14 March 2017

What does the lifecycle of a digital construction project look like?

The lifecycle of a digital project is defined in PAS 1192-2 which acts as a framework for collaborative working and information management on a Level 2 BIM project.

A visual representation of the information delivery cycle can be found in PAS 1192-2. (Page viii, Figure 2, PAS1192-2:2013)

The strategy phase captures needs in Employer's Information Requirements (EIR), allowing procurement, a BIM Execution Plan (BEP) then sets out an approach to the project allowing for a contract to be awarded, allowing a Master Information Delivery Plan (MIDP) to be produced and mobilised.

The project itself can be considered as seven key phases - Brief, Concept, Definition, Design, Build and Commission, Handover and Closeout and Operation, before the asset is finally deemed to be In Use allowing assessment to take place.

Once a project has been mobilised the team will work in a Common Data Environment (CDE) to deliver the Project Information Model (PIM) and Asset Information Model (AIM) which are both made up of documentation, non-graphical data and a graphical model. Throughout the project stages data a number of Supplier's Information Exchanges will take place and Employer's Decision Points will act as a check and balance for the wider project.

The digtal plan of work seeks to ensure that all participants are producing information at the right time and in the right way.

What are the benefits of a digital plan of work?

Tasks need to be carried out sequentially to ensure effective collaborative working. The digital plan of work seeks to ensure that all participants are producing information at the right time and in the right way - using standardised processes and agreed standards and methods. This standard approach should ensure all collaborators are generating outputs of the same form and quality, enabling information to be used and reused without change or interpretation.

A digital plan of work will act as:

  • A framework for informed, consistent decision making by all parties including the client, enabling each member of the team, at each work stage, to deliver agreed and consistent levels of geometry, data and documentation to construction clients.
  • An enabler for collaboration, providing transparent definition of agreed deliverables from each contributing party at every single project work stage. This approach enables each party to understand their shared obligations to the project.
  • A framework for the clear allocation of responsibility for deliverables in appointments and contracts, ensuring clarity regarding “who should deliver what to whom” to be established at the start of a project and be appropriately monitored during the project.

How can I use the NBS BIM Toolkit to develop a digital plan of work for my project?

A government competition to develop a free-to-use digital toolkit for BIM was launched in September 2014. The NBS BIM Toolkit (pictured above) was launched in beta in April the following year drawing on contributions from BIM Academy, BDP, Laing O’Rourke, Microsoft, Mott MacDonald, Newcastle University, RIBA, RICS and the wider construction industry.

The NBS BIM Toolkit is a free-to-use online tool that allows project teams the ability to develop a digital plan of work. This project also provides clear guidance to system and product providers as to the types and detail of information they should deliver teams working on BIM projects. Equally applicable to public or private sector projects, the Toolkit offers a straightforward and intuitive way of defining, managing and validating responsibility for information development and delivery through a project’s lifecycle.

The Toolkit allows project teams to assemble project information and responsibilities across eight key stages - Strategy (Stage 0), Brief (1), Concept (2), Definition (3), Design (4), Build and Commission (5), Handover and Closeout (6) and Operation and end of life (7).

An introductory article on the NBS BIM Toolkit website explains the background to the tool's development and how information can be assembled to develop a digital plan of work.