BIM Adoption Planning – Value of a Model to the Project Owner

May 06, 2021 0 Comments


BIM adoption planning is one of the most important and financially rewarding things you can do for the future of your construction projects and their post-construction operation. Creating a clear and detailed adoption plan will give you the knowledge you need to improve staff and stakeholder efficiency so you can increase your profit margins. However, BIM adoption is a robust undertaking that requires investment. As with any investment, understanding and calculating ROI is extremely complex.

ROI Modeling

What is Return on investment (ROI)? ROI is a simple mathematical equation:

ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) X 100

Unfortunately, calculating ROI becomes much more difficult when dollar values for the equation are unknown. In this case, an ROI Model is needed to determine the Cost of Investment, and ultimately Net Profit. “An ROI model is simply a list of all the inputs (benefits and costs) and the math needed to turn those benefits and costs into dollars.” BIM ROI Models require many complex inputs (some of which aren’t readily apparent) and can become time-consuming. Fortunately, the process of BIM Standards development, BEP development and BIM adoption planning make it much easier to establish and track necessary data points. While there are some prepackaged BIM ROI Model templates, these templates tend to be proprietary due to the value of (and expense of analyzing)  the industry-wide data used for model calculations. Using these ROI model templates allows you to harness data outside of your company to refine and enhance your own calculations. Or, you can implement an ROI model based solely on your internal data. There is no wrong answer here. As it pertains to BIM efforts, ROI model choice is often driven by decisions on cost and scalability. Suppose you need help finding the best fit for your organization. In that case, Proactive has an extensive database of various project types and sizes and can help determine which ROI model is most appropriate to support your BIM adoption plan.  To facilitate this decision, it is helpful to understand the type and quantity of data points that go into BIM ROI Model development.

BIM ROI Model Development

An ROI Model is simply a tool to designate how the ROI will be tracked and calculated (i.e., What data do I need to gather for my calculation?). The process starts with planned BIM Goals and Uses, which will be used for the “benefits” side of the equation. Then you break down your BIM investments to the smallest trackable data point. Now we have lists of goals on one side and a list of investments on the other, we need to create data indicators that will connect the two. Having extremely refined processes is necessary to develop these connections (and often why many users turn to predeveloped templates). Each of these connections aims to transform a Model Use or Goal into a cumulative dollar value. What we are really doing is establishing a system to determine the financial value of each of your BIM Models. Every model has intrinsic value and varying net worth based on the cost of development and net savings attributable to that model. Once this value is determined, we can compare it to our cost of investment. How valuable is asset data in the model? How valuable are the architecture, mechanical or plumbing models? How do your models’ value compare with other company's models? Are you over/under spending on model content?

ROI is a simple equation. But without knowing the value of your models, it is impossible to calculate the ROI associated with your BIM efforts. The BIM industry has yet to establish a standard for calculating that value. The good news is that BIM models are inherently valuable for many reasons in addition to simple ROI. However, smart BIM implementation begins with understanding the financial value of your model and the ROI it generates across the entire building life cycle, including building operation.


Five Things for Owners to Focus on When Preparing BIM Execution Plans

May 06, 2021 0 Comments

A project-specific BIM Execution Plan (BEP, also commonly referred to as a BIMEP or BIMEX) must be developed when implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM) on a construction project. A BEP acts as a guide to ensure BIM is utilized correctly throughout a project's lifecycle to achieve desired BIM goals and model uses, optimizing workflow, model flow and defining “who does what, when” in a very fast-paced collaborative team environment. So, how do you begin to write (or manage) a successful BIM Execution Plan?

Our ProactiveBIM™ team has written and managed the implementation of many Building Execution Plans for various types of construction projects and delivery methods. Writing BEP's is not an easy task and always presents new challenges based on the specific nuances and participants of each project. Here are some recommendations to help streamline the process. 

Establish Content Development Guidelines

BEP development scenarios call for a leading voice (ideally, Owners or their consultants) defining how guidelines and parameters are set. These boundaries help establish content requirements for all parties to agree upon when assembling the BIM Execution Plan. It is common for teams to try to complete every detail of the plan before official adoption. Unfortunately, this tends to extend the plan implementation and overall design process and distract from the necessary adoption of processes designated by the BEP to begin modeling. It is recommended that a baseline BEP be adopted as early as practical, with subsequent updates occurring quarterly (or as needed) to facilitate coordination and maintain the relevance of the document as the project progresses and new team members (design consultants, trade partners, design-build subcontractors, etc.) are added. Content Management is essential to maintaining and organizing the document throughout the implementation process. 

Establish Document Change Management Processes

BEPs are living documents that must have the flexibility to maintain relevance throughout design and construction changes at all phases of the project. It is therefore imperative that the BEP requires approval from all contributing parties, for the baseline BEP as well as any updates. This necessary consensus creates a complexity that requires exceptional document change management and version control. Even if you are not part of the Owner's team, tracking these changes (rejections/approvals/modifications proposed by all parties) will drive the process forward through efficient communication, maintaining clear expectations for all involved.

Write Concisely

BIM Execution Plans communicate processes, procedures, and expectations for the whole project team. It is imperative to utilize concise writing to eliminate ambiguity in the agreed requirements and responsibilities of project members. Quality writing is imperative. Employing an editor experienced in technical specification writing and proofreading can help eliminate unnecessary content and verify references and exhibits/attachments are correct. 

Keep Communication and Trust

Maintaining transparency while resolving frequently competing agendas, projects benefit from an experienced facilitator to fairly mediate and document each party’s requirements and get concurrence for the agreed-upon baseline BEP and all future updates. Maintaining trust between all team members during BEP collaboration will enhance relationships and expedite desired BIM outcomes in the long term.  

Do your Research

Each project is unique in its requirements, so it is not uncommon to encounter unfamiliar technical content and new processes. BIM is, after all, a very rapidly evolving landscape that merges hardware, software and human process development. Fortunately, there are resources available to help educate project teams on topics that may seem obscure. More specifically, there are countless reference materials to help with creating quality BEP’s and BIM Standards. The following links will get you started: 

·         BIM Execution Plans That Are Actually Executable

·         PSU BIM Planning Guides

·         BuildingSMART alliance Project Execution Planning Guide

·         GSA BIM Execution Plan

·         Standards: Writing World Class Standards