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The UK Government as part of its building information modeling (BIM) initiative has said repeatedly that it expects the big payoff of a digital model, estimated at more than 40% savings, will be during operations and maintenance, typically representing 80% of the total cost of a facility. Companies such as BAM who do Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) projects report significant benefits from full lifecycle BIM + geospatial. But there is little if any quantitative evidence supporting this conjecture. I have asked people from Finland familiar with the very early BIM developments in that country if there were studies of the benefits of BIM for operations and maintenance, but apparently the BIM focus there has been entirely on design and build.
Crossrail with a budget of £14.8 billion is the biggest engineering project in Europe. It involves 42 km of tunnels beneath one of the most densely populated parts of Europe. It has wider tunnels and its 40 stations have longer station platforms than the Tube has. Crossrail trains are expected to start running next year and the full network should be open by 2019.
But the most interesting aspect of the Crossrail project is a 3D digital model with associated asset data that has not only been used during design and construction, but is intended to be used for operations and maintenance. Crossrail appears to be the first major project that may be able to provide support for the conjecture that the biggest benefits of BIM are for operations and maintenance.
The Crossrail model is comprised of spatial and non-spatial data with links between the two. The spatial data is made up of more than 250,000 3D BIM models as well as as-builts, together comprising a few terabytes. As construction of each facility is completed as-builts are collected by point-cloud survey using laser scanners. The point clouds captured in the survey are compared to the design and divergences that need resolving are recorded for fixing. The detailed asset data and documentation add an additional 5 terabytes. This represents one of the World's largest BIM model. A critical aspect of the spatial database is that all assets are geolocated so that workers can query a particular location of London on a map and then navigate to the Crossrail assets there.
The model is intended to become a crucial tool for monitoring, operating and maintaining Crossrail’s systems once the railway is running. Sensors monitor various aspects of the railway's operation and remote-controlled devices can change operating parameters from a central control room or from a handheld device. Managers can view this information within the 3D model and can zoom in on an area which needs attention. Crossrail is testing low-power wireless smart sensors called Utterberries that can monitor strain, temperature, humidity, acceleration, and other aspects of a facility. Utterberries weigh 15 grams and are smart - they have an ARM processor on-board and can operate for more than a year on one charge. One of the coolest capabilities of the digital infrastrucure is an augmented-reality interface which allows workers to hold an iPad up to a wall or floor and see a view of the infrastructure (electricity, water, and communications) under the floor or behind the wall.
Worldwide there is increasing demand from building and infrastructure owners for service provision throughout the entire life cycle of a building or infrastructure. This represents a distinct break with the design/build tradition which has dominated construction for years. At the Year in Infrastructure conference in London, a dominant theme was the growing recognition of the importance of full lifecycle management of infrastructure. I found it symptomatic of the direction of the construction industry that fully one third of the 54 finalists for the annual Be Inspired Awards involved mapping, rehabbing, retrofitting, replacing and managing existing infrastructure. This is my classification of these Be Inspired finalists;
Patrick MacLeamy, Chairman of buildingSMART and CEO of HOK, has been pushing a very simple message about the U.S. construction industry for years. Buildings are too expensive, are too inefficient to operate and maintain, and don't last long. As a result the U.S. construction industry is falling behind the Nordic countries, the U.K. and Singapore. His solution is a full life cycle approach to construction. Information has to be shared between owners, designers, contractors, operations and facilities management over the entire life cycle of the building or infrastructure.
Over 50% of the cost of maintaining a building is operations and maintenance which is comprised of administration, maintenance and repairs, and restoration projects. In several countries BIM has become essential for design and construction. But many including the UK government believe that the full value of BIM can only be found during the operational life of the building where the majority of the life cycle costs occur. The UK government has said that "the 20% saving refers to CapEx cost savings however we know that the largest prize for BIM lies in the operational stages of the project life-cycle".
