PLQ2.4 – Mindful Modelling

Hello BIMfans,
After last week’s population of my Mechanical Model; this week I have populated the assets within my electrical model, but before that a quick update on last week’s COBie issues.

I mentioned last week that no matter what I tried I couldn’t get my classification to exchange correctly.  It turns out that I hadn’t defined the classification system in the exporter (oops!), now that I have there are no issues.  Guidance on how to do this in Revit can be found using this link from Evolve Consultancy.  Note:  I still can’t get systems to work, but problem is for another post!

So with that out of the way, let’s talk about mindful modelling; ensuring that you produce your information in a suitable way to satisfy others’ needs.

Much like with inception, the end user needs to be considered for the model to be used effectively; to understand this properly however, we need to go deeper…

How you model can have a BIG impact on the amount of data that can be recorded against an object and depending on what information is needed, it can dictate how something should be modelled.  For example take my living room light:


It is simple enough, I have:

  • Rodd, a free standing floor lamp from Ikea;
  • Hue, a smart LED bulb from Philips; and
  • Nymo, a lamp shade also from Ikea.

While this may look simple, getting the right data about these objects is tricky.

To start with, if I modelled them as a single object how would I deal with the fact that they have two different manufacturers, the cost of each item is different, and many aspects like their expected service life, colour, material, are different?  Also, as I have used a fancy smart bulb, it is the most expensive item here (and therefore the one I care about retaining information on the most).  Here is a breakdown:

I know it’s sad, but I’m really impressed with the inner copper colour showing up on the shaded object.


With this in mind I have opted to model each item separately and create an ‘Assembly’.  If you are not sure what an Assembly is, it is a method of grouping objects into a schedule-able component made up of a number of individual components, if you will components within components; Component-ception (Sorry!).

Once set up it allows each Assembly to be recorded when I export my information into COBie, as shown below.

It is still Work in Progress, but the COBie file this came out of can be accessed here.

These items are also broken down into their components too within the ‘Components’ tab. Each of which can be seen below along with the other 48 electrical components within this model.  Now that they each have their own row I can collect all of the relevant information I need about each object, so this method has worked perfectly for my needs as the end user.

Of course the downside is I now have three times as many properties to populate…

Note:  Due to time constraints (mostly driving to the Brecon Beacons and back!) none of the IFC/COBie properties have been created for these objects, only the minimum information to register them within my COBie ‘Components’ tab for the purposes of answering the current Plain Language Question.

And there you have it, after considering how I want my data to be exchanged I have created a number of assemblies to allow me to capture the information I need in a form I am comfortable with.  At the same time I have also produced my other Electrical objects to that I have a full electrical asset register consisting of lighting, fire detection, sockets, and switches.

As always you can access the work in progress native Revit file, and the exported IFC file

This means that subject to ensuring that the correct property data is attached, I have now fully populated my electrical model; therefore once I have amended my Architectural model Plain Language Question PLQ2.4 will be 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 have a pretty strong Electrical & Mechanical model, it’s time to look back at my Architectural model…

PLQ2.4 – COBie Round 1

Hello BIMfans,
After lasts weeks review of The Importance of being openBIM, this week I have managed to fully populate my mechanical model with all of the assets I want to capture within it to satisfy my Plain Language Question 2.4 (only Architectural and Electrical to go!).   The work in progress model can be accessed as both a Native Revit file, an IFC file, and have I even tried to do a COBie export to see where the gaps lie…

Needless to say it hasn’t exactly been a smooth process so far.

While I haven’t given it too much thought, when creating new objects I have tried to ensure that I fill them with the information I need to answer my Plain Language Questions about attribute data; for the most part this has been successful.

Note:  So far all I have done is map over the COBie properties and my additional property sets, I haven’t tried to make all my sheets work; that happens during PLQ 2.5.  

However, nothing in life comes easy, and COBie is no different.  Shown below is a screenshot showing that my components have at least successfully transferred over some of their data with them.

The file is far from complete, but if you want to see how my mechanical COBie file is shaping up, you can access it here.

At this point I have noticed a number of elements work well, and a number of elements work not so well.  Note:  It is worth pointing out that there is likely to be (an element of) user error as I have not fully investigated how to export this information correctly; yet.

The Good:

Because I have used the shared parameters and property set mapping files I introduced in the last blog post many of my properties are exporting correctly, such as: Bar Code, Serial Number, Material, Shape & Size.  I have also managed fixed my dimension error from last week thanks to Autodesk customer support (I had to change the data type from ‘Real’ to ‘Length’).  So the attribute mapping process appears to be going well.

