BIM execution plans – guide

5D BIM in construction
Construction management

For the coordination phase in construction to be successful, everyone involved in the project should be well aware of their responsibilities. Every construction project, especially the big, international ones, are collaborative in nature. And without a specific plan of action, nothing would be possible.

These plans in the construction industry are called Business Information Modeling execution plans; shortly, BIM execution plans. Very often, you will be able to see them in the documentation under the abbreviation BEP as well. But what exactly are these plans? Let’s seek the answer to this question below.

What are BIM Execution Plans?

Thanks to 3D modeling, the construction industry can benefit from highly detailed plans. These plans are called BIM execution plans. They contain all the information essential for the completion of a construction project.

Construction projects are rather unique. They involve many different teams, ranging from design to construction. There is no room for error, as it may cost too much, and even cause the construction to stop.

The Purpose of a BIM Execution Plan

Why do you need a BIM execution plan in the first place? While there are several reasons, let’s stick with the most important ones.

BIM execution plans are there to bring everyone working on the project under the same roof, collaborating and cooperating. These plans also contain detailed information on project deliverables stipulated by the contract.

On top of that, there are information exchange requirements. This section ensures that everyone gets familiar with information vital for seeing their tasks through.

In layman terms a BIM execution plan defines:

  • Who does what
  • When they do it
  • Where they do it

3D modeling is a vital part of making these plans. The 3D model should bring everyone to the table and start a meaningful conversation. This practice ensures a good coordination process and that everyone can easily find the information they need.

Pre and Post-Contract BIM Execution Plans

Pre-contract BIM execution plans are constructed (as the name suggests) before the project is greenlit. Pre-contract plans are developed before the tender stage. While they are called “execution plans”, in this early stage, they are far from it. Their role is to help prospective suppliers/contractors demonstrate their approach, capability, capacity, and competence.

For instance, the coordination schedule for pre-contract and post-contract BIM execution plans is completely different. In the pre-contract phase, the coordination schedule is related only to the design schedule. This is also an essential phase, but it only reflects processes done in 3D modeling software.

On the other hand, the coordination schedule for the post-contract phase makes BIM execution plans executable. We’ll talk more about it in the documentation section.

Once the project has been greenlit, the contractor has to supply the BIM execution plan than can actually be executed. This plan contains all the intricate details about design, responsibilities, and information exchange requirements.

BIM Execution Plans Documentation

Administrative documentation is a necessity that follows every BIM execution plan, no matter the scope of the project. These documents make finding information and learning about responsibilities easier. For a BIM execution plan to be actually executable, the documentation should contain the following information.

Roles

In the word of business, there is no room for common sense, even when everyone on the project is experienced. This is why there is a document that outlines people’s roles. This helps everyone take their contributions seriously.

“The roles” document also outlines what is expected of each team, and each team member.

Coordination Schedule

The coordination schedule is there to help you hold all parties accountable and communicate who does what. The coordination schedule will help you connect the dots between the project tasks, teams, and timetables.

You can start making this schedule when you have collected all construction documents. To hold all teams accountable and to ensure that the schedule is going to be followed, you will have to include it in the master schedule for the project.

Modeling Responsibilities

It is very important to outline modeling responsibilities as well. The initial designer team is often not solely responsible for all models. On occasion, there are various sub-consultants that provide models for their respective scopes. Each one of these models represents a unique level of detail (LOD) requirement.

For a BIM plan to be executable, the entire design team has to provide relevant models. The models should be in their final stage and delivered as agreed in LOD requirements. The members of the design team are architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, and electrical engineers.

In BIM execution plans, LOD 300 appears to be the standard. LOD 300 dictates that all elements in the model should be graphically represented as a specific object, system, or assembly. The graphic representation should reflect the specified quantity, shape, size, location, and orientation. By LOD 300 standards, graphic models can also contain non-graphic information.

This standard will vary for each element of the design. While the 3D models included in interior design can be done by LOD 200 standards, the sections of the design that require construction precision have to be in LOD 300 or even in LOD 400.

Strategy For Key Deliverables

This is perhaps the most important document, if we may say. Yes, the plan is useless without either of these, but this particular one outlines the very execution of the plan. This is where contractors and suppliers can review every project milestone.

Each project milestone includes unique roles, assignments, and responsibilities. Since milestones contain task dependencies, it is very important for everyone on the project to be clear about responsibilities. With the strategy for key deliverables and coordination schedule, BIM execution plans become plans that can actually be executed.

Model Ownership & Copyright

The documents also state the ownership of the model. The owner is often the project owner. This applies to BIM 360 Glue, Navisworks, and Revit models.

Coordination Meetings

This document states where and when the coordination meetings will take place.

Conclusion

The difference between pre-contract and post-contract BIM execution plans is huge. While the pre-contract ones demonstrate the firm’s approach and competence, the post-contract ones are actually executable. Beside containing applicable information in 3D models, they also outline coordination schedule, modeling responsibilities in case changes have to be made, and a strategy for key deliverables.

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