Road and highway infrastructure
Highway construction is being transformed, due in part to the arrival of autonomous vehicles. I've blogged about the startling (at least to traditional construction contractors) vision of the future of highway construction of the Chief of Surveys at the Oregon Department of Transportation (DoT) which targets the full lifecycle of highway assets from planning through design and construction and operation and maintainenance. Some large construction projects are already being designed, built and operated and maintained with a full lifecycle perspective.
Industry surveys report that up to 80 percent of a utility's resources and budget can be spent on operating and maintaining existing utility infrastructure. Surveys also show that aging utility infrastructure is a top priority for most utilities.
Be Inspired Awards: Mapping, Monitoring, Rehabbing, and Replacing Infrastructure
One of the projects focused specifically on full lifecycle data management for highway construction. The project, which was submitted by the Roads Directorate, Denmark, is for the $ 580 million 39-kilometer Herning – Holstebro highway which includes eight interchanges, four railway crossings, and five bridges. The important achievement of the project was to create a digital workflow with meaningful requirements for sharing data among disciplines and across the entire project lifecycle. The project was a finalist for the year's Be Inspired Award for Innovation in Roads.
Seven of the finalists' submissions involved renovation, rehabbing, and retrofit. An outstanding example of a rehab project is the Bond Street to Baker Street Tunnel Remediation Project. This is a London Underground project in the UK. It involved the replacement of the existing elastoplastic concrete lining of a 215-meter tunnel segment on the Jubilee Line with a spheroidal graphite iron lining - all while the line was running at full capacity. This achievement won this year's Be Inspired Award for Innovation in Rail and Transit at the Year in Infrastructure 2015 conference.
Two of the finalists' projects involved replacement. An example of a replacement project was the Decommissioning and Replacement of Del Rio Bridge on US 20 this was carried out by Harper-Leavitt Engineering for the Idaho Transportation Department with minimum disruption to traffic.
Five of the finalists submitted projects that involved monitoring and extracting more value from existing transportation and utility infrastructure including rail, electric substations, electric and water and waste water distribution networks.
An example is a project submitted by SA Water which won the Be InspiredInnovation in Asset Performance Management Award. The project involved integrating a hydraulic model and an operational analytics tool with network sensors to help them optimize their network. These tools enable them to optimize chlorine dosing for different water sources (runoff, desalinization, rivers), minimize electric power costs, and improve water quality by mapping water age across their entire network. SA Water have not only been able to reduce their power bill by A$3 million, but also have cut their network operating costs by nearly a A$ million. It has also resulted in improved water quality. More fundamentally it has given them much greater insight into sources of revenue and the costs of various aspects of operating a water network.
Four of the finalist projects involved mapping and historic site protection. An example is a gas main project submitted by Utility Mapping Services Inc. This project involved creating a 3D map of underground utilities along a stretch of highway with complex utility infrastructure woven through dense commercial and residential areas with limited right-of-way and heavy traffic congestion. Most critically from a safety perspective, there were no utility strikes on the project. As a result the 3D model is credited with reducing construction time from 10 to 7 weeks. Most importantly from a budget perspective, there were no change orders and the total cost of the project came in at 10-15% less than estimated in the absence of a 3D model.
Another example is a project submitted by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA). Singapore intends to be the world's first "smart nation". Part of this initiative involves developing a virtual Singapore that is intended to be the source of authoritative information about Singapore for use by government agencies. The project involves capturing large amounts of data using multiple rapid mapping technologies including oblique imagery, airborne laser scanning, mobile laser scanning, and terrestrial scanning. The data has been compiled into 3D city model in a single database repository which includes geometry, topology, semantics and appearance. The database relies on CityGML, a standard managed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), for the database schema and for data exchange. The total volume of data is more than 50 terabytes. The database is open and accessible to all government agencies. The most challenging part of the project has been the development of business processes and technologies for ensuring the data remains current. At the the Year in Infrastructure conference in London the SLA the won the annual Be Inspired AwardforInnovation in Government.
