BIM Paper

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Design the building from the context of the brief with the instruments of our time. That is our task. (Translated from German)

- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe –

A dissertation submitted to the faculty of Engineering, Science and Built Environment at Southbank University in London in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MSc in ‘Planning Buildings for Health‘ at the Medical Architectural Research Unit (MARU) at Southbank University, London.

I declare that this dissertation is my own unaided work except where specifically referenced to the work of others.

Name: Jochen Eggert Date: Stuttgart, 20.10.2010

Word Count: 20.093

Figure 1: Cover page – CKO – Christliches Kinderhosptial Osnabrück (AEP Architects Eggert, Stuttgart)

Table of contents

Acknowledgments I am thankful to all who supported me and shared with me their knowledge and experience on the design process with BIM. Andrew McKeown (Avanti Architects) for working with me for 2 years on a BIM project (Case Study 1), Rahul Shah (MAAP Architects) for sharing his knowledge on MAAP’s BIM integration, Rosemary Glanville and Phil Astely (MARU) for their constructive critiques, Marianne Sims (Graphisoft) for sharing knowledge on BIM, Miles Walker (HOK) for assistance on Case Study 2 and Karen Williamson (Anshen+Allen) for general BIM use. I thank Ben Donaldson for giving me advise on my web-survey, Tory Alexander for assistance on GIS, Jane Harper for proof reading, Katja Eggert for giving me advice on layout and last but not least my parents for supporting me financially.


Table of contents

Table of contents 1

Introduction.............................................................................................................................1 1.1 Background to the design process.................................................................................1 1.1.1 What is BIM? ......................................................................................................1 1.1.2 Problems with today’s Construction Sector Productivity ...................................2 1.1.3 The ‘Integrated Project Delivery’ (IPD) .............................................................3 1.1.4 The ‘System Approach’ ......................................................................................5 1.2 Research Area ...............................................................................................................6 1.2.1 Current needs for integrated healthcare design ...................................................6 1.2.2 Focus Area ..........................................................................................................9 1.2.3 Research Aim and Objectives ...........................................................................11 1.3 Research Methodology + Data Collection ..................................................................12 1.3.1 Methodology structure ......................................................................................12 1.3.2 Data collection ..................................................................................................14


Literature Review .................................................................................................................15


Individual Research and Data Collection .............................................................................27 3.1 Case Studies ................................................................................................................27 3.2 Online Survey .............................................................................................................41 3.3 Interview .....................................................................................................................46


Evaluation of individual research .........................................................................................47 4.1 Evaluation of Case Studies .........................................................................................47 4.2 Evaluation of Online - Survey ....................................................................................48 4.3 Evaluation of Interview...............................................................................................49


Conclusion ............................................................................................................................50 5.1 Design Recommendations ..........................................................................................51 5.2 ‘Design Guideline’ for healthcare planners ................................................................53


Appendices ...........................................................................................................................55 6.1 6.2 6.3


Referenced software solutions ....................................................................................55 Interoperability + file-exchange ..................................................................................55 Online survey results...................................................................................................57

Bibliography ..................................................................................................................... LXII


List of Figures

List of figures Figure 1: Cover page - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, a 40 bed inpatient facility for the Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Trust (MAAP architects, London) ........................................................................................................... I Figure 2: Intuitive or Empirical design approach versus System design approach .....................................................................5 Figure 3: Inter-variable linkage of systems and subsystems of health building functions...........................................................7 Figure 4: The front-end services of the design development process with BIM (buildingsmart+pinnacle) ................................9 Figure 5: The timeline of operational order when planning buildings for health. .....................................................................10 Figure 6: Methodolgy structure .................................................................................................................................................12 Figure 7: Research component question – Level 2 ....................................................................................................................13 Figure 8: Research component question – Level 3 ....................................................................................................................13 Figure 9: Findings of Data Colleciton benchmarked against the Design Development Process of BIM...................................14 Figure 10: Source: Ozel, 2006...................................................................................................................................................16 Figure 11: Better visulalisation of healthcare related functions through 3D-representation (Source: Graphisoft) ....................16 Figure 12: Source: Ozel, 2006...................................................................................................................................................18 Figure 13: Traditional Design Process and BIM Process - Knowledge of built environment (buildingsmart, 2009)................20 Figure 14: Methodolgy structure ...............................................................................................................................................27 All Figures 15- 17: (Source: Avanti Architects) .......................................................................................................................28 All Figures 18-21: (Source: HOK ) ...........................................................................................................................................32 All Figures 22 - 24: (Source: SMCCV).....................................................................................................................................36 Figure 25: Online Survey accessible on ...................................................................................................41 Figure 26: Ratings Case Studies................................................................................................................................................48 Figure 27: Refernced BIM products ..........................................................................................................................................55 Figure 28: The upcoming file exchange system with IFC (Source: American Institute of Steel Construction) ........................56 Figure 29: Possible file exchange options for BIM and PAT ....................................................................................................56


List of Abbreviations

List of Abbreviations

2D – 2-dimensional (length and width) 3D – 3-dimensional (length, width and height) 4D - a model that incorporates the dimension of time used to visualize a construction schedule. 5D - a model that incorporates cost data, used to automate quantity takeoffs for cost estimating. Coupled with 4D, it can be used to predict cash flow. ADT – Architectural Desktop

AEC - Architecture, Engineering and Construction AIA – American Institute of Architects BIM – Building Information Modelling BREEAM - Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method BSA – BuildingSMARTalliance CT – Computer Tomography DDP – Design Development Process DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen

DoH – Department of Health GA drawings – General arrangement drawings GIS - Geographical Information System Green Star - Green Building Council of Australia HUDU – Healthy Urban Development Unit IAI - International Alliance for Interoperability IFC – Industry Foundation Classes IFD - the International Framework for Dictionaries IPD – Integrated Project Delivery IT – Information Technologies KPI – Key Performance Indicators Lean – Lean manufacturing or lean production LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design NBIMS - National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee NBS – National Building Specification, UK NIBS – National Institute of Building Science PAT – Performance Analysis Tools PFI – Private Finance Initiative PPP – Public/Private Partnership Procure 21 – ProCure21 is a procurement method for publicly funded NHS Capital Schemes. RIBA – Royal Institute of British Architects RICS – Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors SHAPE - Strategic Health Asset Planning and Evaluation application SHINE - Shine is a Learning Network for Sustainable Healthcare Buildings TAP Award – Technology in Architectural Practice Award – BIM awards, US