The Bad:

I’m afraid that it isn’t all sunshine & rainbows however as some elements are not working exactly as I hoped.  Currently: ‘Category’ properties don’t seem to carry despite appearing within the IFC object’s properties, and something similar is also happening with ‘Description’.  As you can see below, my IFC file captures this information but when I use xBIM to create COBie the information just doesn’t seem to carry.

Where has that hammer gone?

The Ugly:

It gets worse.  As the IFC export doesn’t capture data from linked files I need to create rooms/spaces in each model so that my components can export space information. This means that when I produce my combined COBie file I will need to delete duplicate space instances as I’ll end up with three Living rooms.  In addition, no matter what I do I cannot seem to get an object’s ‘Category’ to export and appear within the COBie type sheet  (or even other sheets when I tested them too) despite appearing within the IFC.  For matters like this I normally turn to xBIM’s Github but sadly I have not found the solution yet.

Finally, within my attribute tab, I am getting duplicate attributes.  It appears that despite being recorded as an instance or type property, when exporting some properties are coming out as both; making the sheet more difficult to read and much longer too.

Over the next few weeks as I complete the graphical element of my information model, I will also be looking into resolving these issues to attempt to create a bespoke IFC FM Handover that’ll include as much information to complete my COBie export as possible, and satisfy my data requirements.

But first, let’s focus on the matter at hand.  What assets are in my home?  Well here is a schedule of all the Mechanical assets I am including that fall under the responsibilities outlined within my Design Responsibility Matrix.

To be honest, at this point I just need to know how many assets I have.  I should just be happy that I have 10 objects within my IFC file, and 10 components within COBie too!

And there you have it, now that I have a schedule of my mechanical assets, I am well on my way to answering this Plain Language Question.  This means that subject to ensuring I follow suit my Architectural and Electrical information models; completing PLQ2.4 shouldn’t be far away!

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 Mechanical is sufficiently developed, it’s time to look at some more electrical objects…

PLQ2.3 – Object Naming (cont.) & House Layout

Hello BIMfans,
After starting to author my Architectural graphical model last week.  This week I have continued its development resulting in a model which while work in progress is starting to really come together!

As with last week, you can access this model here through Autodesk’s A360 portal.

I was very happy to see that after last week’s blog, a lively debate started on LinkedIn around object naming; as I also had some questions of my own.  As you might have saw last week, when I named my walls I did not put the thickness of layers into my subtype. so for example a wall might have been called:


I did this because within BS8541-1, table 1 states that the subtype should not capture attribute data.  However, while authoring my model I quickly needed to distinguish between walls with the same build up but different thicknesses.  Unfortunately,  Revit doesn’t allow duplicate family names I couldn’t use ‘BBH_SolidWall_PlasterBrickwork’ for walls with the same layers at different thicknesses, so a solution was required.


Initially I described the number of brick skins to avoid recording attribute data within the name, but quickly realised that that was stupid, and I was describing the thickness of the wall, just in a very awkward way.  So I was led back to using the thickness of each layer within the subtype.


Now to make sure my reasoning was sound, I decided to ask Twitter.  Interestingly (but not very helpful) the majority of people who participated in my poll thought that both options were wrong.

In fact the correct answer is that ‘both’ are correct.  As the wall does not have a predefined subtype, anything goes so long as it has no attribute data, and uses no special characters other than an underscore ( _ ).

To make matters worse, I added some new objects to my model this week that had to use BS8541-1‘s other naming convention for unclassified objects.  Basically, if you are using an object without a classification field then the unclassified object naming convention is required, which is a tad more complex:

To use this convention I did what all great men do in times of strife.  Ignore the optional fields, in this case it is ‘presentation’.  Also why is BS8541-1 now telling me to use hyphens(-) instead of underscores( _ ) between each field in the example object?…

To make sure that I complied with the original Employer’s Information Requirements and my BIM Execution Plan, I needed to use this naming convention for the following objects:

  • Kitchen worktops;
  • Bespoke window sills; and
  • Top of small units which also acts as a shelf.

This meant I needed to find out some extra information.  We already have my role, in this instance it is Architectural, classification means we need to rely on a Uniclass 2015 table (see example below), we have skillfully skipped presentation, source is my organisation (BBH) as the object creator, type relates to the corresponding IFC type, and subtype will allow me to differentiate between any other similar objects.

