What is Infrastructure doing in preparation for BIM?
9th Annual Victorian Infrastructure Conference.
Last week I went along to the 9th Annual Victorian Infrastructure Conference. There was a good range of topics, from the fundamentals of Infrastructure, upcoming construction and maintenance to ever amazing, HyperLoop1. Needless to say, the Government is taking this seriously. The question is, where is the Victorian Governments at in regards to creating a BIM Mandate for infrastructure in comparison to other states. And for the greater Building Industry, what are the knock-on effects if Infrastructure adopts BIM properly and Buildings is still behind?
A draft BIM Mandate for Infrastructure has already been issued for public comment in QLD, Will the result of this mandate be, If you have BIM you're in, if not, then you're out? A2K have been talking to the legal teams that write the policies for BIM Mandates for some time, we are all watching intensely how QLD's mandate unfolds. Only at last month at MelBIM, a representative from the Victorian Government stated they are closely watching the development of BIM and working through policies and framework for implementation. The changes are getting closer, it's now a decision for all involved in the Construction Industry as to whether BIM will be a Tsunami of damage or a floodgate of opportunity!
It is interesting comparing the output of Bridge design drawings to Building Structures. I can see how BIM will work for Infrastructure. Is it that BIM for infrastructure is a natural fit knowing the higher degree of accuracy required vs those of the building group tolerances? Buildings have managed to negate responsibility on the set-out, rebar placement and so on, Bridges have dimensions on their drawings. There is a higher standard in the detailing, and everything needs to physically fit, not something that the Shop Detailer will get to work! And is it that the structural component that needs to be managed after construction (FM) the reason why BIM works for infrastructure? There are many reasons as to why this makes sense.
I can just see some of the Buildings peeps fuming now, but when you start producing a concrete set-out plan, we can talk more about BIM responsibility.
Revit can model bridges.
A2K have been training some major Australian and International Engineering Companies on how to model bridges in Revit for some time now. But, unlike so much of the Building Engineering, they have taken to this task as a business decision throughout the company. That is to say from Senior Management, through HR, Middle Management and into the hands of the Operators themselves. It has not been an exercise of "Dave likes this Revit stuff, give him some extra time and a home licence to nut it out." No, BIM development plans have been created, HR involved in training implementation and Managers educated and trained for the next shift in documentation. I don’t want to give the impression that all this is happening easily and without challenges, the important part is that it is not "Dave's job" to do it when he can. One of the next plays in this training for these companies is using the ‘natural data and output’ to help other internal processes. Checking levels, accuracy, quantities are just to name a few.
So what is the A2K's insider's view?
Our Clients are preparing, they are listening to our advice and the advice of their BIM Managers. Training for staff is planned, where some are providing base knowledge for Revit users, the implementation of others is to establish a strong workforce in one of the key offices. Both methods have initiated a Revit (BIM) champion. This enables the Company to have a voice to constructively challenge A2K because our job is not to lead a team constantly, good training enables the team to become self-sufficient.
Back of house needs to be in order! How can a team migrate from 2D lines to a Database driven CAD package without a clear understanding what it is that they are trying to create? From example, Project Drawings with tips and general information on how documentation should look, to exploded views explaining how a bridge is made and where the componentry for the Revit Objects can be found in their System. Also, the Project Browser, is the key of Consistency. I wrote about that before, and it will remain an integral part of a Company moving into BIM via Revit.
What are your options moving forward?
When we initially consult with Companies transitioning into BIM, the questions we ask are:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Highly competitive BIM production?
- Entry level of BIM?
- How many staff do you want to transition?
- Transitioning staff, is it all at once or in groups?
- How are engineers being shown this transition
- What is the advantage for a PM and managers to understand this?
- Do you have established documented standards?
- Then, how do we get the best success for your company with the budgeted amount!
- What needs to be modelled vs detailed?
- Weigh up level of effort vs level of return (it's easy to get lost in the 3D show)
The transition to BIM is not purchasing the software, it's the Intellectual Property (IP) that a Company puts into it. If your Company sources all the IP entirely themselves and gleans the internet for as much as they can, there is no problem with that, just be aware that it takes time, no really, or if your Company would like to be trained then guided by A2K, utilising our greater experiences that we have had with Nationally and Overseas, either way, careful planning is required. Ultimately, this is a serious business decision, but a necessary one.
Give it the time and diligence it deserves, so that it may serve your Company well.
Fair winds and following seas,