Part 4: Beyond BIM (2018-2022)
Towards the end of the last decade BIM adoption for clash detection, coordination had gained acceptance. Now it was necessary to move beyond this and look at what more can be done using the BIM models. Dimensions of BIM from 3D to 8D were a topic of discussion and a significant number of organizations decided to implement these. Having an integrated 5D BIM platform was being mandated on some large infra projects. Using the BIM models to create asset models for facility management was also gaining acceptance.
All this meant that digital transformation was happening at various levels. The pandemic hit us in 2020 and the entire ecosystem was impacted. But this also opened for us new avenues of working. Working remotely, using technology to speed up construction, ensuring that there are minimal time and cost overruns on projects gained importance, along with acceptance of digitalization.
In the examples we are sharing, we wish to highlight that BIM adoption has matured and it should be looked at the norm.
Phase 1: Maha Metro - 2016 - Ongoing
Maha Metro is the first organization in the country to implement 5D BIM project visualization. 5D BIM is a digital project management concept that integrates many software’s seamlessly. This implementation has enabled Maha Metro to control quality, cost and time very effectively.
In a country where large infrastructure projects have gained notoriety for time and cost overruns and have often delivered dubious quality, using the new 5D project management platform, Nagpur Metro has broken from the traditional vicious circle of project management and delivered consistent quality along with timebound completion.
The traditional approach followed in the construction industry often struggles to deliver the project on time and within budget. Lack of precision and exactness in the process of information flow leads to conflicts between stakeholders. Design management, document control, quality assurance, timely completion, cost control, risk mitigation, maintaining safe construction environment and effective operation and maintenance of services are among the most common challenges faced by the construction industry. Reduced rework, reduced coordination problems, better communication between various stakeholders, reduced documentation errors, fewer claims, reduced paperwork, reduction in time and cost overrun, reduction in lifecycle costs are amongst the main benefits of 5D BIM.
The results show that 5D BIM based digital project management system integrates all the processes, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the project, right from design through operation and maintenance.
Nagpur metro was the first 5D BIM implementation in India. This project has certainly paved the way for many such applications now. In the last 2 years (2020-2021) almost all public infrastructure projects are mandating BIM and its various dimensions to be digitally integrated with planning, construction management, cost monitoring, asset management and even digital twins.
Phase 2: Mixed Use development - 2022
The current state of BIM adoption and implementation is drastically different from when we started 18 yrs ago. BIM implementation is mandated as part of the scope from day 1. Contracts include this, consultants have the required knowledge and owners are ready to look at the long-term benefits this first step will provide.
On a very recently started project we have seen the acceptance of implementing BIM and going beyond. Some highlights are:
- This is a mixed-use retail centre situated in Mumbai. BIM has been mandated by the developers
- RFP was generated, bids were invited, and a bidding portal was used
- The RFP mentioned that a design model will be provided by the developers. This was an example which demonstrated that there were no barriers to adoption, design had started with 3D, BIM standards were available, and goals has been clearly laid out.
- Architect and MEPF consultants on this project are building their own models. The BIM team at Excelize is only building structural models
- The architects have setup CDE and are driving the entire workflow.
- Bids had to submitted with prior experience documents, reference check contacts, approach and methodology for this project, team profile, confirmation on capability of using CDE
- Technical evaluation was done through presentations and discussion with the client’s team.
- The scope extended itself beyond BIM modeling, as laid out in the contract. It included:
- Architectural base BIM model
- BIM model for structure.
- Extracting Bill of Quantities (BOQ) from clash free design model
- 2D GFC extraction for structural services.
- Construction simulation (4D), cost management (5D), asset model, Digital twin
- The client decided to implement Digital twin in phase 2 as the technology and process would have expectedly evolved as they reach this phase in 3-4 years.
BIM standards and implementation framework
Though BIM is a technology that can be pivotal to enhancing productivity and optimizing costs for construction, it is not guided by a set of standards or rules for its implementation.
As there is no single body mandating BIM, the standards and implementation framework has been decided largely by users. BIM Execution Plan (BEP) is the first attempt at creating a framework and standing of processes involved.
Back in 2010, Excelize worked on an airport project, wherein no BEP was generated, no standards for the project were documented. In 2014, the Excelize team worked for an IT giant that was setting up 10 campuses in India. While BEP wasn’t generated for this project as well, the standards were setup and made mandatory too.
In 2015, the BEP for Maharashtra Metro was well detailed and thought out. It was generated in consultation with all the stakeholders and owners. As part of the BEP, employers’ information requirements, master information delivery plan, task information delivery plan, Level of Details (LOD) matrix, and Level of Information (LOI) guidelines, were documented and implemented. BS PAS 1199 standards were followed for this project.
In 2020-2021, we have many tools that allow us to generate the BEP. Based on the project or organization goals, BEP can be generated to various global standards. There is a movement that insists on the adoption of a uniform, global standard i.e., ISO 19650.