Uniclasss 2015:  Those underscores will look great inside my kitchen worktop family name…

Meaning that I named my kitchen worktop like this:


Note:  Because of the underscore ( _ ) within the classification codes I have used a hyphen (-) as a field separator which doesn’t comply with the text but does comply with the example provided within BS8541-1.  This inconsistency isn’t very helpful, so I have chosen a solution that suits my situation best.

Objects such as kitchen worktops and shelves have been added for a reason.  Each of these were needed to accurately reproduce my floor layout, as required to satisfy my next Plain Language Question “What is the Layout of my house?”.  So now that they have been modelled, the result is a set of floor plans built into a graphical model that’ll be used for its own purposes as well as capturing what assets I have in order to answer my next Plain Language Question.  Once completed I was able to set up suitable views of my floor plans, and transfer them to a title block to complete this deliverable.

The full size .pdf plans can be accessed here.

And there you have it, after putting in the objects I needed I have now been able to produce a drawing containing my ground and first floor plans which has been derived directly from my graphical model.  Using this information I now know the layout of my house; therefore Plain Language Question PLQ2.3 is 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 have a pretty strong Architectural model, it’s time to start creating some of my other models to record the electrical and mechanical objects

Note:  If you have any comments or opinions regarding the Layout of my House, please let me know either on twitter, or commenting below.

PLQ2.3 – 3D Modelling & Object Naming

Hello BIMfans,
After undertaking a traditional survey of my home last week, this week I have finally opened up a piece of 3D software and started to do some modelling!

First thing’s first; what do I need to actually produce?  Well, after reviewing my Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP), and the responsibility matrix within my BIM Execution Plan (BEP), I need to produce an Architectural Model which includes:  External walls, internal walls, door, windows, roof, floors, fascia, gutting and anything else associated with the external structure or internal layout.  So to do this I need some objects, but it isn’t as simple as that..

First, I need to either find the right objects, or build them myself.  Now this week I have managed to build my own (so I won’t discuss online object libraries this week) but once I had built my objects I found that picking their names was a challenge!

Few people have ever had to name a wall!

Now luckily for me to make sure that good consistent naming was used I specified within my Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) that BS8541-1 should be complied with; the British Standard for object identification.  Within this standard it states that objects using the software’s associated classification (Like when you use a Wall object to represent a Walls) should use three fields.


Source is easy, I made these objects so I have used the the same organisation code I used in my EIR & BEP; BBH (  However if they are downloaded from another source, then they should be identified as the source.

Type are also fairly easy as BS8541-1 suggests the use of the corresponding IfcType which can also be found on the IFC Schema page.

Subtype has little guidance but states that this information should not captured within the attribute data, so with that limitation I have used this field to describe the structure of my objects. For example, a partition wall object has the subtype ‘PlasterStudPlaster’, so describe the layers used within.

Note:  All fields need to use CamelCase (no spaces) and special characters are not permitted either!

Annoyingly many of the standard objects within the software package I was using (Revit) didn’t strictly comply as hyphens ‘-‘ are only permitted in objects without associated classifications.  So, after creating a number of my own objects, I ended up with a list like this:

Note the BS8541-1 non-compliant default families that I couldn’t purge at the bottom of the list.

Now that I have a consistent naming method, it’ll be easier to identify these objects when they appear in schedules and eventually within my COBie export.  So, to the modelling!

Those of you who follow me on Twitter, may have seen my frustration at modelling my home last night.  As my home is a 1900s Victorian Terrace, it isn’t exactly built perfectly straight.  In fact, when I tried to use a photograph to check my dimensions by course counting I discovered something very interesting; my courses don’t add up!

What kind of unholy monster would do this???

So sticking to my internal dimensions, and modifying some of my wall thickness to take into account imperial brick dimensions, I have started to create my graphical model. Currently Work in Progress, this model currently includes:

  • Generic floor objects with a depth based on my landing void;
  • Wall objects based on my survey measurements, and has started to be populated with bathstone detailing and render on the rear facade; and
  • Generic roof objects based on pure conjecture (to be revised!)
You can access a copy of this Work in Progress 3D Model here to interact with through Autodesk’s A360 portal.

There you have it, after some frustration trying to make my measurements add up, this model is now starting to look like my home.  However, this model isn’t complete by a long shot, so I hopefully by next week it’ll have sufficient content so that I can answer my current Plain Language Question, PLQ2.3.

