Before the commencement of any construction project, especially for unusually large or complex projects with several different parties in collaboration, it’s essential to create a BIM Execution Plan (BEP) to review and implement it throughout the various phases of the project. The plan is mainly useful for helping to ensure that all the parties are in sync when it comes to collaboration and taking the project further. It shows an overall plan of execution, keeping the big picture clear and in focus.
What is a BIM Execution Plan?
A BEP is a comprehensive document that helps the project team recognize and execute the role BIM plays in the various stages of construction management. Often during construction projects, executing a plan becomes difficult. Unnecessary micro-details that make it challenging to find and identify critical data to keep projects going forward and produce on-time deliverables. Diligently formulated BEPs help keep teams on track by focusing on the essential details, saving hours. Some of the benefits which a BEP can bring in the completion of the project are as below.
The execution plans encourage immediate communication among the various teams (construction managers, structural engineers, MEP engineers) at the start of the construction project. Thus, having them helps to manage the roles, responsibilities, and expectations, and make sure the work, ideas, and suggestions are clear between them.
The biggest challenge in any construction project is a tight schedule in time. With a well-formed BEP focused on the project benefits, nobody is going to be stuck with scrutinized details, which very often cause considerable delays to project deliverables. Instead, only the most necessary details are worked on and available in this plan. This makes sure that the work is complete within the allotted time in an efficient manner.
Ease of Collaboration between all the departments is yet another area which BEP helps to improve. The project team can collaborate in real-time across various phases of the project. This helps in preventing unnecessary confusion among project tasks and allowing for proper attention to be given to the particular task in hand.
A BEP stands as a powerful communication tool that connects all the dots in the picture and holds them together until the end. This aspect is essential in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry. Only a well-coordinated project can sustain until the end and give the desired output. BEP makes sure that everyone contributing to the project has a dedicated & assigned role and keeps a check on how the work is carried out. And since all the suppliers are connected, a BEP ensures that there are no loopholes in the execution and that the project lifecycle is not disturbed. This gives a sense of responsibility to the contributors about what is expected from them and how they should carry out the tasks assigned to them so that the quality of the system and processes is kept intact. There are mainly 2 types of BIM Execution Plans. Pre-Contract BEP and Post-Contract BEP.
The Pre-contract BEP is a document prepared before the tender, and these initial plans are presented during the tendering stage to the client. The supplier sets out their proposed capacity, approach, software to be used and other details. The supplier may formulate the exact details contained in the pre-contract plan, or it may address requirements set out by the employer in a document such as an Exchange Information Requirements (EIR).
The Pre-Contract BEP basically contains a project implementation plan (PIP) which indicates the experience of potential suppliers bidding, their competence and their experience in this industry, along with quality documentation. It also shows Project milestones in line with the project programme.
Once the contract is awarded, Post-Contract BEP is made to confirm supply chain capabilities and to fix details moving forward. The post-contract BEP includes information on management, planning and document, Standard method and procedure for different activities related to BIM, and IT solutions, which indicates the version of the software that will be used in the project.
The management section of BEP gives information on the different roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the suppliers in the project. It also shows the project milestones, authorization process to be followed until completion of the project, and different aspects related to management in the implementation of BIM in the project. Planning and documentation is yet another section in the BEP, which gives in detail the representation of the PIP (Project Implementation Plan), which reassures the capability of the supply chain. This section also contains the Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP) and the Task Information Delivery Plan (TIDP). The BEP also informs the suppliers of the file naming convention, layer naming conventions, drawing sheet templates, annotation, dimensions, abbreviations, and symbols, which has to used uniformly throughout until the completion of the project. It also gives the software information and versions used for the BIM process of the construction project.
The following table shows the key Aspects of a BEP adopted from CIC 2011:
|KEY ASPECTS||BRIEF DESCRIPTION|
|Project Goals/BIM objectives||List of the BIM goals, along with specific information on selected BIM Uses|
|BIM Process Design||Creation of the overview map of the BIM Uses, a description of any elements on each map, and documents of the Information Exchange Requirements|
|BIM Scope Definitions||Define the requirements, responsible parties and the incorporation on the schedule of selected BIM deliverables|
|Delivery Strategy Contract||Define the delivery approach|
|Organizational Roles And Responsibilities||Define the roles of each organization along with responsibilities|
|Communication Procedures||Define the electronic and meeting communication procedures|
|Technology Infrastructure Needs||Define the appropriate hardware and software|
|Model Quality Control Procedures||Define how the model is set-up, organized, communicated and controlled. Create control procedures|
|Project Reference Information||Define the critical project overview information and the key project contacts|
Where a contract has appointed several suppliers, there is likely to be one primary BEP. Subsequent BEPs from the new teams must then dovetail with the existing primary BEP.
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To conclude, BIM is a process that is commonly being used in the AEC (Architecture Engineering and Construction) industries these days and BEP (BIM Execution Plan) a tool to help implement or execute BIM in a project. In our opinion, a project which includes a BEP is more likely to carry out its functions more smoothly and successfully than a project which does not implement it. But this cannot be unified over all the construction projects. Each client will have different requirements, and every project will have a different approach. Also, each country has its own set of protocols, rules, and regulations which have to be followed mandatorily. The software used in BIM is getting updated very frequently these days with the latest features, which rules out the possibility of using the same version of the software in future projects.
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