1.1 Background to the design process 1.1.1 What is BIM? What is BIM? The concept of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is based on the fact that buildings are made up from three-dimensional building elements with height, width and length” (Donath, 2008). “The design process produces a BIM, which encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components” (Holness, 2008). BIM is parametric modelling: “The term parametric describes a process by which an object is modified in one view and automatically updates in all other views and schedules” (Zeng, Tan 2008). “BIM can be used to demonstrate the entire building life cycle, including the processes of construction and facility operation” (Wikipedia, 2010). By summarising the AIA-IPD (American Institution of Architects, 2009) manual, “the key to success lies in involving contractors and fabricators early in the process and in doing reviews more often at the beginning. The use of BIM and early involvement and validation by agencies shortens the final permitting process.” However, “the full potential of this enabling capability [BIM] will not be fully known for at least for a decade” (BIM Manual, cited at ArchiCAD talk, Yanoviak, 2009). Process “BIM shifts the bulk of the work forward in the design timeline and decisions have to be made earlier” (buildingsmart, 2009). “By partially automating the detailing of construction level building models, BIM redistributes the distribution of effort, placing more emphasis on conceptual design” (Zyskowski 2009). “That’s why the early design stage becomes so increasingly important, as major design decisions are made here” (Khemlani, 2008). “A shared data model is partially detailed and gets further detailed for the use in all aspects of planning, construction and fabrication” (Eastman et al, 2008). A BIM “becomes a repository for elaboration, optimisation and analysis. That’s why the early design stage becomes so increasingly important, as major design decisions are made here. Teamwork “BIM software becomes a basis for collaboration with all teams involved in the design process. It acts as a single-source repository for information about a building” (Jernigan, 2007). “Unlike other design aids such as 2D-CAD, BIM software is designed to integrate every aspect of a building” (Snyder, L. 2006). All parties use interoperable technology to share information about all building parts and documents – architectural, structural and engineering, analysis and bidding. “BIM has the potential to bind design and construction teams together into a focused, unified entity with the client’s goals and best interests in mind” (Design Resilience, 2006).



From this overview, the following study explores the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the Design Development Process (DDP) as a feasible and holistic concept to healthcare design - a case for change - and what needs to be considered when making use of BIM to find out about the benefits, BIM brings about. In order to meet the complexity of BIM, the study was organised in 5 main themes: Conceptual BIM, Architectural BIM, Engineering BIM, Analysis BIM and Bidding BIM.

1.1.2 Problems with today’s Construction Sector Productivity “In recent years, draftsmen are chiefly junior architects and the communication channel between construction craftsmen and the design office has atrophied” (Eastman et al, 2008). “Even now, contemporary authors often critique how different architects use drawings and sketches to enhance their thinking and creative work” (Robbins, 1994). Apart from that, the design and construction process of health buildings is associated with huge cost and time expenditure. The figure below shows the Productivity Index of Construction and Non-Farm Industries (manufactured products). The contracts for the Construction Sector include architectural and engineering costs as well as cost for materials and for delivery of offsite components to the site. The productivity in the construction industry has significantly decreased by around 10% over the last 40 years, whereas the non-farm industries have more than doubled. According to Eastman (2008), this is due to the following reasons: 

“Labour represents about 40%-60% of construction estimated costs.

Owners have paid approximately 5% more in 2004 than they paid for the same building in 1964 (inflation).

Non-Farm industries made use of more automated equipment which resulted in lower labour cost and increased quality (standardisation).

The use of automation processes, better information systems, better supply chain management and improved collaboration tools has not been achieved yet in the construction industry.

Possible reasons for this include: The construction sector is faced with a fragmented design process and a confused system of responsibilities which is often accompanied with lowest cost tendering. Due to competitive based contracts, complex relationships have become adversarial and divisive. This results in delays, cost over-runs and litigations. 65% of construction firms consist of less than 5 people making it difficult for them to invest into new technologies, even the largest firms account for less than 0.5% of total construction volume and are not able to establish industry leadership” (US Census Beaureu, 2004 cited in Eastman, 2008).



‘Whole Life Values’ The elusive goal of less dependence on fossil fuels has not been abandoned, yet and the days where cheap construction with no concern about building performance and energy consumption was usual, seemed to have been passed away. As the operation and maintenance of a building exceeds the initial construction cost by over 5 times over its life cycle, it is crucial to see a building as a whole, from the initial sketch to its operational end. More and more, planners tend to work towards more integrated appraisal systems, which allow clients appraising options more globally on issues like: whole life cost, environmental impact, design quality, time, functionality and compliance. A good ‘Whole Life Value’ of a building is the ultimate goal of each designer to achieve, today. Not only should the best technology fittings and efficient buildings operation be preferable – it is also the initial design solution which contributes to the buildings performance. Duration “Vitruvius claimed in his architectural writings, that buildings should be of long duration. For public buildings, e.g. hospitals, Vitruvius hereby referred to old Greek and Roman tradition by reasoning the demand for duration of material and aesthetics” (Wischer 2007, p. 13). According to Wischer, the ‘open-ended’ hospital has 4 dimensions: the site often does not change for centuries. The main structural elements are the basic technical and logistical structures which have a long-term validity for up to 50 years, sometimes more than 100 years. A medium duration of up to 20 to 40 years is applicable for all internal and space creating elements as well as all building services.” (Wischer 2007, p.13). By concluding Wischer, the task for investors, developers, clients and architects is to base the planning and construction of the building to guarantee a life cycle of 50-100 years. Flexibility Developing sustainable solutions for healthcare buildings requires understanding climate, culture and place, as each site has its unique character to respond to. Due to its longer life cycle, the building needs to be flexible and must be able to adapt quickly and easily to future needs. As Gordon A. Friesen was asked after 40 years of healthcare planning, he postulated “flexibility” as being the most important aspect in hospital planning (Wischer 2007, p.11). Over a whole life-cycle, health buildings are bound to change their space allocations internally by refitting spaces or externally by extending horizontally or vertically. Recent changes in healthcare services (e.g. the shift from inpatient to outpatient care) have documented those changes and have forced hospitals to adapt quickly not only in administrational ways but also in structural and functional ways. Hence, health buildings have to be planned to allow future change to happen easily.

