BIM provides a complete building model, right down to the hanger inserts if you choose to take it that far, and you should. Not only does this modeling provide collision detection before systems are fabricated, it also allows completion of shop drawings in the design process (assuming a IPD methodology where contractors are already on board). Another advantage, especially for more complicated buildings with sophisticated process systems, is the ability to operate the facility virtually before the first backhoe bites the dirt. This allows process system operators and building operators to collaborate on maximizing facility performance and efficiency, and to conduct actual operational training where they interact with system controls exactly as they will in the new completed facility.
IPD is a project delivery method that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction. From an end-user perspective, IPD improves design team acceptance of the Owner's culture and goals. The keys here are to find the right partners, trust in each other and make good decisions via collaboration, and to adopt fair risk sharing equations.
Here are a few tips to consider when choosing to implement BIM and IPD on your next project:
- Conduct a process mapping exercise with all team members present
- Also conduct a Value Stream Mapping session to identify gaps and opportunities
- Assure that all contracts are tied to project goals with specific measurables agreed to
- Define profit and risk sharing in the contract
- Define allowable Change Order causes in specific language (no design, fit, or fab issues)
- Co-locate the project team for the duration of each team member's involvement
- Make consensus based decisions
- Focus on process flow
- Set target cost early and align incentives
- Provide rapid cost input to design during the design process, not after
- Write all agreements so that the BIM model is owned by the Owner, not the consultants