INSPIRE-Geospatial World Forum 2015, a joint conference organized by the European Commission and Geospatial Media and Communications, has made available its full conference program. Almost 500 presentations are scheduled on topics including building information modelling (BIM), open data, big data analytics, open standards, linked data, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Earth observation, indoor positioning, land information systems for smart cities, urban resilience and sustainability, health, agriculture and others. Some 2000 delegates are expected to attend from more than 80 countries. Top sponsors include Trimble, Topcon, ESRI, Digital Globe, Oracle and Bentley.
The theme of the conference is CONVERGENCE: Policies + Practices + Processes via PPP with a focus on improving coordination among policy-makers, technology providers and users. Including geospatial data and technology in construction, agriculture, health and other industry workflows is an enabler for more successful public–private partnerships (PPP) by facilitating more informed decision making among the stakeholders.
Urbanization is a worldwide phenomenon. Smart city technology is becoming an essential element in the development of the world's megacities. For example, the new Indian government's just released budget includes an allocation for initiating the development of 100 smart cities. Songdo IDB in Korea and Fujisawa in Japan are two smart cities already under development. China has 36 smart cities in development and a low carbon model city in Tianjin. Singapore plans to become a smart nation by 2015. Iskandar is Malaysia's first smart city. The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) incorporates smart city concepts.
According to the report "Smart Cities Market - Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2014 - 2019)", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global smart cities market is forecasted to grow from $410 billion in 2014 to $1.1 trillion by 2019 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.5%. This includes smart homes, intelligent building automation, energy management, smart health, smart education, smart water, smart transportation, smart security, and related services. Most of this activity is expected to occur in Asia and the Middle East.
Navigant Research forecasts that cumulative global investment in smart city technologies, including smart grid, advanced water monitoring systems, transportation management systems, and energy efficient buildings, could total $174.4 billion from 2014 to 2023, growing from $8.8 billion annually in 2014 to $27.5 billion in 2023. Navigant forecasts that annual smart city technology investment in Asia Pacific will increase from $3.0 billion in 2014 to reach $11.3 billion in 2023.
What are cities already doing ?
In a recent study by Arup and University College London, Delivering the Smart City, the researchers analysed the spending patterns of eight U.K. cities; Leicester City Council, Manchester City Council, Leeds City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Sheffield City Council, Liverpool City Council, Bristol City Council and Coventry City Council. These are medium-sized cities with populations between 200,000 and 760,000.
This type of analysis has become much easier because of the open data movement in the U.K. which has generated significant amounts of accessible data about government spending and procurement. The analysis showed that the eight cities were spending on average 6% of their expenditure on information technology (IT). That's an average of £23 million a year on IT. Four of the eight spent between 8 and 10% of their budgets on IT. To put this in context the proportion that these city governments are spending on IT is more than many industries and is comparable to the banking and financial services industry which spends on average 8% of operating expenditure on IT.
This research shows that cities are already investing a significant amount on something which is a foundation for smart city technology. IT already underpins many services offered by city governments today including public security and health, transportation, public works, natural resource management, and permitting and licensing.
Other research also shows that city governments globally are spending a significant proportion of their budgets on IT. Gartner analysed the IT spending patterns of 99 local governments across 80 countries in the U.S. and found that that IT accounted for 3.8% of their total operating expenses. U.S. local governments, including 3,200 counties and 19,000 cities, spent approximately $34 billion on traditional IT goods and services in 2013.
According to Gartner national and regional governments in the Middle East and North Africa will spend US $12.2 billion on IT products and services in 2014, up 1.3 % from 2013. This includes internal services, software, IT services, data center, devices and telecom services. Saudi Arabia is investing in various digital government initiatives including King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning multiple smart cities.
City governments are not the only organizations providing IT services to support city operations. For example, installation of 5,000 smart meters in homes and businesses across London involved investment from private companies including EDF Energy, Siemens, Logica, as well as the electricity transmission and network operators, National Grid and U.K. Power Networks, the transport operator Transport for London, and the city government Greater London Authority.
The U.S. spending analysis also showed that local governments, in addition to more traditional IT products and services, are procuring cloud-based services to modernize citizen services and reduce operational costs. An example is online portals for tax collection and business licensing. These IT projects are usually part of wider modernization projects being carried out within departments rather than standalone technology initiatives at the city level.
