krug.

The same can be said for adopting a standard BIM process. Two big organizations—the NYC DOB (New York City Department of Buildings), www.nyc.gov/buildings, New York, N.Y., and the Irvine Co., www.irvinecompany.com, Orange County, Calif.—both recently announced the development and implementation of BIM guidelines and procedures for future building projects.

The NYC DOB developed BIM guidelines that aim at improving the project safety review process, creating a library of content that standardizes the information contractors provide. Construction companies are able to electronically submit site safety logistics plans in a 3D BIM format, eliminating paper submissions. Electronically submitting information will accelerate the plan-approval process and improve overall safety on the jobsite.

At the Irvine Co., the implementation of BIM standards will allow the developer to have access to critical project information using data captured early on in the project in models. A big benefit for the real-estate company is facilities and asset management can also be a part of the BIM process as well.

Both organizations have enlisted the help of Microdesk, www.microdesk.com, Nashua, N.H., for training on how to most effectively leverage processes related to the new BIM standards.

“I think that there is this holistic view that people understand that BIM is a better way, but you still have the challenges with change,” says Mike DeLacey, president, Microdesk.

By creating BIM standards, organizations have the opportunity to standardize how data is accessed across all construction projects. BIM standards are becoming more widely acknowledged from the GSA (General Service Admin.), www.gsa.gov, Washington, D.C., to state governments, and even some tech-savvy construction companies have developed standard in-house BIM processes.

Have you developed and adopted formal BIM standards within your company? If not, now might be a good time to start.