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 have started this model, it’s time to add some further objects, to answer PLQ2.3…


PLQ2.3 – Survey

Hello BIMfans,
Now that I have checked my Data Security requirements, I am able to move into production of information.  It has taken 17 blog posts (17? Doesn’t time fly!) but I have finally opened some CAD software to start producing some information about my home.  Wooohooo!

Now originally I had arranged for a friend with a point cloud scanner to come by and measure my house.  If this had happened it would have had a sexy point cloud file I could have shared with you.  However, their timing didn’t work out.  Luckily for me however, I still have a Disto & tape so it was time to roll up my sleeve and do some old fashioned surveying!

Sadly, Lizzie had better things to do than to help me Survey my home….

So to start lets refer to my TIDP, I need to produce a Survey that can be used as a precursor to produce my 3D graphical models.  Also, by referring to my BEP I needed to:

  • Follow the specified BS1192 file naming;
  • Export in DXF;
  • Follow the specified BS1192 layer naming;
  • Use BS8541-2 compliant symbology;
  • Use the outlined origin point;
  • Comply with specified tolerances

File Name & Format:
This one is simple as I have a convention outlined that I need to follow compliant with BS1192. However, while surveying I decided that it was easier to keep both floors in separate files so that I can use the correct origin points and not worry about overlaying lines with different offsets.  Because of this, I have now revised by TIDP to reflect two separate survey files and made sure that the uploaded files are DXF as specified within my BIM Execution Plan:

Layer Naming:
This one was also pretty simple as I have opted to also follow the BS1192 container naming for my AutoCAD layers.  Using NBSUniclass 2015 search tool, I identified the appropriate system classifications for the layers I needed to survey my:  Walls, Doors, Stairs, & Windows and dimensions.  Note:  Please ignore the bright colours in the CAD files, they are a visual aid more than anything else.

If I had £1 every time I had to write an underscore.. (Thank you Dan Heselwood for spotting a typo)

Referring to my copy of BS8541-2, I made sure that any symbols I used were included within.  In this file I had a number of symbols which included: Architectural ticks for dimensions, and 2 ceiling height symbols (one for ceiling height, and one relative to FFL).  In addition, I also needed to use symbols to represent doors, windows, stairs and walls; all of which are included within BS8541-2, even the brick hatch that I used is specified within. Using clear symbology based on an agreed standard when drafting is key, as without a clear message on drawings, disaster can occur.

Typically this is not how Architects revisions are resolved on site…

Origin Point & Tolerances:
Finally, by following the origin point I had set out in by BIM Execution Plan, I was able to ensure that my files align providing a coordinated set of survey data.  In fact to make sure that my survey’s aligned I imported both of them into Revit to compare.  UnSurprisingly, both files closely aligned, after taking a few extra check dimensions and then resigning to the fact that buildings are not straight.  I tweaked a few final dimensions within tolerance and ended up with two coordinated survey files that line up perfectly when imported based on their origin points.

It is as if I planned for this to happen

There you have it, by planning how I need to undertake the work, I was able to efficiently produce coordinated survey data in a usable format, ready to be used to produce my 3D graphical models.  However, as I haven’t produced floor plan PDF deliverable, so I won’t call this Plain Language Question complete just yet:

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 have my 2D survey data, it’s time to finally do some 3D modelling

Note:  If you have any comments or opinions regarding my survey files, please let me know either on twitter, or commenting below.


PLQ2.2 – BEP Feedback

Hello BIMfans,
Following the publication of my Draft BEP a fortnight ago, I decided that I needed feedback to ensure that what I have written is suitable (as I did with my EIR). Having worked on both the client and supply side in the past I am confident in my work, but it is always good to get some fresh perspectives.  As such I asked a few friends in the know.

Meet Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’artagan who kindly offered to help with my Review

I asked each of them to review my BEP as if I was procuring their services, as well as asking for any suggestions for improvement.  Here is what they had to say:

AndyAndy Boutle, Senior BIM Manager for Kier Group, and Chair of BIM Regions – East.

Kier Group are a leading property, residential, construction, and services group with offices across the globe whose core principles are set around collaboration, forward thinking & enthusiasm.  Andy is also a BRE BIM Level 2 Certificated Professional.

“Dan’s post-contract BEP is very well prepared – clear, concise and fully compliant to the suggested requirements set out in PAS 1192-2.  The content is light in places however this is clarified and acknowledged due to the nature of the project – a residential house development where Dan is fulfilling/simulating all stakeholders.  I would have liked to have seen a diagram of the ‘high level’ CDE in lieu of a process and data management platform, and a little more detail for fictitious subcontractors that may contribute to the PIM.  Certainly if more ‘BIM professionals’ in the industry refer to this example as a template to structure against, we would all see better BIM Execution Plans to a consistent standard.” 9/10

HLMPaul Tunstall, Associate & Meenakshi Mandhar, BIM Manager for HLM Architects.