UK city governments buy IT products and services from large vendors
City governments in the U.K. tend to purchase their IT products and services from large vendors. According to the UK analysis of eight cities large and middle-sized vendors accounted for the overwhelming majority of IT spending (98%) with small businesses only accounting for 2%.
An Urban Planning Domain Working Group (DWG) has been chartered to define the role for Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards within the urban planning discipline. The DWG offers an open forum for the discussion and presentation of interoperability requirements, use cases, and implementations of OGC standards relevant to urban planning.
Technologies and trends such as smart cities, smart grids, sensor webs, the Internet of Things (IoT), facilities and asset management, indoor and outdoor navigation, energy performance modeling and real-time, “big data” analytics are important for urban planners. In these technology domains, open standards encourage the sharing of information. The OGC Urban Planning Domain Working Group intends to discover requirements for open spatial standards in information systems involved in the planning, design, use, maintenance and governance of publicly accessible spaces. Requirements identified by OGC Domain Working Groups are typically used as the basis for standards development by chartered OGC Standards Working Groups (SWGs).
The European Union has set itself aggressive goals to reduce GHG emissions by 20%, increase renewables share of energy generation to 20%, and to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020. The EU seems to be on track for the first two goals, but the third remains a challenge. In 2020, the European consumption of energy is projected to be 25 trillion kWh. By 2040 it is expected to rise to 28 trillion kWh. In terms of primary energy consumption, buildings represent around 40%. In 2009, residential buildings consumed 68% of the total final energy use in buildings. Energy in households is mainly consumed by heating (70%), cooling, hot water, cooking and appliances. Gas is the most common fuel used in buildings.
I have blogged about the European SUNSHINE project before. The SUNSHINE (Smart Urban Services for Higher Energy Efficiency) project is focused on energy efficiency for buildings in an urban environment. It is a European Commission (EC) funded project that started about a year ago and is intended to continue for 36 months.
Energy certification of buildings is a key policy instrument for reducing the energy consumption and improving the energy performance of new and existing buildings. It is expected to help increase demand for high performance buildings by improving the energy performance of the building stock in urban centers. SUNSHINE is intended as a step towards toward such a policy and a way to contribute to improving the energy efficiency of buildings. SUNSHINE is intended to be accessible to Web and mobile platforms. An interesting aspect of the project is is the development of an extended CityGML model for representing urban structures for energy performance modeling.
Three use cases are being considered.
1 Assessment of energy performance
The goal is to supports the automatic large-scale assessment of building energy performance based on publicly available data. The building energy performance models will be used for energy.density mapping ("ECOMaps") . It is intended that an ADE extension to CityGML for 3D building energy modeling will be developed.
2 Heating and cooling forecast and alerts
This focuses on existing buildings that have been selected for energy performance improvement. It relies on localized weather forecasts and other information to forecast heating/cooling requirements to optimize energy performance..
3 Optimization of power consumption by public lighting
The idea is to control illumination so that areas are only illuminated when people are present and the level of natural lighting requires it.
SUNSHINE is based on customizing and integrating other EC-funded smart city applications including
Smart urban services based on open standards to support energy efficiency of buildings
Open data hub for data distribution
eEnvironmental services for advanced applications within INSPIRE
3D CityGML models for solar energy potential assessment and noise mapping & simulation
SUNSHINE will be piloted at nine sites across five countries that include 20 public buildings in Ferrara, 60 technical buildings in Trentino, and public illumination systems in several Italian cities.
At Geospatial World Forum 2014 in Geneva this year as part of the GeoEnergy track, Piergiorgio Cipriano, GI/SDI Project Manager at Sinergis, Italy discussed integrating energy usage data from smart meters with city models using the CityGML standard with the goal of improving the energy performance of buildings on an urban scale.
