MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 3 Methodology

The author wants to proof with qualitative data that projects managed using BIM achieve better outcomes than comparable ones not using them. Factors influencing the success of projects are usually more qualitative than quantitative (Fortune and White, 2006) and that social forces have a great effect on the implementation of new technologies (Williams and Edge, 1996) and on the success of projects with complex inter-organisational structures (Maurer, 2010 and Kadefors, 2004).

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Test on Running an IFC Based Clash Detection using Revit

I tried this and it is not a pleasant process.
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MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 2.4 Chapter Summary

The literature review shows a clear tendency towards major project complexity (Chan et al., 2004; Williams, 2002; Alshawi and Ingirige, 2003). It also shows a linkage between complex projects and the existence of inter-organizational associations to accomplish these projects (Maurer, 2010).A second linkage has been drawn between inter-organizational associations and the need for “better integration, cooperation, and coordination of construction project teams” (Cicmil & Marshall 2005, cited in Maunula, 2008).

The unprecedented level of communication, collaboration and efficiency that BIM allows (Lee, 2008) seems to draw the last linkage on this chain: we have more complex projects that require inter-organizational associations; these associations require better coordination and cooperation; BIM promises to allow this increased coordination and collaboration. Ignoring BIM from the Project Management point of view seems to the author as a big mistake.

Lastly, we have seen how the industry requires a shift from a document based approach to communicating information to what many have chosen to name as Project Integrated Databases. The scholarly literature and statements from BIM supporting bodies suggest that BIM could help on this shift from documents to PIDs, for its nature is the “creation and maintenance of an integrated collaborative database of multi-dimensional information”, as we have seen in the definition of BIM on Chapter 1.

We have also seen a list of 10 potential benefits that PMs can get by implementing BIM in the projects (Table 2.1). BIM can thus be the catalyst that will enable Project Managers to reengineer the processes to better integrate the different stakeholders involved in modern construction projects.

There are and there will be challenges to the acceptance and implementation of BIM. Some of them are inherent to the new associations between stakeholders needed. The correct implementation of BIM requires “understanding and developing inter-organizational work practices” (Harty, 2005, cited in Maunula, 2008). This requirement for the implementation of BIM could be the catalyst for an overall shift towards better, more collaborative processes that could improve drastically the results and the productivity of the companies working on the AEC Industry.

The intention of this dissertation is thus to analyze the benefits of BIM as a Project Management tool and to explore in which ways and to what extent BIM will help the implementation of better processes to successfully deliver complex construction projects and which are the main challenges ahead. The methodology to achieve these goals will be explained on the following chapter.



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End of Support for Windows XP

If you are of that 7,33% still on windows XP consider upgrading. Support ends on April 8, 2014
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Clash Detection Using Autodesk Navisworks Manage

Testing the Clash Detection Feature of Navisworks Manage to compare it to other platforms.

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Direct Download Links for Autodesk 2015 Products

A list of direct download links for Autodesk 2015 products.

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Navisworks 2015 First Impressions and Trial Download Link

Luke just shared some links to Autodesk Products. Here comes a sneak peak to Navisworks Manage 2015.

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Clash Detection Using Tekla BIM Sight

Testing the Clash Detection Feature of Tekla BIM Sight to compare it to other platforms.
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Buy One get One Free Deals at Packt Publishing Until March 26th

Book deals at Packt Publishing Until March 26th.
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MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 2.3.2– BIM: more than just another IOIS

The AEC Industry is based on the collaboration of several parties during the project life-cycle, and the success of projects depends on exchanging information between stakeholders on a timely manner. IOIS aim to increase the sharing of information between partners. Some years back, researchers promised that IOIS would be used “to enhance construction project documentation and control and to revolutionize the way in which a construction project team conducts business” (Nitithamyong and Skibniewski, 2004: p. 492).

Despite the benefits brought by the extensive use of IOIS, these systems are still lacking on the aspect of integration. The author has the experience of working with some of this IOIS (shared FTP portals in USA and document management systems in Germany and Spain) and they all seem to be mostly used just as online repositories of documents that all stakeholders can access. Without disregarding what the existing IOIS have accomplished – reduction of email based communication, safe storage of documents, improved communication, etc - it seems that another shift in the way things are done is needed.

BIM could be the key approach to adopt to ensure this integration and shift from the document paradigm to the Integrated Database paradigm happens. On this line of thought, the International Alliance for Interoperability [IAI] has been developing since 1995 a standard for sharing building and construction industry data. This standard has been named Industry Foundation Classes [IFC] and it follows on the work done with STEP for Product Models. Although IAI’s mission is to “support open BIM through the life cycle” (IAI, 2010a), their holistic approach to BIM encompasses many other aspects of the project delivery process. Their Information Delivery Manual [IDM] (IAI, 2010b) considers, in addition to the IFC] standards, a methodology to support the implementation of BIM, addressing the business processes and information exchange requirements.


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MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 2.3.1– From documents to Project Integrated Databases

As we have seen, there is a need for better integration of project teams (Manaula 2008), one way to achieve this integration is by the proper use of Inter-Organizational Information Systems [IOIS] (Ibid.).


Figure 2.3 Use of e-business solutions in the EU industries
(adapted from e-business Watch, 2006)


“The construction and facilities industry has historically used a document-based way of working, through drawings and reports, and has communicated through ‘unstructured’ text such as letters and emails” (BSI, 2010, p. 2).

A document based way of working means that through the project life cycle there is an “unstructured stream of text or graphic entities” (BSI, 2010, p. 2). This unstructured stream is a challenge for better integrated practices. The information exchanged at the document level is generally “fuzzy, unformatted or difficult to interpret” (Ajam et. al. 2010: p. 763).

A key aspect is to understand what means “proper use” of the IOIS mentioned in the beginning of this section. Ajam et al. (2010) argue that the proper use is that of going from document sharing practices to share information at the object or element level. The proper use of these IOIS is thus the one that allows the much needed integration of project teams and the switch from the mentioned unstructured stream of entities to an integrated and interrelated use of information, what has been named by several authors as the Project Integrated Database [PID] paradigm.


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MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 2.3 – BIM and Information Management

The process on how information is exchanged is thus seen as a key aspect for successful implementation of BIM. This exchange of information is mostly done through ICT. A study shows that the construction industry has had a much lower integration of ICT and e-business processes than other industries in the European Union [EU] (e-Business Watch, 2006) ICT and e-business are generally used much less than in the other industries, as it can be seen on figure 2.3. In countries like Spain, according to the study by Bayo-Moriones and Lera-López (2007), the Building Industry is “behind the rest of sectors in the adoption rate of several ICT” (Ibid. P. 363).

The low rate of adoption of ICT compared to other industries is a challenge for the implementation of better ICT processes like BIM. Nevertheless, a bigger problem for this implementation might be the way the construction industry has traditionally worked. We will see on the following subsection how the change needed embraces the overall approach towards ICT and not just a shift from CAD to BIM.


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