By Steve Rizer
Now that BIMForum, a group of building information modeling (BIM) users from across the United States, has unveiled its “first-of-its-kind” standard establishing definitions for how complete models need to be for different stages of the design and construction process, the question becomes, “How often will the standard need to be updated?”
Although the initial plan is to update the Level of Development Specifications document yearly, Jim Bedrick, co-chairperson of the team that drafted the standard, told ConstructionPro Week (CPW), “We’ll issue interim updates if somebody finds a glaring hole in it or something like that. We want to strike a balance between keeping it current, … keeping it state of the art, and changing it all the time. I mean, it’s not going to work much as a reference if it changes all the time.”
Different versions of the standard will be “carefully identified” so that project teams will have the option of changing over to a new version of the standard once it is issued or sticking with the version that may have been attached to an agreement, Bedrick said.
The first version of the standard, developed under an agreement with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and released earlier this month, is designed to allow everyone involved with construction projects to articulate, clearly, how detailed model elements for the different building systems are or need to be throughout the design and construction process.
“We want everyone to have the same understanding about how much information should go into each element of a building model and for what uses those models are suitable,” BIMForum Director Dmitri Alferieff said. “This specification will eliminate much of the confusion that comes with having different expectations for what should be in the models.”
Alferieff noted that the new development specifications allow model authors to define what their models can be relied on for and allow other users to understand the value, and limitations, of models they receive.
A group of 16 contractors, engineers and architects co-chaired by A/E/C Process Engineering’s Bedrick and Adept Project Delivery’s Jan Reinhardt began drafting the standards in early 2011.
“The key to eliminating confusion is setting common expectations for everyone involved in a project,” HOK Principal and Group Member James Vandezande said. “This specification is a tool that levels expectations between different team members about the information contained in the models.”
Officials with the BIMForum published a draft version of the specification earlier this year and sought comments from the broader construction community. Approximately 100 people provided input, which helped the drafting committee refine the specification. BIMForum is making it open to the entire construction, architectural, and design community and encouraging it to use the specification as a reference standard in BIM agreements and execution plans.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article includes a transcript of CPW's complete interview with Bedrick and a link to the specification. To sign up for a membership, click here.