Location is essential for linking information from different providers and sources. The “ecomap” represents the “energy need” at building level. For this simple map, it is necessary to integrate at the very least the following data in order to predict building energy performance with sufficient precision:
Building height (or number of floors)
Building age and corresponding building envelope stereotypes
Stereotypes for heating/hot-water/ventilation systems
Building modeling for urban energy performance modeling
CityGML has strongly influenced the development of the INSPIRE BU model, both for 2D and for 3D profiles. The concept of a base model defining semantic objects, attributes and relations which are required by most applications has been adopted by INSPIRE BU (as core profiles). The concept of External Reference to link to more domain-specific information systems or to ensure consistency between 2D and 3D representations of buildings has also been reused in INSPIRE BU. The design pattern of Building – BuildingPart aggregation is also included in the INSPIRE applications schemas. Many attributes (e.g. RoofType, YearOfConstruction) have been included in INSPIRE BU profiles.
Many use cases that were considered for INSPIRE BU require a three-dimensional representation of buildings such as a building information model (BIM). Examples are noise emission simulation and mapping, solar radiation computation or the design of an infrastructure project. To allow for that, the building representation in Level of Detail (LoD1 - LoD4) of CityGML has been added to the INSPIRE BU model as a core 3D profile. The whole content of LoD1 - LoD4 including features attached to buildings such as boundaries, openings, rooms are the base of the extended 3D profile.
For large scale energy performance at the urban level, detailed interior elements of each building are not required. It is possible to work at a simple Level of Detail 3 (LOD3) and include elements like roofs, envelope walls, and windows. This can also be used to make a comparison with other data sources such as aerial thermal images.
Energy usage data exchange
Green Button implements the common-sense idea that electricity customers should be able to securely download their own easy-to-understand energy usage captured by their smart meter. Not only does it provide the retail customer with access to their usage data , it also provides the ability to authorize a third party service provider to access his or her energy usage data directly. This architecture presents a consistent mechanism for authorized exchange of energy usage information.
To integrate electric power usage information from smart meters into SUNSHINE, the GreenButton specification defined by the NAESD (North American Energy Standards Board) was identified as the preferred implementation option for the meter data exchange protocol to be used in Sunshine. IEC 61968-9 was judged to be much more complicated and less supported in terms of practical examples and software tools.
Open, standards-based foundation for urban energy performance analysis
Together INSPIRE BU, CityGML with the energy performance ADE, and the Green Button specification for energy usage data provide an open, standards-based foundation for energy performance analysis for urban environments.
At Geospatial World Forum 2014 in Geneva this year Leif Granhom, Senior Vice President at Tekla Finland gave an insightful presentation about the integration of building information modeling (BIM) and geospatial information. An important part of his presentation summarized the efforts currently underway to develop standards for integrating BIM and geospatial information.
What is BIM ?
Leif Granholm has been involved with BIM and geospatial from the beginning, joining a startup software company named Tekla Oy In 1979. He has spent 30 years at Tekla doing everything from programming to sales to BIM ambassador. Construction and BIM became the focus of his work a little over 10 years ago. Prior to that, geographic information systems was his focus, so he is familiar with both BIM and geospatial.
Leif first asked the perennial question what is BIM, is it software, process, technology or what? In his view there is no practical consensus on what BIM is - everyone to speaks about BIM feels impelled to include a section on what is BIM. Probably the most common perception of people in the industry is that BIM is software. Others descriibe it as a process, model, or a populated database describing a facility. Leif's favourite is that BIM is a Technology.
BIM includes graphics, because appearance is important. BIM incorporates building objects containing geometry and properties in the form of structured information. There are different types of objects describing buildings including functional (doors and windows), physical (beams), logical (90 degree angles), and abstract objects (rooms). BIM also includes objects describing process including schedules, resources, costs, quality assurance, tasks, work, approvals, RFI's and submittals. Perhaps the simplest way to summarize BIM is that it is about sharing. BIM is open, structured, semantic, and standard information.
BIM + geospatial
But other semantic information is also required and this is where the geospatial dimension comes in. Examples are terrain models, cadastral (parcel) information, zoning information and utilities.