1.1.3 The ‘Integrated Project Delivery’ (IPD) According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), “the IPD is a project delivery approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to reduce waste and optimize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction. IPD principles can be applied to a variety of



contractual arrangements and IPD teams will usually include members well beyond the basic triad of owner, designer and contractor. At a minimum, though, an integrated project includes tight collaboration between the owner, architect/engineers, and builders ultimately responsible for construction of the project, from early design through project handover” (AIA California Council, 2007). Within a BIM environment, the IPD acts as a contractual framework to the project. Similar to integrated management and business models, e.g. the partnering model, IPD could be seen as an integrated engineering and construction model. “It is likely, that this kind of project alliance would bring architects and contractors back together. BIM and IPD foster trust and joint ventures and legally binding alliance relationships are created. Once architectural firms and contractors begin to create a formal project alliance relationship, they will then need to expand their ‘information flow’ by sharing this digital information across digital networks” (MacLeamy, 2008). However, “it can only be successful if the participants share and apply common values and goals. Although it is possible to achieve Integrated Project Delivery without Building Information Modelling, it is the opinion and recommendation that Building Information Modelling is essential to efficiently achieve the collaboration required for Integrated Project Delivery.“(AIAs IPD, 2007) The IPD helps to bring innovative and cost-effective solutions to any project, regardless of whether it is a green building or not: ”Multiple disciplines and seemingly unrelated aspects of design are integrated in a manner that permits synergistic benefits are realized “ (U.S. Department of Energy, May 2001). However, according to Larsson (2008), the IPD process is based on the fact that changes and improvements are relatively easy to make at the beginning of the process, but become increasingly difficult and disruptive as the process unfolds. To avoid this, typical IDP elements have to include the following:  Inter-disciplinary work right from the beginning,  Establishment of a consensus on the relative importance of various performance issues  Budget restrictions applied at the whole –building level  Testing of various design assumptions through the use of simulations  Presence of subject specialists  Clear performance targets and strategies, to be updated throughout the process by the design team  Iteration of the process to process at least two, and preferably three, concept design alternatives in order to select the most promising for further development (Larsson, 2004). “IPD depends hugely on the use of an integrated design tool, which can be offered with BIM” (Whaley cited in aecbytes, 2009). However, “the IPD approach recognises that increased effort in planning results into increased efficiency and savings during execution. Thus the thrust of the integrated approach is not to reduce design effort, but rather to greatly improve the design results, streamlining and shortening the much more expensive construction effort” (AIA, California Council, 2007).



1.1.4 The ‘System Approach’ “It is based on the idea, that every design problem begins with an effort to achieve fitness between two entities: the form in question and its context. The designer must first trace his design problem to its earliest functional origins and be able to find some sort of pattern in them.” (Alexander, 1964) During the initiate phase, which is the concept design phase, there are three basic approaches: Intuitive, Empirical and Deductive. 

The Intuitive approach calls upon the imagination and the ingenuity of the designer to foresee the solution – a classical example is the ‘great idea’ which often appears out of nowhere and is sketched on a napkin, a la Le Corbusier.

The Empirical approach is a more thorough exercise. While the designer looks for relevant built examples, the most appropriate one gets adapted and improved on. By taking it further, the Deductive approach implicates a rational methodology in order “to interrogate the objective and accurately analyse the contextual opportunities” to progressively pinpoint the optimal option (Richard, 2007). The ‘System Approach’ is equivalent to the design approach we use with BIM. It is a Deductive approach based on the vision of the preferred option as a system: “deducting, from an objective considered as a whole, the optimal (quality + cost) interaction of parts that will reach fulfilment within the context” (Richard, 2007, p.2). This OBC method, using the 4 option appraisal selects the preferred option to become the option to be built. According to Richard, “it applies a double analysis and synthesis sequence: analysis and synthesis of the product and analysis and synthesis of the process to materialise the product” (Richard, 2007, p.3). Each stage progressively tells more about the solution, thereby eliminating anything irrelevant along the way. The design development process with BIM is similar, as it evaluates the product progressively in a methodical, systematic way. According to HOK, the BIM / IPD design process is likely to converge towards a deductive design methodology: “Initially developed to bring more comprehensive solutions to sustainable and energy-efficient building programs, the IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) converges towards a deductive design mythology quite close to the UK CIM (Capital Investment Manual) with their OGC’s Gateways™, in particular the OBC (Outline Business Case)” (HOK, 2008).

Figure 2: Intuitive or Empirical design approach versus System design approach


Research Area

1.2 Research Area 1.2.1 Current needs for integrated healthcare design Healthcare projects are ‘high information’ developments. Besides complex structural needs (e.g. different ward and treatment structural grids), strict design regulations (e.g. acoustics and infection control) and increasing sustainable requirements, healthcare buildings also have complex mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) requirements due to high medical and technological equipments. “As buildings are increasingly complex, building systems require greater levels of specialisation. Concentrated specialisation has led the design and construction professions to grow more fragmented and at times adversarial, with each specialisation vying for primacy” (Nies, 2008) In such design environments, the probability of errors, either in intent or from inconsistency rise sharply. Bigger and more complex buildings have a greater chance for delays and failures of what was initially agreed in the contract. “While Brunelleschi may have worked in a 3D reality from the start to finish through the use of physical modelling, the complexity of today’s building systems (in particular of health buildings) do not allow a physical model only, to fully represent all of its layers” (Krygiel, Nies, 2009) Architects, however, must have “the ability to deal with several layers of form context boundaries in concert is an important part of what we often refer to as the designer’s sense of organisation” (Alexander, 1964). So far, “Architects alone created a series of separate ‘models’ to represent the layers of design, which are a collection of specific ideas, thoughts and concepts which are needed to create a project. Some are specifically visual, some are analytical and some are purely for documentation purposes” (Krygiel, Nies, 2009). However, all of them are essential to inform the design direction. Such accumulated layers of design rise in complexity whilst shared by various disciplines. The more complex a building gets the more layers of design there will be – structure, landscape, plumbing, data, heating, cooling, security, power, lighting, controls and accessibility to mention only a few (page 7). “The complexity of buildings makes the task of maintaining consistency between large sets of drawings extremely challenging, even with the use of computerised drafting and document control systems, most common 2D CAD and MS Excel” (Eastman et al, 2008). Furthermore, “recommended construction details supplied by product vendors cannot yet be defined in a generic form allowing insertion into a parametric model. On the designers’ side, the current reliance on 2D sections is both a rational to not undertake 3D modelling at the detail level, and a quantity control handicap to be overcome” (Eastman et al, 2008).


Research Area

Figure 3: Inter-variable linkage of systems and subsystems of health building functions

“Such quality control procedures are rarely capable of catching all errors, and ultimately, all errors are revealed during construction” (Eastman et al, 2008). The design process of healthcare buildings, which is already a complex and demanding task, is undertaken by many people and several disciplines. “The danger of the traditional design process results often into the following: 

More time is needed for sorting out the mess of incoherent and fragmented drawings

Time-overruns lead to higher cost

Litigation with potential bankruptcy of smaller firms

The quality of the initial design suffered

Monotonous looking (and non-functional) buildings” (cited in aecbytes, 2009)

As Richard Morrison (cited in ArchiCad-talk, 2009) points out, “Architects have quite enough on their plate just sorting out the design of the building”, he stresses that the jungle of drawings and documents, the ability of proper coordination, communication and flexibility inside BIM is probably the biggest challenge, today. If an architectural office is BIM conversant, everybody has to realise that BIM stretches the early design phase as data input takes an enormous amount of time during the early design phase.


