by Richard McPartland
To make BIM effective, information needs to be made available when it is needed and it must be provided to a satisfactory quality.
By ensuring that project participants are aware of information requirements more reliable information exchange should take place. This, in turn, should result in better quality information being provided, in a timely manner, aiding decision making and the overall success of the project.
It is the Information Delivery Manual (IDM) (sometimes referred to as an Information Delivery Specification (IDS)) that identifies the series of processes undertaken during a built asset's lifecycle together with the information that is required in order for these processes to be carried out.
Are there standards for the production of an Information Delivery Manual?
Standards for IDMs can be found in:
- ISO 29481-1:2016 Building Information Models - Information Delivery Manual - Part 1: Methodology and Format
- ISO 29481-2:2012 Building Information Models - Information Delivery Manual - Part 2: Interaction Framework
ISO 29481-1:2016 is intended to facilitate interoperability between software applications used during all stages of the lifecycle of construction works, including briefing, design, documentation, construction, operation and maintenance, and demolition. It promotes digital collaboration between participants in the construction process and provides a basis for accurate, reliable, repeatable and high-quality information exchange.
ISO 29481-2:2012 provides a methodology and format for describing 'co-ordination acts' between participants in a building construction project across the project lifecycle. To this end it specifies a methodology that describes an interaction framework, a way to map responsibilities and interactions that provide a process context for information flow, and a format for the interaction framework.
By ensuring that project participants are aware of information requirements more reliable information exchange should take place.
The Information Delivery Manual forms one part of buildingSMART's interoperability model. The other two parts being the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (mapping descriptors to core concepts) and Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) (which allow you to hold and exchange relevant data between different software applications).
What kind of information is included in an Information Delivery Manual?
An IDM should detail the lifecycle processes a built asset will go through showing the relevance and dependencies. The document should detail what the requirements are for the information to be provided to allow each process to be successfully carried out. The manual should also show who is expected to create, use and derive benefit from the information along with any requirements for data to be supplied by the user. It can also detail the software solutions will be used to read, manipulate and augment the information provided. It's important too to have a clear idea as to the ultimate results of the project.
Documentation is likely to include interaction, transaction and process maps along with exchange requirements (what needs to be exchanged to support requirements at a given stage of a project).
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