The geospatial community is becoming increasingly aware of 3D technology. It is used for 3D cadasters, digital terrain models, architectural and engineering design and modeling entire cities in 3D. To support this trend new standards are being developed by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) such as CityGML and IndoorGML, InfraGML, KML and 3D services in collaboration with web3D (webGL, X3D). And at the last OGC Technical Committee meeting, the Charter Meeting for a new Urban Planning Domain Working Group (DWG) was held.
BIM-Geospatial integration is a very hot topic. Several standardization initiatives are ongoing including ISO BIM-GIS Ad Hoc Group, the OGC-building SMART alliance partnership, the InfraBIM project to extend Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for infrastructure (roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, and dams). There is a joint project to develop conceptual schema of alignments of InfraGML and IFC. There is also an initiative to generate CityGML and IndoorGML from IFC. The V-Con project is designed to enable Dutch and Swedish traffic authorities to use BIM for the whole life cycle of roads and railways.
electricity including transmission, distribution, and street lighting
water including transmission and distribution
wastewater including storm, road, sanitary, and combined
The source databases are maintained by the respective owners, water and electricity by the Water and Electricity Authority, telecommunications by Batelco, and wastewater by the Ministry of Works. iDSS has several layers of security that determine who can see what, and who can update what.
Anyone proposing to add to or make a change to underground infrastructure is required to complete a Proposal Request, essentially a building permit. The request is forwarded electronically to all of the participating utilities, who are required to review and respond to the request within three days.
Developing a national 3D data model
At the GEO Business 2014 conference in London, Debbie Wilson, Senior Information Architect at the Ordnance Survey in the UK, presented an overview of the development of a comprehensive national 3D city model for Bahrain that she designed in less than six months under the sponsorship of the Survey and Land Registration Bureau of the Kingdom of Bahrain (SLRB). The goal is to develop a national 3D data model that supports a broad range of objectives including topographic mapping, land administration, hydrographic survey, utilities, infrastructure, local governance and spatial planning, agriculture, aquaculture, and environment. Currently it does not include the inside of buildings or other structures.
Specifically the national 3D data model is intended to support SLRB strategic initiatives
3D data capture
It is intended to promote better government data sharing as a key underpinning for economic development. This is a public-private partner (PPP) initiative involving municipalities, the Ministry of Works, and utilities.
Debbie's approach was to use existing standards (ISO, OGC, INSPIRE, industry-specific) as much as possible and to extend them only as required to meet the objectives of the SLRB. The basic model is CityGML with the CityGML utility extension ( Application Domain Extensions or ADE) for underground utilities. In addition Debbie designed a specific ADE for Bahrain's national model called the Bahrain CityGML ADE which added floors and sub-units for high-rise buildings and some other elements for land administration. The 3D model she developed ultimately included 236 feature classes and supports Level of Detail (LoD) 3.
Currently it does not support building information models (BIM), but the SLRB is interested in extending the model to support BIM in the future.
A prototype implementation of the Bahrain National Data Model was developed on Oracle Spatial. Data was imported from a variety of sources including the Ministry of Public Works, municipalities and utilities. The data model and interface to the database are intended to be vendor neutral. Demonstration applications using the data base were developed using ESRI ArcScene and CityEngine, Bentley Map and Google Maps.
Debbie credits open standards as a key factor in enabling this comprehensive national data model to be developed so rapidly, in under six months. Furthermore the implementation only required two months. The advantages that Debbie found from using open standards include
Consistent framework enabling different domains to come together to develop a harmonized data model
Provides a long-term foundation for data maintenance and exchange
Platform independent allowing implementation using wide range of technologies
Comprehensive 3D National Data Model developed in 6 months
Prototyping team implemented model for all 236 features in Oracle database and migrated data within 2 months
SLRB team developed series of demonstrations using key stakeholder applications withi 3 days
SLRB and stakeholders can now start harnessing the power of their data to deliver new innovative services
Open national data model including utilities
This is an important step in developing a comprehensive data model and especially an open data model for underground utilities that I hope the smart cities community adopts and builds on. I would recommend that any organization, municipal, regional, or national that is developing or intends to develop a national data model for modeling national infrastructure take a serious look at this open model and to consider using it as a reference for their own model.