Research Area

MAAP (Medical Architecture and Art Projects), an architectural practice based in London uses a mixed strategy of 2D and 3D. “Since this was MAAP’s first BIM project, and because of the fast track delivery programme, the decision was made to keep all the detail packages in AutoCAD rather than create them in BIM. CAD detailing beyond a 1:20 scale of detail was still produced in AutoCAD based on BIM extracted information” (Shah, R. 2009). Concluding from this, “a large reason that BIM is not more widespread is that it demands not only a very high level of competency in using the software, but a huge level of attention and dedication to the model itself. Probably more competency than most architects and their junior staff are willing (or able) to acquire and/or more detail than they are willing to invest in their drawings. This may be one reason why contractors, who have money of their own riding on the results, have more incentives to create a useful BIM model than architects. Architects are usually looking for the most expeditious way to get the drawings “out the door,” which does not mesh well with the needs of BIM” (Morrison, R. cited in ArchiCad-talk, 2009). Lohden (ArchiCad-talk, 2009) admits, that “architects have quite enough on their plate just sorting out the design of the building”, and on top of that a constructability/coordination model will further challenge the architects. “BIM is a tremendously complex set of intertwining requirements and issues that is not going to be resolved by any single solution. I think too much focus is put on interoperability.”

As if it is just a technical problem of getting software and file formats coordinated. “I think the solution can only come from more co-operability.” What we do is very complex and complicated and it’s going to take all kinds of tools in all kinds of hands working together to get the job done (Lohden, M. cited in ArchiCad-talk, 2009). According to Smith, 2008 “Communication, coordination and collaboration with BIM becomes more complex.” as more data is available and be to share among all participants. According to the above statements and my own experience at Avanti Architects, even the shared data BIM model relied on a mixed strategy of conventional form of 2D drawing and 3D model where plans, (mostly sections) are generated from the model to use them as a framework. They function as a 2-dimensional underlay for further construction drawings and 2D detailing. “Paper and pencil remain the dominant tools for such work. However, in the near future, we will anticipate evolutionary progress in this area, with effective design solutions emerging soon” (Eastman et al, 2008). The ‘American Institution of Architects’ (2007) has brought out a more enthusiastic statement in their latest version of ‘Integrated Project Delivery’ document: “Break down traditional barriers or silos of effort. Develop a confidence in information sharing. Actively participate in discussion groups that push toward an effective, collaborative approach to information sharing. Require the project team to utilize integrated Building Information Modeling technology. Consider a full-team work area with multiple screens for display of project images for real-time collaborative issue resolution. Propose new approaches to team compensation based on value and long term outcomes. Seek resources. Talk. Share. Collaborate. Experiment. Change is happening. Change is now”(AIA-IPD, version 1, 2007, p.52).


Research Area

1.2.2 Focus Area My work on healthcare buildings has given me an understanding of what has to be considered when designing hospitals. To me, quick visualisations and calculations of various performances can be of great use. BIM allows us to get a better picture of what we are planning and how all the building elements fit together. The use of BIM in practice inspired me to research how it might be best applied in the design development process (DDP) for healthcare buildings. The aim of the research is to find out or suggest starting points as to when, how much and why the utilisation of BIM is effective of all areas. According to “buildingsmart” and “Pinnacle Infotech Inc”, two well-know institutions, “the design work and the decision making process shifts forward the design timeline, when utilising BIM”. The figure below shows the DDP, established by “buildingsmart” and “Pinnacle Infotech Inc”:

Figure 4: The front-end services of the design development process with BIM (buildingsmart+pinnacle)


Research Area

By translating the ‘System Approach’ (page 5) and ‘Design Timeline’ (page 9) to the tasks of designing a healthcare building, the figure below shows a potential design order. Within a given timeline or brief, the related functions of a hospitals are brought into an order to inform the separate BIM models. For example, the early design of the hospital or the ‘building site’ (=Conceptual BIM) determines the number of bedrooms, en-suits, (=Architectural BIM) and the best structural method (=Engineering BIM). The arrangement of in- and outpatient departments (=Conceptual BIM) allows for different structural and organisational models (=Architectural BIM + Engineering

BIM) as well as fire- and DDA safety measures (=Analysis BIM). Finally, the performance of the building (=Analysis BIM) determines the documentation and building cost (=Bidding BIM), and so on.

Figure 5: The timeline of operational order when planning buildings for health.


Research Area

1.2.3 Research Aim and Objectives For the purpose of this research, the spectrum of BIM for healthcare buildings was analysed. Based on a collection of BIM material, the objectives of this research are to investigate the design development process (DDP) with the utilisation of BIM:

Explore BIM as a design tool and find out how it might support the DDP as a vehicle of sustainable design and integrated design coordination for health buildings planning.

Examine front end design service of DDP and determine the suitability of BIM into this process for health buildings.

Survey and interviews of key design leaders with 3 case studies whom have used BIM in the DDP process in the UK

Set out findings with recommendations for the use of BIM in the DDP of health buildings planning with key design principles for project coordination for the use for the project team.

The aim of this research was to develop a design guideline for the use of BIM in the DDP for healthcare buildings. The literature review and the individual research were organised in 5 main BIM themes to meet the complexity of BIM and the DDP. By using...  

Case Studies (BIM comparison with different level of BIM expertise) Online Survey (achieving a sample size that allows for statistical calculations) Interview (direct and personal data collection)

...this research feeds back with various reasoning whether BIM utilisation supports the DDP of Healthcare buildings:

Conceptual BIM

Architectural BIM

Engineering BIM

Analysis BIM

Bidding BIM

Thereby the research question, as shown below, is the highest of three ‘Levels’ of analysis that will enable a component based approach, as presented in Figure 1 ‘Research Methodology and Data Collection.’

Does BIM support the DDP of Healthcare Buildings?


Research Methodology

1.3 Research Methodology + Data Collection 1.3.1 Methodology structure Due to the complex nature of the DDP and discovering, whether BIM utilisation makes sense inside the design development process, the research question was broken down into components and subcomponents which are then used to formulate questions for the survey. The results of the subcomponents were then combined into the components and subsequently into the conclusions for the research question. The structure of this methodology was presented below:

Figure 6: Methodolgy structure


Research Methodology

For the purpose of enabling a precise research approach to the research question, the same was broken down into three component questions (Level 2), eg asking what BIM does and how it can be utilised in healthcare and sustainable planning.

