17 May 2016

The Periodic Table of BIM serves as an at-a-glance guide to the steps you need to take to ensure a successful BIM implementation.

Following on from the launch of the table, we’ve developed a series of articles looking at the table groupings and the terms within. The final article focusses on DIGITAL PLAN OF WORK STAGES which underpin all of the table groupings and are presented at the foot of the table.

Other articles in this series


The digital plan of work (dPoW) is an expression of the delivery stages across a project (and the relevant level of detail and definition that needs to be delivered by each supplier/ discipline to the employer at each stage to ensure effective collaboration).

Developed by the BIM Task Group, the dPoW aims to provide clarity on how built asset data is defined, tested and successfully used by the supply chain and the public client to achieve BIM Level 2. As such it identifies key strategic points for the client to define the maturity of the building, infrastructure or civils project information (including why it is required, what it's for and who will use or manage it, providing the foundation for validation across the life of a project).

These stages are identified as:

Strategy (Sr)

StrategyThis stage is used to ensure that the client’s Business Case and the Strategic Brief have been properly considered before the Initial Project Brief is developed.







Brief (Bi)

BriefThe preparation of the Initial Project Brief is the most important task undertaken at this stage. Other significant and parallel activities needed during this stage include developing any related Feasibility Studies, assembling the project team and defining each party’s roles and responsibilities and the Information Exchanges. These activities will help ensure that Concept, Definition and Design is as productive as possible. 

The Initial Concept Design is produced in line with the requirements of the Initial Project Brief. The project team also develops a number of Project Strategies. Their importance at this stage will depend on how they are to influence the Concept Design. Examples include the Sustainability Strategy. The Final Project Brief should be issued as part of the Information Exchange at the end of this stage.

Definition (De) 

DefinitionThe Concept Design is further developed and the design work of the core designers is progressed until the spatial coordination exercises have been completed. This includes Cost Information and Project Strategies in accordance with the Design Programme.






Design (Ds) 

DesignThe Technical Design is prepared in accordance with the Design Responsibility Matrix. By the end of this stage, all aspects of the design will be completed, apart from minor queries arising from the site during the construction stage. In many projects, Design and Build/Commission work occurs concurrently, particularly the specialist subcontractor design aspects.





Build and Commission (Bu)

Build and CommissionDuring this stage, the contract is completed on site in accordance with the Construction Programme. The procurement strategy and/or Schedule of Services will have set out the designer’s duties to respond to Design Queries from site. 





Handover and closeout (Ha)

Handover and CloseoutThe project team’s priorities during this stage will be facilitating the successful handover of the construction or building in line with the Project Programme and, in the period immediately following, concluding all aspects of the Building Contract





Operation (Oe)











End of life (En)

End of LifeOperation and end of life stages includes Post-occupancy Evaluation and review of Project Performance as well as other In Use duties as detailed in the Schedule of Services.

The dPoW stages form a key part of the NBS BIM Toolkit which provides step-by-step help to define, manage and validate responsibility for information development and delivery at each stage. The toolkit fits within PAS 1192-2 [for project delivery] and PAS 1192-3 [for asset management] information delivery cycles.

The dPoW complements the RIBA Plan of Work , which provides a framework for the project team to approach design, construction and operational processes in the UK and worldwide - whether adopting a BIM approach or not.

Moving from the project conception to delivery phase to handover and then asset management, the NBS BIM Toolkit enables clients to ultimately check that the information they specified at the outset has been accurately delivered. Whereas in the past boxes of paper may have been handed over as an output, now we look to well-structured digital information that can be pushed into asset management systems.

The next steps on your BIM journey...

We've reached the end of our series of articles looking at groupings within the Periodic Table of BIM. We hope it's prompted some discussion and debate and also proved a useful way of conceptualising the processes that lie at the heart of the digital revolution shaping tomorrow's construction industry.

To keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the world of BIM, why not sign up for the NBS Weekly newsletter, and bookmark our Building Information Modelling pages? We've lots more useful things planned in the months ahead... we hope we've been a useful resource on your journey so far.

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