The BIM Golden Handover Award?


As we move into an era where we can judge a successful BIM handover, Nick Nisbet, Technical Coordinator for buildingSMART UKI asks whether it’s time that we could actually have a BIM Golden Handover Award…

The watchword for the UK BIM transformation was ‘comparability’. It is ‘comparability’ – the ability to compare and analyse, improve and rate projects – that underpins the move towards using data, not documents, as the key deliverables. The UK Government in its client role has pulled the levers available to it to remind the industry that every infrastructure project, every environmental project, every building project is just a one line-item in the national inventory. So now, as we approach the April 3rd 2016 marker, it is handover time.

It’s handover time, in the sense that it is now the industry’s problem to build on the kick-start we have been given. The mandate may only apply to perhaps 20% of output, but the rationale behind it applies to a far wider remit. Many would argue that the process that began in 2011 will only be complete when we reach 100%, and can claim to be a true consumer orientated sector. Certainly the baton must be picked up by those serial clients that can see the growing benefits of robust repeatable processes delivering complete facilities. Complete in the traditional sense of on time, brief, budget and quality, but also complete in their handover process and data.

The publication recently of Richard Saxon’s book “BIM for Construction Clients”1 is extremely timely. At the book launch, I was able to put a key question to the would-be great and good gathered there: ‘What is the best example of a successful project handover?”. It is a challenge that may go to the heart of the BIM revolution as we leave behind the groundwork of standards and mandates and start delivery in earnest. I received some tentative answers and I’ve opened a list of projects to look into further, but perhaps what we need is a ‘Golden Handover’ award. Perhaps The Institute of Asset Management (IAM), The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM), The Construction Industry Council (CIC) or the Construction Clients Forum (CCF) would like to pick this up, and with sponsorship we could see project teams walking up a red carpet, to collect their gold plated ‘Morrell’ award.

So what would the criteria be? Well, nominations would have to come from the whole project team including the client. After all, it’s meant to be collaborative and unless all the parties come away pleased, then it’s just a near-miss, not a direct hit.

There needs to be three aspects covered. Firstly, there must be a published case study covering in what ways the handover was successful. Secondly, it must show implementation of both BS/PAS 1192 collaborative production processes and BS 8536 soft-landings processes. Thirdly, it must show a substantial handover of useful structured asset information using COBie. As the buildingSMART UKI EIR notes, not using standards “… may incur additional costs, delay and risks in the information delivery …”2

A simple question, but if cascading late-payment down the supply chain is morally unacceptable, why wouldn’t using isolated ‘company’ diktats instead of the common agreed standards conventions be equally so?

The lack of case studies in the industry only serves to create ‘plausible deniability’ – anyone in the client or supply side can plausibly deny that the savings seen in projects overseas, or last year or in a different market segment, or with a different contractual arrangement, or at a different place in the alphabet might translate across to their country, this year, this segment, this procurement framework. So we urgently need to know more than the photograph of stretched smiles at handover and to get into the underlying features. We urgently need to know how the structured processes offered to the industry are being implemented in practice.

And we need to know the tracks which the information delivery have taken, in fact, a full, 8-point check-list – Yes or No – along of course with the How and the Show for each element of BIM Level 2 – Yes/No:

• Use of a CDE with controlled access by suitability, stage and role;

• Yes/No: Use of BS1192 file naming for all asset related information, drawings and models;

• Yes/No: Use of PAS 1192 part 3 to establish the client’s information needs as a minimum EIR;

• Yes/No: Use of PAS 1192 part 2 for pre-qualification, execution planning and execution processes, based on an EIR down through each level of the supply chain;

• Yes/No: Use of PAS 1192 Part 5 to take a grip on security and responsibility;

• Yes/No: Use of BS 8536 soft-landings processes to join briefing to delivery;

• Yes/No: Use of Uniclass 2015 to support comparability;

• Yes/No: Use of a digital plan of work to support data-driven exchanges;

• Yes/No: Use of BS1192 part 4 on the UK use of COBie to deliver structured data up the supply chain to the client, along with well named PDF documents and proprietary model files.

These are tough criteria, and yes, you do need to study the respective documents, not just my quick summary of each, but there are now examples in both the public and private sectors, so we should be able to see what ‘good’ looks like – and celebrate it. ■


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Nicholas Nisbet



Technical Coordinator

buildingSMART UKI

Tel: +44 1494 714933

Twitter: @nicknisbet


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