‘Level 2’ – Component Questions for the DDP

Component Code

What is Conceptual Design?


What is Architectural BIM?


What is Engineering BIM?


What are Performance Analysed Tools?


What is Sales and Bidding?

E Figure 7: Research component question – Level 2

The above ‘Level 2’ sub-questions were further split into subject elements (Level 3) to formulate and support my individual research. The Case Study and Interview feed back to the initial research question and give additional reasoning.

‘Level 3’ – Component Questions for the DDP

Component Code

What is space based modelling?...


What is component based modelling?...


What is structural and engineering modelling?...


What is building optimisation?...


What is cost analysis and documentation control?...


Figure 8: Research component question – Level 3

‘Level 3’ sub-questions were parametric, space and component based modelling and performance analysed modelling with BIM. Limitations: The study does not intend to compare, explain or appraise software packages. That is subject to each BIM vendor. Rather a general overview, a roadmap, a plan that examines, compares, clarifies the design process and helps architects decide whether BIM supports the process, as well as to move forward with BIM is the authors intention.


Research Methodology

1.3.2 Data collection The literature review was examined towards 5 separate BIMs Conceptual + Architectural + Engineering + Analysis + Bidding and tested on the following entities: 

Space and Component based modelling, Parametric modelling

Design Coordination and Collaboration

Life-cycle related topics such as sustainability, standardisation, future change,

The selection of 3 Case Studies cover 2d, 3D, and 4D/5D scenarios: 

Case Study 1 (Conceptual + Architectural BIM approach)

Case Study 2 (Architectural + Engineering’ BIM approach

Case Study 3 (Engineering + Analysis BIM approach)

The survey was an online- questionnaire which was sent out to 103 healthcare architects to find out what is there approach to the 5 BIM themes. A total of 20 offices responded. This was done to achieve a sample size that allows for statistical calculations.

The interview with a London based architectural office using BIM was carried out to find out about office resources, setting up skills, software, equipment and management. This was a direct and personal data collection.

Figure 9: Findings of Data Colleciton benchmarked against the Design Development Process of BIM


Literature Review

2 LITERATURE REVIEW This section of the research report reviews the literature relevant to the research study. Whilst development in this area has accelerated quickly, new forms of design and construction processes (BIM+IPD) are formulated, tested and implemented throughout the building trade. The sources used in this review are identified across a wide spectrum of published material. Recent books on BIM and IPD were thoroughly studied for the purpose of this literature review. The use of literature, journals, professional user groups on the internet, the use of web-based video conferences and other online communication were used. Research information was found on building information websites as well as institutes and institutions which deal specifically with this matter. To mention only a few, the WBDG ‘The whole building design guide’ specialised in integrated building design processes (IPD). The international BSA (building smart alliance) is on the forefront of Building Information Modelling (BIM). There has been an ongoing research conducted and recorded at Universities and several scientific institutions. The German “Fraunhofer Institut” for specialised building information publishes papers and researches on integrated building processes. The author recognises that the DDP of building design, especially of healthcare design, is a vast field and therefore requires a wide-ranged literature review. However, the targeted literature search focuses on the general literature relating to the use of BIM in the DDP of healthcare buildings. The literature review was organised in the established 5 BIM themes.

A: Conceptual BIM allows option appraisals and future change analyses form the earliest stage onwards. The great advantage with “quick visualisations shows the impact into the environment, renders sunlight and shadow cast scenarios as well as massing options in 3D” (aecbytes, 2008). “This will eventually determine the building performance and ease the choice for the preferred option” (AIA, 2010). Space based modelling BIM and CAD are able to perform the so called ‘Space based modelling’. It determines the relations to diverse functions within a hospital, their departments, communication and circulation areas. “It evaluates internal spaces such as rooms/units/department. This establishes the main principles of how efficient the building will operate (Ozel, 2006)” Early design control through 3D visualisation support the design of patients, staff and visitor flows and their functional relations. In healthcare, ‘Space based modelling’ organises departments closer together to achieve an efficient functional enclosure which contributes to faster patient and staff flows, hence time and cost benefits for the hospital. Developing adjacencies of related departments (e.g. emergency in trauma units and intensive care units near the radiology) leads to more efficient ways in treating related cases. 15

Literature Review

Space based modelling with BIM, CAD or on paper:

Figure 10: Source: Ozel, 2006

Figure 11: Better visulalisation of healthcare related functions through 3D-representation (Source: Graphisoft)


Literature Review

B: Architectural Parametrism The architectural model encompasses all parametric objects such as walls, doors, windows, furniture and structure. “Parametric modelling means that aspects of the model depend upon relationships between parts of the building. Changing a rule or constraint, or modifying a part of the model itself, almost always has implications on the entire model” (Katz, N.C. 2009). “This relationship behaves like a rubber band, where modifying a single object will modify its relationships to all other objects“ (Donath, 2008).

Object libraries Furthermore, “no BIM application is complete without a set of object libraries with the ability to create custom components” (Khemlani, 2007). The production of prototype elements (components) inside a BIM model can “help to speed up the design process, define design solutions and produce the necessary documents and specifications needed on the building site” (Eastman, 2008). A well-planned prototyping process and the use of such ‘intelligent’ objects “eliminates the mundane of repetitive work and allows more time and energy for design as there are fewer issues to ‘work-out’ during construction documentation, better coordinated documents and a revision process that is more efficient” (Jernigan, 2008). For example, the coordination of MEP services with architecture / structure needs time and effort. Clash detection is hardly detected inside a fragmented 2D process. Here, BIM ‘makes sense’, “as all services are coordinated from the start and can be fixed earlier, before they cost time and money” (Lamb et al, 2009).

Component based modelling In order to control the abundance of data, BIM labels all building components such as internal walls, windows, doors (hard FM) and their loose equipment, such as furniture and medical equipment (soft FM). “These intelligent components carry their specifications within them” (Eastman et al, 2008), “contain information about their height, thickness material and other properties” (Graphisoft, 2009), such as type of equipment, dimensions, material, special features, fire resistant, acoustic performance, manufacturer, cost. ‘Component based modelling’ further “optimise all area’s performance and detect design weaknesses and errors“ (Solibri, 2009). With BIM, designers have less trouble to get a clear picture of the building. “BIM stores this information by item and produces specifications accordingly” (Ozel, 2006).


