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RIBA Plan of Work updated to include bim procedures

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Bim overlay added to architects’ management document

The RIBA Plan of Work is set to be overhauled for the first time in 50 years to include bim processes.

The RIBA’s new Plan of Work, which organises the process of managing and designing buildings, is due to be issued in early 2013 and will also include a green overlay, as well as changes in procurement.

“It’s a different way of doing things,” said Richard Brindley, executive director for membership and professional support at the RIBA. “The actual processes are still there, but how they fit together is very different.”

Though still in its infancy, it is known that the new Plan of Work will identify stages by numbers rather than letters.

“The bim overlay is just highlighting key aspects through the different stages that we should be looking for,” said John Orrell, member of the core review group, which is led by Dale Sinclair.

So far the group has produced a draft bim-overlay document and will meet this week to finalise the changes, which will eventually feed into the new Plan of Work.

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Readers' comments (12)

  • Mike Duriez

    I trust the update will incorporate changes in UK procurement such as the realtively common practice of phasing aspects of the design process to take place after construction is complete.

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  • zecks_marquise

    so only 4 years too late

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  • Mike, so many things they could add in...maybe just a general clause along the lines of "the architect will be responsible for 100% of the procurement process, regardless of contractual limitations, assigned respoonsibilities, or the fee that is being paid. The Architect will also be fully responsible for every detail that might be provided by every other consultant, whether currently employed or not on the project, and shall be responsible for all statutory approvals, however unrealistic and unattainable those might be. The Architect will also do everything the Project Manager, says, because. Failure to demonstrate mind reading and precognition skills will be taken as examples of incompetence, obtuseness and obstructiveness".

    Should pretty much cover it!

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  • Does it indicate how to apportion responsibility when there is a fault somewhere in the BIM design process, or will everyone just assume it's the Architect's fault. Hopefully the document will be crystal clear about definition of responsibility and duty of care within multidisciplinary BIM procedures.

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  • Stephen,

    In the office of the firm I work for we had a few months ago a chap in doing a CPD for us, about BIM but more specifically on Revit. He raised quite a few issues about the software and its use; pertinently very few were about the technical aspects of the use of the software (modelling and data production), most of it was about seriously important but difficult issues such as contractual liability and so on.

    He made the very good point that if BIM is to be taken seriously it needs to be fully considered not as just a bit of software but a key part of the building procurement process, including being written into contracts so responsibilities, liabilities etc were clearly defined. This would effectively necessitate a suite of revised JCC contracts, JCC-BIM (with various flavours for procurement types) if you will, that would make clear how everyone in the supply chain of a contract, consultants, client, contractor, suppliers, subcontractors etc, would have to exchange information and act towards each other, and be liable and so on for information supplied and exchanged.

    But how likely is that to be replicated through the entire supply chain though, when a great many subcontractors struggle with relatively simple Autocad LT, and very basic information exchange processes? If you get a subcontractors drawings in Autocad and not your BIM format for checking, do you then have to create a BIM model of the information to check it, to fulfil your own responsibilities, and then be expected to supply that to everyone else on a project, and update it?

    The overwhelming problem with BIM is that for all its promise, it is like hydrogen powered cars. Great idea, but until everyone has one there won't be the infrastructure; and until that happens there is no point buying one.

    The construction industry is one of the most flexible there is around; it is also one that is the most varied and unlikely to go for one format simply because someone says so. Sure Autocad DWG is now the default format, but how many years did that take, for what is a relatively simple, 2D information format, which so many still struggle with?

    PS I'm presently working with a BIM focussed engineer who is so difficult to work with, refusing to provide work in progress drawings because it is too difficult to extract from the Revit model, and unable to overlay our autocad drawings to compare against etc, that I would hesitate to go anywhere near it or recommend it to anyone!

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  • Charles

    I agree that BIM has its theoretical and practical applications for high-end projects where the entire team is fully computer literate and where responsibilities and protocols have been fully rationalised.

    I don't want to appear a Luddite though. In the 1990's I was managing partner of a practice with 15 staff and 3 partners, and it took some persuading, and eventually unilateral action by me to put the first CAD system online in 1990. Efficiency ramped up and after a couple of years all staff (with the exception of one or two on the Campaign for Real Drafting) were using CAD and we saw huge benefits.

    Now, as a sole practitioner, all my operations (except initial sketch stage) are CAD based using Arkey, Google Sketchup Pro and a range of other management, presentation and productivity software - and I couldn't operate the range and volume of projects without CAD.

    I find that even now there are contractors, subcontractors and other consultants who are not even fully CAD literate, let alone BIM aware - and the thought of trying to practically introduce BIM into an arena of the construction industry in its present state of reverse investment in the North of England makes me shudder.

    At the right time, when I'm convinced it will practically improve the design and delivery process I'll invest in BIM, use it and promote it.

    Until then, and for some time to come I'll continue with 2-3D CAD and remain healthily sceptical about BIM whilst enjoying the debate.

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  • 'Campaign for Real Drafting'?

    Bearded chap, always came back from lunch drunk and belligerent?

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  • Campaign for Real Drafting - Bearded yes, drunk and belligerent no, talented designer yes - evening based design discussions often included alcohol and strong opinions!

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  • Henry Scrace

    I am BiM.

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  • To use BIM properly you need to change the whole design flow so that more time is allocated up front for pre-planning design than is presently allowed for - this affects fees, etc, not to mention the minefield of information co-ordination throughout the whole design/construction team.

    I have found that most architects are just getting a handle on 2d CAD, never mind BIM. I cant think of anyone who works with consultants by coordinating work on one BIM model, never mind giving the model to a Contractor to work from. Most Contractors I have worked with have been considered 'advanced' if they have an email facility on-site from day one never mind a site based computer to read CAD drawings on.

    Its a great idea but in reality the incorporation of a BIM system in architecture is years away, and wont be fully realised in any of our lifetimes. I suppose you have to start somewhere mind. But there is still a heck of a lot of resistance to any 'new fangled' technology in architecture amongst the older fraternity. And these days just keeping afloat is enough of a daily chore.

    Of course you also have to wonder why the RIBA is wasting resources on this kind of thing and doesn't have anything better to do...I can think of plenty of things they should be doing instead of this pie in the sky stuff....

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