PLQ2.1 – Existing Information

Hello BIMfans,

After producing my EIR and having it verified by industry peers, it is time to pass the baton and view this blog not from the perspective of an Employer, but from the perspective of a Supplier.

Passing the Baton
I apologise for this terrible image

So as a Chartered Architectural Technologist, let’s look at this EIR from an architectural perspective and decide what I need to do.  As one of my reviewers Chris Weston pointed out in my last post, there was a need to clarify what existing information is already available to me as the Supplier.  To do so I have referred to the EIR and have identified that the following documents have been made available for use:

  • 2 Property condition surveys (1996, and 2015)
  • Land registry information
  • FENSA certificates
  • Gas and Electric safety test data
  • Energy performance certificate (EPC)
  • Boiler installation and warranty information

Now before I draft my BIM Execution Plan (BEP), the key supplier reference document, I should look at these existing documents to see what information I can extract.

By doing this I can determine what further investigation is needed and incorporate into my BEP.  Also, if I was bidding for this job, it would allow me to tighten my scope of service by limiting the amount of information I would need to produce as this information has already been collected by others.

Now there are professional services such as ProductXchange, a solution by CoBuilder that can extract product data from documentation such as these. However, I have chosen instead to do this the long way.

A journey of a thousand Excel cells begins with a single sigh.

To get this information into a usable format I have read through each document and input the relevant information into an excel spreadsheet.  Funnily enough, I did not intend to create a COBie file, but as I began to input information, I realised that I needed structure so I stuck to what I know, and it came a COBie file (of sorts).

COBie was mentioned previously when I answered my Plain Language Question around Data Requirements.  COBie in brief, is a method of structuring non-graphical information about an asset and can be used to share information in a consistent and structured manner.  In BS1192-4 it gives the requirements for creating a COBie compliant output and includes the required (referred to as ‘expected’) fields, as well as its overall structure.  Had I intended to use COBie initially for this exercise I would have used one of the template files available within the MoJ example from the BIM Task Group website; instead I have retroactively applied the COBie structure to my excel sheet.

By reviewing these documents I have managed to extract a surprising amount of information.  Using the original estate agent information I was able to extract space (room) details; some dimension information was also included but it is not accurate enough for my needs so it was not included.  After reviewing the earlier property condition report I found that it was superseded by the one I had commissioned last year, which when reviewed gave me a wealth of information about my house and the condition of items within.  The FENSA certificates confirmed who the installer was and the installation date for my windows.  Finally, the gas and electrical testing information also proved useful in determining some basic information about my cable and pipe system as well as when they were last inspected.

The spreadsheet can be accessed here.

Note:  The spreadsheet I have created is not fully aligned to BS1192-4 and should not be considered COBie-UK 2012 compliant.  There are a number of limitations due to the fact that information was input freehand meaning that there is no external system, also without objects to extract information from I have defaulted to a descriptive name, and have not included any type or assembly information.  I have also added a bespoke property ‘ReferenceDocument’ to indicate where this information was extracted from.

There you have it, by working through the information I already have about my house I have managed to collect a lot of Information without doing any surveying, measuring, or Googling.  Saving time, and providing a good basis to begin the creation of my information model.

This means that I have now answered another Plain Language Question; PLQ2.1 Complete!

Model Generation:
2.1 What existing information is available?
2.2 Is there sufficient information to produce a BEP?
2.3 What is the layout of the house?
2.4 What assets are contained within?
2.5 What asset information can be linked to the graphical model?

Now that I know what relevant existing information I have available, I need to now work out how I plan to create my information model.  To do so I will need a BIM Execution Plan to satisfy PLQ2.2…

Note:  If you have any comments or opinions regarding my extraction of existing information, please let me know either on twitter, or commenting below.


4 thoughts on “PLQ2.1 – Existing Information

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