Literature Review

Component based modelling in BIM, only:

Figure 12: Source: Ozel, 2006

Automation “The workload is more and more likely to get automated as more the model grows” (Jernigan, 2008). “With a ‘best-practice’ methodology, automation of work processes reduces the mundane and much of the repetitive work, creates phased-in prototypes which are both practical and profitable. Automation of work processes lets you focus more on critical issues” (Jernigan, 2008). ‘Automated work processes’ are increasingly found inside a BIM application than inside 2D CAD. The long-term goal is to completely automate the production of drawings from the model” (Eastman et al, 2008)

Documentation Architectural documents such as floor plans, sections, elevations and schedules of accommodations are extracted from a BIM. “A 3D model would give you structural quantities, door schedules, room and hardware schedules, MEP schedules, room schedules, top of pier elevations, top of grade beam elevations, bottom of grade beam elevations, site excavation, soil strata information, top of steel and bottom of grade beam elevations, to mention a view” (Rutson Fuqua, 2004). Even detail planning is supported when coordinated plans are used as a template for further detailing. “Each element in the model not only creates correct plan, elevation, and section, it also carries attributes for quantities and selections” (Rutson Fuqua, 2004). Interactive schedules are updated automatically, when changes are done in the model. Some BIM programs offer the whole scope of design, construction and maintenance, so no cross referencing to other programmes or changing items one by the other is required.


Literature Review

Design Reviews “The colossal advantage of retrieving data from a ‘parametric model’ is that you can see what you are getting by visually auditing the model. Individual items and types of items can be isolated and thoroughly, visually reviewed” (Rutson Fuqua, 2004). “In the traditional paper-based method, design reviews require comparison of the design (contract) documents with the fabricator’s shop drawings, often by overlaying the two sets of drawings on a light table. Because of different layouts, formats and conventions, these comparisons are arduous and traditionally can take a week or more” (Eastman, 2009). However, the work process with BIM models can also be complex and time consuming. BIM models are hardly at a complete state. Instead the model grows over time to eventually bring all project data together. This leads to a different process in handling the data when highly coordinated drawings are expected to be produced out of one data model. “The flexibility of handling such data in highly complex and BIM models can become more difficult as more data is put in“ (AECbytes, 2009). “As more data is put in, the more it needs to be maintained” (McKeown, 2009). “Initial expenses for more time spending on the data input provokes additional expenses in capturing and storing this additional information” (Eastman, 2009).

Clash detection and Model Checker 4D simulations software such as Solibri Model Checker™ and ‘Autodesk Navisworks®’ or Graphisofts Virtual Building™ Explorer analyse BIM models for integrity, quality and physical safety as well as 4D simulations on site. Clash detection software offers easy-to-use visualisation with intuitive walk-in functionality. The software x-rays the building model and “reveals potential flaws and weaknesses in the design, highlights the clashing components and checks that the model complies with the building codes and organisation’s best practices” (Solibri, 2009). Such solutions enable project design, engineering, construction, and manufacturing professionals to unite contributions into a single building in real time. It helps the client to experience the building before it’s built. Clash detection makes sense only to real parametric models, where automated clash detection can be applied” (Khemlani, 2009). Such software “adds value throughout the life cycle of the building. It is extensively used by a growing number of building owners and users, construction companies, architects and engineering firms for checking designs against program requirements, for delivering cost-effectively high quality 3D building information models, for obtaining reliable and up-to-date cost estimates and for checking material life-cycle and maintainability” (Solibri, 2009).

Team-working “BIM has the potential to bind design and construction teams together into a focused, unified entity with the client’s goals and best interests in mind” (Design Resilience, 2006). The collaboration of team members involves problem-solving, where each participant usually understands only part of the overall problem. Traditionally, this heavily relied on separate drawings, schedules, faxes, telephone calls and meetings, where reviews often commenced in criteria design and increased in intensity during the final review period (Eastman et al, 2008). “Graphisoft’s ‘Virtual Trace’ and ‘BIM-Server’ helps to involve every member of the project team in BIM, from the designer to the draftsperson,


Literature Review

utilising their existing skill sets. It improves the design workflow and productivity, and helps to deliver better coordinated projects at the same time. In addition, drawings from consultants can be coordinated more easily without requiring them to jump to a full BIM process” (AECbytes, 2009). BIM software has the capability of change detection in reference models, which is helpful in keeping track of revisions. “It is a fine example of how it takes traditional concepts (in this case, tracing paper) and reinterprets and reinvents them to redefine the state of the art” (Bobrow E, 2007).

So, where are the advantages for the architects? A 3d model provides additional information to the client, which is also useful for the architect, as: 1.) “During the design process, an additional 0.5% -1.5% is added to the total building cost to provide a cost-estimate. Within a 2D environment, this estimate can only be a rough estimate. Inside a BIM environment, the 3D model calculates each component in order to come up with an accurate estimate. Most clients quickly realise that this kind of estimate is truly worth it, especially with big health projects where an accurate cost estimate can save substantial money” (Rutson Fuqua, 2004) 2.) Reducing liability exposure is an added advantage of the BIM model by handing over reliable and accurate data to the builder. Hence, the liability issue then shifts completely to the builder as the architect has provided him with coordinated sets of drawings. “When presented with the opportunity to spend more money on plans to obtain a higher level of documentation almost every client chose to spend the additional money to save money” (Rutson Fuqua, 2004) 3.) “Reducing time wasting, material and labour means by controlling the model, less staff are needed. The BIM model is fed through often by no more than one staff member of each discipline. The coherent model can be visually analysed and coordinated 2d plans are printed. Viewer changes are likely in the long run, hence less print-outs and paper are used unnecessarily” (Rutson Fuqua, 2004).

Figure 13: Traditional Design Process and BIM Process - Knowledge of built environment (buildingsmart, 2009)


Literature Review

C: Engineering Structure and MEP Structural software such as Tekla or Autodesk Revit Structure, work with a central database, which means that all drawings and reports are derived from the central model database. “Drawings stay linked to the model and get updated automatically when changes are made in the model” (Tekla, 2009). 2D-drawings are directly retrieved from the model. The extent of detailing and information shown on the drawing derived from the model can be extensive depending on the pre-settings of the automated drawing wizard. Various types of drawing views (plan, ceiling, sections, etc.) can be extracted. However, “changes made to the 2D-drawings will not update the model” (aecbytes, 2010). Object libraries “Structural BIM software provides comprehensive capabilities for steel, precast, and rebar detailing, which extends its target audience to include detailers, fabricators, manufacturers, and constructors, in addition to structural engineers. The scope is the entire structural design process from conceptual design to construction” (Tekla, 2009). “It also has an extensive library of parametric components that automate the tasks of creating the details and connections after creating the main parts of the model. The library even includes modelling tools for some complex components such as stairs, trusses, towers, etc” (Autodesk, 2010). Analysis “Once an analysis model has been transferred and created, it can be viewed along with the physical model, allowing the engineer to study for constructability such as load definitions, boundary conditions, member releases and even some design parameters. Also, vice versa, an engineering model can be transferred to any analysis application by defining objects which should be included in the analysis model” (Tekla, 2009). “Over-sizing mechanical systems can raise purchase cost, increase energy use and shorten product life. Those MEP variables are determined also during analyses process” (Pinnacle, 2009). Communication Structural models allow clash detection of its own native objects and offer more clash prevention capabilities with external models imported as references, such as architectural or MEP models. “Builtin connection design calculations and links to Excel to perform component or connection design. An Excel plug-in allows users to link in their existing Excel calculation sheets into the model” (aecbytes, 2009). For interoperability, IFC is the most common data exchange method. A structural model can be exported as an IFC file and opened in other BIM applications. “External collaboration is also facilitated by the ability to publish web models that can be shared with other project team members for free” (aecbytes, 2009).