Checking regulatory compliance for building permitting remains a tedious, time-consuming and costly process. While the critical importance of timely, accurate, and uniform code review has been an important goal of regulatory agencies for some time (for over a decade in the case of Singapore), only recently has the industry started to experience a paradigm shift.
Fiatech is planning to permanently transform the way construction project code reviews are conducted. The AutoCodes Project aims to make the building regulatory process faster, more uniform, and more competitive through automated code-check technology based on virtual 3D construction models or BIMs (Building Information Models). The AutoCodes Project guideline aims at creating a consistent and reliable modeling methodology to streamline processes and result in faster, more accurate code checking.
The research team reviewed 28 BIM standards and guidelines (see listing below), including eight that were developed by third-party organizations, for example, the National BIM Standard developed by the buildingSMART alliance, and 20 by owner organizations, for example, the General Services Administration’s (GSA) BIM Guide Series. Eight out of the 28 documents are considered standards and 20 are considered guidelines.
None of the standards and guidelines reviewed define detailed requirements for automated code checking. However, 15 recommend automated code checking/validation as a potential BIM use. For example, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore launched CORENET (Construction and Real Estate NETwork) e-submission for the building and construction industry in 2001. BCA began accepting BIM e-submission (architectural, structural & MEP) in 2011.
Building permitting in Singapore
Singapore is an interesting example because its stated goal is to make its permitting process faster than anywhere else in the world. As a result, in many ways Singapore is leading the world in making the building permitting process more efficient.
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) led a multi-agency effort in 2008 to implement the world’s first BIM electronic submission (e-submission). The BIM e-submission system streamlines the process for regulatory submission. The process of moving to electronic submissions took about four years to complete.
In 2010 the BCA implemented the BIM Roadmap with the aim that 80% of the construction industry will use BIM by 2015. This is part of the government’s plan to improve the construction industry’s productivity by up to 25% over the next decade.
Digital signatures are legal in Singapore. In many jurisdictions around the world, engineering and architectural drawings submitted to a municipal government require a signature or signatures of a licensed professional engineer (P.E.), in ink on a piece of paper.
Digital submissions are mandatory in Singapore. Initially Singapore's e-submission system meant that making a submission for a building permit required submitting 2D DWG, DGN, DXF, DWF, or PDF files.
The BCA is responsible for building permits in Singapore. When a submission is received, it is reviewed by 16 government agencies, but BCA has the final authority to grant or reject the submission or ask for clarifications or modification. Initially e-submission required 2D drawings with layers defined according to a BCA standard.
But Singapore is moving rapidly toward building information models (BIM). Project teams only need to submit one building model, which contains all of the information needed to meet the requirements of a regulatory agency. In 2010, nine regulatory agencies accepted architectural BIM 3D models for approval through e-submission. This was followed by the acceptance of mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) and structural BIM models in 2011. To date, more than 200 projects have made BIM e-submissions.