HLM Architects are a UK wide Architecture design group with a strong ‘one team policy’ based around the pillars of their:  Client, People, and Quality.  HLM have also been recognised having achieved BRE BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification.

“Dan’s BEP is an interesting read as it gives good guidance on completing all sections of the post contract-award BEP. A very good example of how to apply the BEP to small size projects and breaks the myth that BIM is for big projects only;  I see that as the biggest strength of the blog and is highly commendable.  However, as a naïve reader one aspect that may come across confusing is the involvement of fictitious task teams. ADR, MDR, KDR and EDR were used as part of the MIDP whereas other sections state that CDE and supplier assessments are not required as Dan is client, designer and operator.” 7/10

DwightDwight Wilson, Digital Engineer Manager for Imtech Engineering, and co-founder of dotBuiltEnvironment.

Imtech are one of the largest independently owned and managed technical service providers in the UK and Ireland, with extensive expertise and experience in engineering services, technical facilities management, and systems integration.

“Dan’s post contract-award BEP is an excellent example of how you apply and make relevant the standards within a BIM execution plan. Ensuring that they cross reference one another throughout the document provides better clarity of purpose for the suite of BIM documentation to be used on a project. If Imtech were to respond to the BEP I would be seeking clarification on methodologies of information transfer and model review and validation. This is best displayed graphically from experience and would have consolidated the the well tabulated information provided within this BEP. For this reason, for me, it’s not a perfect ten but a pretty close” 8.5/10

All-in-all pretty positive, although there is room for improvement.  Following these reviews, I have revised my post contract-award BEP considering two key areas in particular:  The fictitious roles, and transfer of information:

Fictitious roles.

As Paul & Meenakshi point out, this section is not very clear and seems to conflict with other areas of the post contract-award BEP, Andy also wanted more information, so there is clearly something lacking.

Note:  The plan was to invent a few roles because I am an army of one so that I could produce an MIDP;  showing a clear way to manage responsibility.  However, as it is just me, it makes how I authorize and exchange information much more difficult (and the fact I don’t manage a CDE).  I cannot think of a clean way to resolve this while maintaining my MIDP until another organization contributes to the project, so it will remain as it is for now.

To make this section clearer short term, I have replaced ADR, MDR, EDR etc with Arch1, Mech1, Elect1, updated my MIDP to suit and have revised the text within the BEP to clarify around the relationship of these roles.

Exchange of Information.

As Dwight pointed out there is little information included around the exchange of information which is also something Paul had also mentioned too. Therefore, I have clarified the purpose of the scheduled software within my BEP and included the exchange of information into a high-level diagram to also satisfies Andy’s queries around clarifying Data Management.

Finally, in response to the feedback, I have:

  • Updated by origin and orientation section so that my project base point is the lowest and most left point (ie no negative values),
  • clarified the purpose of the software I am using, and
  • corrected a few typo’s which I had not caught within the BEP.

It feels much more complete and robust now, so thank you Andy, Paul, Meenakshi & Dwight.

The finalised BEP can be accessed here.


And there you have it, by gaining some much needed insight from the industry I have now improved my BEP and gotten it validated too, fantastic.  This means that I have now answered my BIM Execution Plan Plain Language Question; PLQ2.2 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 have my finalised BEP it’s time to start producing some information, but first let’s make sure I have sufficiently considered my Data Security

Note:  If you have any comments or opinions regarding my BIM Execution Plan, please let me know either on Twitter, or commenting below.

PLQ 2.2 – MIDP

Hello BIMfans,
Before I consider last week’s BIM Execution Plan complete, I need to finish an outstanding item within my appendix; my Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP).

So what is a Master Information Delivery Plan?  By referring to BRE’s BIM Terminology Tool a MIDP is:

Primary plan for when project information is to be prepared, by whom and using what protocols and procedures, incorporating all relevant task information delivery plans (TIDPs).

So (in plain language) a MIDP is a programme that includes all of the documents that will be produced on a project, and who will be producing them.

To make a MIDP I’ll need to first create some Task Information Delivery Plans, a schedule of documents to be produced by each team.  If you want to know about TIDPs, there is a great post on them by Rob Jackson of Bond Bryan Digital; but for now, it’s project management time!