Literature Review

Clash detection By coordinating the abundance of engineering services during the design process, “BIM does a better job at optimizing conflicting information” (Deutsch, 2009). The growing model starts to contain all data necessary to extract all MEP and structural data, quantities and construction documents. Interrelations of architectural, structural and MEP models are examined for clash detection. “Plumbing fixtures, the location of sleeves, inserts and hanger positions, conduits, tray layouts, lighting fixture & firm alarm locations are redesigned, based on the interference report generated from the coordination model” (MEP modeller, 2009). Not only are horizontal dimensions coordinated, but also vertical dimensions of systems in order to avoid interference with frames, ceilings, mechanical, electrical, plumbing systems, partitions. Easy-to-follow or colour-coded visualisation for identifying clashes between routing systems are vital. “The final model is generated after eliminating all the interferences by changing routes, elevation and duct resizing. Shop drawings / Installation drawing which are sufficient for workshop fabrication as well as on- site installation are generated automatically from the model. All ducts, duct - fittings, equipments, hangers, etc are software generated from the model and are 100% accurate as per the design” (Autodesk Revit MEP, 2009).

D: Analysis Sustainability Already in 1973, the motivation for sustainable design was articulated in E. F. Schumacher’s book ‘Small Is Beautiful’: “In architecture, sustainable design is not the attachment or supplement of architectural design, but an integrated design process. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers and the client at all project stages, from the site selection, scheme formation, material selection and procurement and project implementation” (Schumacher, 1973). However, “attention should be paid to the reasonable integration of technology with traditional design aesthetics and logic, avoiding the unilateral emphasis on technology, which would result in the socalled sustainable architecture at the expense of the architectural design quality” (Yan, J., Stellios, P. 2006).

Performance Analysis Tools At this point, the design brief was translated into a design, where decisions were made to its shape, the distribution of functions and perhaps a material selection for external and internal spaces. “Optimising the integrated strategies and technologies requires a continual look at understanding how PATs work together to deliver best potential. That is where BIM comes in, which gives you the ability to iterate and analyse faster than in a more traditional process” (Nies, B. 2008). BIM software is able to understand the interrelations of PATs and calculates strategies which can support the decision making process. By paraphrasing Eastman (2008), “the early assessment tools or performing analysis tools within a BIM environment offer insight into the behaviours associated with the given design. Until now, such performances relied mainly on designer experience and rules of thumb.”


Literature Review

During the early design stage, performance analysis tools (PAT) can help to evaluate and optimise the buildings architecture and performance. BIM calculates sustainability and energy efficiency, cost and value analysis and programmatic assessment using a simulation of operations (Eastman et al, 2008).

BIM and its secondary applications PATs allow the checking of the ‘building performance’ against all possible recognised benchmarks: By simply changing the site of the project to any place in the world, by optimising materials, MEP systems or the building’s envelope against prevailing climate conditions, BIM software recognises the change and is able to derive energy cost figures for construction and building operation according to the changes made. Standard reporting includes carbon emissions per year, water usage, and electricity consumption, all are benchmarked against targeted standards. According to Eastman et al (2008), “a virtual model unlike a pure physical model can be accurate at any scale, they are digitally readable and writable, and they can be automatically detailed and analysed in ways that are not expressible in a physical model, such as analyses for structures and energy and inplace cost codes for interfacing with a variety of other software tools” (Eastman 2008, p.151). The model can be at any stage before using analysis tools. However, the earlier those tools are used, the better for the overall performance. Some BIM tools work better with masses; some will work better with walls and roofs defined. BIM uses rooms as important information containers, which carry all the performance and material information in them. By defining a standard room in each department (e.g. double bedroom) various analyses such as energy consumptions, acoustic performances, shadow and light scenarios, ventilation and room comfort can be benchmarked.

At the same time, “hardly any BIM tool available today supports the full scope of the DDP design services.” (Eastman et al, 2008). They still require users to either gain and maintain competency in a number of different software applications (PATs), each with different user interfaces or to fill the gaps by relying on manual paper-based modes of assessment (or more likely intuition). Secondary application tools and add-ons to support the performance analysis cover different aspects in a very limited scope on an expert level. Furthermore, “BIM tools are generally already too complex to incorporate such performance analysis tools” (Eastman et al, 2008). Although, some PATs may not yet be a mainstream product, they are likely to change in the future, as users put their BIM models through more intelligent analyses. They don’t only generate construction documentation, visualization, and clash detection. They also offer geographical, spatial, fire spread, airflows, acoustic and energy analyses (see following pages). Whether they are easy to install, easy to communicate and intuitive enough for everybody is another question.


Literature Review

Model Integrity At the same time, “BIM software does a poor job of guaranteeing model integrity, saying that an application like ‘Solibri Model Checker’ will become increasingly important as we develop more applications to work with BIM models, to ensure that the model has been created correctly for their use” (Khemlani, 2009). Checking for design errors mean, that PATs check for the right dimensions in hospitals, as the right length of escape routes and accessibility sizes of en-suits. “In time, BIM applications will evolve to a point where they can include their own internal checks for model integrity, allowing an application like Solibri Model Checker to focus most of its development efforts on the more challenging and critical task of checking for design errors rather than model errors” (Khemlani, 2009). In the future, more model integrity and the absolute performance design of the hospital is be achieved with various simulations such as energy, airflows, fire spread, and acoustics. By paraphrasing Chuck Eastman’s ‘BIM Handbook’, BIM technology has not yet been developed fully to support the change: “To summarise, while the front-end services associated with the development design are likely to become increasingly important as BIM is adopted, the current technology is not yet in place to support such a change” (Eastman et al, 2008). For now, “the real trick is to identify the best available resource (BIM software and applications) to create an overall package that allows you to easily pull marketing materials, manage office correspondence, mange guidelines and building notes, manage the design process, manage reference materials and research, manage libraries, manage model servers, administer construction, manage facilities after construction and help owners manage their facility portofolio” (Jernigan, 2008).

