This article is relevant to stages 0 and 1 of the RIBA Plan of Work This article is relevant to stages 0 and 1 of the RIBA Plan of Work

The project – stage by stage

The information delivery cycle

Strategy and Brief

Assessment and Need (with reference to PAS 1192:2) is considered at the Strategy stage. As the client the Council considered the questions that needed answers as the project developed.

As the Level 2 BIM process expects a set of Employer’s Information Requirements was generated that considered the procurement of digital information in addition to the procurement of the physical asset. The team considered the specific information required to provide answers to these ‘plain language questions’, aligning information requirements to the relevant project stage.

A true collaborative effort, the team also identified the roles typically involved at each stage of a secondary schools project, aligning tasks to the roles responsible for delivering this service at each stage of the project, and also considered the information requirements specific to their organisation and also to the specific asset type of a school. Capturing lessons learned was a key consideration.

The core roles for each project stage

The process of considering roles, tasks and responsibilities was not a new one, but in using the NBS BIM Toolkit to capture this information the team were able to benefit from a clear and consistent structure to the resulting digital plan of work.

Specific to a typical secondary school, the template developed also built on the existing RIBA Plan of Work multi-disciplinary schedule of services tasks by adding tasks specific to school projects. These tasks included; assessing pupil admission numbers and consultation with the public. In terms of expected modelled deliverables, spaces and systems were added along with additional related information from previous project. Examples of these included space types such as assembly halls and drama studios and cladding and heating systems.

To make the template specific to the needs of the Lytham Road Secondary School project, notes were added to the template. For example, a note was added detailing that the ‘assembly hall’ would be used for exams. Information was also added on the surrounding area and associated security needs.

A typical task
A typical space requirement
A typical system requirement

As with many of Manchester’s secondary school projects Lytham Road was a traditional one stage design and build project and, as such, it followed a contractor-led procurement method. An Employers Information Requirement (EIR) formed the tender. Outputs from the NBS BIM Toolkit were exported to Excel for easy manipulation and edited to suit the team’s document format and referenced in the EIR.

Appendix to the EIR exported from the digital plan of work and edited to suit the team's document format

To make the template specific to the needs of the Lytham Road Secondary School project, notes were added to the template. For example, a note was added detailing that the ‘assembly hall’ would be used for exams. Information was also added on the surrounding area and associated security needs.

As with many of Manchester’s secondary school projects Lytham Road was a traditional one-stage design and build project and, as such, it followed a contractor-led procurement method. An Employers Information Requirement (EIR) formed the tender. Outputs from the NBS BIM Toolkit were exported to Excel for easy manipulation and edited to suit the team’s document format and referenced in the EIR.

Assembling the team

The Council were now at the stage of appointing a lead contractor and wider design team. From this point Laing O’Rourke would take on the role of owners of the digital plan of work, benefitting from all the previous inputs and project considerations captured in the earlier stages.

The team could now undertake the task of associating named organisations with specific roles and responsibilities in the form of the stage-based tasks and deliverables which had already been added to the digital plan of work.

More detailed discussions on Levels of Detail (LoD ) and Levels of Information (LoI ) could also follow for deliverables that had been assigned.

Specification and design

Recent developments in the BIM Toolkit have allowed clients to add high level deliverables at an early stage of a project and then the project team to then replace these with specific deliverables following the concept design stage. An example of this could be the high level deliverable of heating systems being added initially, but then this being replaced by medium temperature hot water system and solar heating system at a later stage by the role responsible for this decision. NBS worked closely with the team at Manchester to develop this functionality.

System picker functionality

The architect, services and structural engineer on the Lytham Road project were all users of the NBS Create specification tool so are able to take advantage of the ‘generate specification’ function within the NBS BIM Toolkit as a means of generating a specific outline specification from which to start their specification response to the information requirements of the project.


Next steps: NBS on a live project

This digital plan of work template was used on the refurbishment of the existing St Margaret’s school building.

Find out more about the St Margaret’s project