Project Manager:  Someone who believes that nine women can deliver a baby in one month – (He may be familiar to those of you who read Dilbert)

Using last week’s BIM Execution Plan, I have broken down the work on this project into three task teams (all being done by me!):

  • Architectural,
  • Electrical, and
  • Mechanical.

Each team was given the MS Excel template I made to list all the documents that they will be producing for my house.  Luckily for me, this project is simple, so the only documents being produced by my Electrical and Mechanical teams are their graphical models.  However, the Architectural team will also be producing drawings, COBie, and some schedules.  For ease of reading, I have put all of the TIDPs into a single spreadsheet that can be accessed here.

You’ll hopefully notice a few clever tricks I have used.  Firstly, I have aligned the column headings to column names within MS Projects so that I can import my TIDPs easily. Secondly, I have used the Concatenate function within MS Excel to pull each of the file naming fields into a single field to improve readability while maintaining control through a pick list.  Once filled in, I was able to import into Projects, set up the preceding files to form my critical path, and included key review dates to create my Master Information Delivery Plan.

The MIDP Project File can be accessed here.

Now that I have my MIDP, I can use this plan to manage what files are produced when and by whom.  This is done two ways:

  • The dates generated in Projects were exported out, and then inputted back into each TIDP so that each can manage their resources using their own document, and
  • I can now refer to the MIDP to make sure that each week all teams have completed the files needed so that all task teams have the information they need, when they need it.

There you have it, Master Information Delivery Plan complete!  I can now manage all the files being produced for my house, my BIM Execution Plan has also now been revised to include the MIDP within the appendix.  As I still haven’t had my BEPs reviewed, I will continue to not consider this Plain Language Question 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 have my MIDP, it’s time to get some feedback on my BIM Execution Plan.  So let’s see what my peers had to say…

Note:  If you have any comments regarding my Master Information Delivery Plan, then please let me know either on Twitter, or by commenting below.

PLQ2.2 – BEP

Hello BIMfans,

After synthesising non-graphical data out of the various documents I received when we bought our house and generate a spreadsheet of Existing Information, I now need to plan to create my BIM Execution Plan to satisfy my next Plain Language Question.

So what is a BIM Execution Plan or BEP?  By referring to BRE’s BIM Terminology tool, a BEP is defined as:

Plan prepared by the suppliers to explain how the information modelling aspects of a project will be carried out.

So a plan is needed, but when writing a BEP there is a fine line between Genius and Madness…

It took Rimmer seven weeks to write this BEP, and now he’s got to cram all of this information modelling into one night…

The idea is that the BEP is the project’s master reference file; any question a supplier has about information modelling, the answer should be written in it.

PAS1192-2 it outlines what content should typically appear within a BEP, and there are templates also available online such as the ones developed through CPIx.  However, these are not perfect and conflict with the standards, so I have decided instead to make my own. A BEP comes in two forms: Pre-contract to advise the employer how a supplier will comply to their requirements at tender stage, and post-contract as a tool for information modelling during the course of the project.

Please note, I have not written (and don’t plan to write!) a pre-contract BIM Execution Plan. The main reason is that as I am doing the work for myself so there’s no Tender Evaluation, therefore its purpose doesn’t exist.  In addition, the key elements of a pre-contract BEP such as a summary of supply chain experience, project goals, and milestones are not applicable for a 1 man 1 phase project.

So I have instead focused on delivering my post-contract BIM Execution Plan.  There are four key areas of a BIM Execution Plan:

  1. Planning and Documentation
    The documents, and forms outlining the who, what, and when
  2. Management
    Who is doing what, when will it be done, and what is required
  3. Standards, Methods, and Procedures
    The rules of play
  4. IT Solutions
    What IT formats/systems will be used

I filled each section in my first adding all the headings from PAS1192, then by reviewing my Employer’s Information Requirements and populating each heading to satisfy what I have asked for.  This means that I have a reference document heavily aligned to the employer’s requirements.

Hannibal loves it when an Execution Plan comes together


There you have it, by working through the Employer’s Information Requirements I had written, I have now created a draft BIM Execution Plan for the development of my house’s Information Model.

The BEP can be accessed here

Before I start using it however, I am going to need to make sure it is fit for purpose, so I will be asking for a peer review.  Until then I won’t consider this PLQ 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 have my draft BIM Execution, I need to programme what models I need to create and when.  To do so I will need to generate a Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP)…

Note:  If you have any comments or opinions regarding my BIM Execution Plan, please let me know either on twitter, or commenting below.

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.