BIM standards and guidelines reviewed
Third-Party Organizations in the United States
National BIM Standard - United StatesTM
buildingSMART alliance (bSa)
E202 – 2008 BIM Protocol Exhibit
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The Contractor’s Guide to BIM (Edition 1)
Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
Third-Party Organizations in other Countries
NATSPEC National BIM Guide
AEC (UK) BIM Protocols
Common BIM Requirement 2012 (COBIM)
BoligBIM (BIM Manual)
Boligprodusentene (Norwegian Home Builders Association)
BIM Project Specification
Hong Kong Institute of Building Information Modeling
The USACE BIM Road Map (ERDC TR-06-10)
Minimum Modeling Matrix (M3)
GSA BIM Guide
The VA BIM Guide
“ATTACHMENT F” -- BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING (BIM) REQUIREMENTS
Singapore BIM Guide
CORENET BIM e-submission Guidelines
State of Ohio Building Information Modeling Protocol
State of Ohio
Texas Facilities Commission Professional Architectural/Engineering Guidelines
State of Texas
GSFIC BIM Guide - Series 01 Model Analysis and Validation
DSF BIM Guidelines & Standards
State of Wisconsin
BIM Development Criteria and Standards for Design & Construction Projects (aka "CoSA BIM Standards")
City of San Antonio
NYC BIM Guidelines
New York City
Higher Educational Institution
BIM Project Execution Planning Guide
MIT CAD & BIM Guidelines & BIM Execution Plan
Georgia Tech BIM Requirements & Guidelines for Architects, Engineers and Contractors
USC BIM Guidelines
IU BIM Guidelines & Standards for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors
SDCCD BIM Standards for Architects, Engineers & Contractors
Attachment D - BIM Execution Plan
Attachment G - University of Washington CAD and BIM Standards, PDF Requirements, and CAD Compliance Review Submittals
At the SPAR International conference Kevin Gilson, Director of the Design Visualization group at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) gave an insightful presentation on integrated 3D modeling and visualization for large transportation projects with some examples from several of the projects that PB is engaged in. The central message that I came away with is that more and more geospatial data is being incorporated in documenting and visualization large construction projects. The term reality capture has been in use for a number of years, but at SPAR I came across the term reality computing which has been applied to computing that uses spatial data captured using a variety of geospatial data techniques including LiDAR, optical/IR, oblique imagery, and satellite and aerial imagery as input. This is moving in the direction of making spatial data a foundation for BIM and other data used in the construction industry.
PB has more than 30 staff dedicated to 3D modeling and visualization and has been using innovative processes that integrate 3D, BIM, and geospatial for many years to gain efficiencies on large municipal transportation projects. Recent projects for which Kevin provided examples include the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) East Span, San Francisco's Presidio Parkway, Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement.
Kevin pointed out that the use of intelligent computer models and processes such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Civil Integrated Management (CIM) is transforming the delivery of transportation programs. CIM is the term promoted by the Federal Highway Administration under the Every Day Counts initiative. Owners, designers, and contractors are using these processes to design, build, and simulate projects virtually before executing them in reality. The use of virtual modeling increases communication and coordination among project stakeholders by providing an easily accessible vision of the entire project. 3D, 4D models (x,y,z and time), and 5D (x,y,z,time, and $) reduce risks, errors, and inefficiencies that are common to more traditional forms of project management.
The major trends that Kevin sees are contributing to this transformation of construction are 3D integrated models that extend across the lifecycle from design through build and operate and maintain, integration of increasing amounts of geospatial data from a variety of reality capture techniques, the use of LiDAR to provide as-built data not only from scans at the end of the project, but during construction, real-time monitoring including sensors and applications that operate in near real-time, and mobile devices. In addition many cities are developing 3D models and are making them available to designers, architects and engineers so they design structures in an accurate urban context. This is important for sustainability, but is critical when certain areas and structures strictly have to be avoided. Kevin gave the examples of a cemetery very close to the projected Doyle Drive right of way, and a heritage building very close to the I-95 harbour crossing. Another example is viewports that cities like London and Vancouver have protected in by-laws.
The PB Design Visualization team uses a very eclectic suite of tools which highlights how critical standards for interoperability that cross discipline and vendor boundaries ( for example,GIS, BIM, energy performance modeling, 3D visualization, simulation, project management) are becoming.
Using an integrated 3D model-based approach increases communication and coordination among all project stakeholders resulting in a greater level of confidence in the design, the schedule, and the overall execution of the program among the construction team and owners. The end result is reduced rework and reduced risk of cost and schedule overruns. Conflicts/issues are identified and resolved earlier in the process, visualization helps non-technical stakeholders get involved in the decision-making process and reduces the risk of surprises at project completion. Kevin also sees the new approach as producing benefits such as greater sustainability that extend over the full lifecycle - design, construction, and operate and maintain.
In summary integrated 3D modeling programs benefit design team, construction planning, stakeholder communications through
conflicts resolved sooner
more sustainable and efficient
Kevin recommends starting with a robust BIM/3D modeling plan and specification including
real-world coordinate system
defined roles and responsibilities including a model manager