BIM Analysis for Healthcare Buildings Geographical “Geographic Information Systems (GIS) a masterplaning design application “integrates, stores, edits, analyses, shares, and displays geographic information” (Clarke, 1986). “It factors in utilities, networks, roads, rail, and buildings to then be able to analyse, simulate, and collaborate on that data” (May, cited in AECmagazin, 2009). “The model can be used for traffic simulation, energy analysis, hydrology, slope analysis, or flood and pollution simulation” (Eberhard, 2009). “Looking at the design landscape, the use of information modelling is bringing all the essential processes together — we are moving from file-based to model-based collaboration, which enables Building Information Management (BIM) on a city scale (May, 2009)”. Diverse healthcare databases in the UK (HUDU, Eric, Shape) store all relevant infrastructural data of the NHS, to “calculate health needs, required health care floor space” by determining spatial and social infrastructure” (HUDU, 2009). Spatial

“BIM applications find out potential problems, conflicts, or design code violations” (Solibri, 2009) such as access required to bedrooms, critical relations of functional adjacencies, accessibility from corridors to treatment, utility, storage and other ancillary spaces. “Organisational flows, human circulation behaviour, hospital procedure simulation and emergency evacuation are assessed” (Solibri, 2009). This


Literature Review

helps to coordinate patient/staff/visitor flows and detect errors of space allowances. Such additional applications can “extract the required geometric properties from the BIM model to come up with estimates of minimal space allowances”(Solibri, 2009). Fire Safety

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of fire-driven fluid flow. “The software solves numerically a form of the Navier-Stokes equations appropriate for low-speed, thermally-driven flow, with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport from fires“ (FDS, 2009). Such “applications should be used by engineers with an understanding of fire dynamics and fire modelling” (FDS, 2009).


Designers of ventilation systems for patient rooms have to be conscious of contaminant threats and they should account for them appropriately. The ventilation system itself, therefore, has to act as one of the primary control mechanisms in the patient room. Software-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools, such as Mentor Graphics’ FloVENT, “allow designers to consider a range of different ventilation system layouts before installation in the physical room, and allow determination of the impact of parametric changes quickly, efficiently and costeffectively” (FloVENT, 2010). The impact of the right ventilation positioning can reduce energy costs through reduced supply capacity” (Manning, 2010). “It is not enough to just apply a given ‘air changes per hour’ value (ACH) to a patient room and expect that it will perform correctly—regardless of the ventilation system design” (Manning, 2010). Their function also depends on their positioning. Using Ecotect and ‘WinAir’ determine the pressures and direction of air movement through different areas of the house” (WinAir, 2009).


Acoustic performances in healthcare buildings are crucial especially for facilities with in-patient accommodations. Acoustic analysis with Autodesk’s ‘Ecotect’ range from simple statistical reverberation times to sophisticated particle analyses as well as ray tracing techniques (Autodesk, 2009).


“Graphisoft’s EcoDesigner calculates the energy consumption, carbon footprint and monthly energy balance of a proposed building” (Graphisoft, 2009). “It enables architects to efficiently evaluate multiple design alternatives and find the optimal one from a sustainable design perspective” (AECbytes, 2009). They can fine-tune aspects such as building orientation, building volumes, area and orientation of glassed surfaces and shading options, all of which have a great impact on energy performance. With an authoring BIM software (e.g. ArchiCAD), “the updated model can be easily analysed, no matter how often the plans evolve” (Vladimir Bazjanac, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, US). “Architects can now perform a quick energy estimate even on complex projects, without being a building energy expert and without leaving their BIM application” (Khemlani, 2009).


Literature Review

E: Bidding + Documentation

Specification and documentation The model holds the entire list of data (dimensions, material, manufacture, etc.) that allows for documentation purposes required for public bid/tendering for design/build projects. “Specifications maintain consistency between the reference-object and the specification, i.e. if the reference-object changes the designer is notified that the relevant specification must be updated” (Graphisoft’s alliance with NBS, 2009) A bi-directional relationship between building objects and specification is underway - as “a new classification called Omniclass® will lead to a more easily managed structure for specification information of model objects” (Ominclass 2007). e-SPECS® (2009) automates the project specifications by extracting the product and material requirements directly from the project drawings, eliminating many hours of tedious preparation time. For every unique item on the drawings, e-SPECS links to the favourite master guide specification, presenting only the language required to specify the product or material identified.

Cost analysis With a proper set-up, BIM can support rapid generations of cost estimates throughout all planning stages. The information provided here can inform the designer of potential cost overruns or alternatively provide confidence to be within the budget (NBS, 2010). If costs become fully integrated with BIM, designers can consider alternatives as they design to make best use of the client resources” (DProfiler™ 2010) DProfiler™ (2010) integrates conceptual 3D modelling with cost estimating intelligence enabling project teams to evaluate more alternatives in less time with better clarity before moving into design development. By integrating the whole building structure, fabric, MEP, etc as well as taking into account energy performances, the program allows for real-time cost analyses.


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3.1 Case Studies Due to the complex nature of BIM in the DDP the research question has been broken down into components and subcomponents which are then used to formulate questions for the survey and interview. The results of these sub-components are then combined into the components and then into the conclusions for the research question. The structure of this methodology is presented diagrammatically below:

Case Study 1 - Conceptual + Architectural

Case Study 2 - Conceptual + Architectural + Engineering

Case Study 3 - Conceptual + Architectural + Engineering + Analysis

...whereas Bidding BIM was not examined in this field work.

Figure 14: Methodolgy structure


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All Figures 15- 17: (Source: Avanti Architects)

Case Study 1 Conceptual BIM + Architectural BIM Building Description: Community Treatment and Care Centre, Portadown Design Team: Avanti Architects, London Kennedy Fitzgerald Associates, Belfast Services Engineering: Cundall, London and Taylor and Fegan, Belfast Procurement Route: Performance Related Partnering Contract. Client: NHS Northern Ireland HSC Trust. Cost: ~ £13 million estimated Size: 6000m²

A detailed brief development “The design team was appointed in September 2005. In 2006, the Exemplar Design was presented. The detailed design process was finalised early 2008. The exemplar design represented a significant amount of work in terms of site investigation, architectural design, development of clinical adjacencies, consideration of flexibility, the detail space requirements, but also mechanical and electrical design, structural design and structure and services integration” (Avanti Architects, 2008). It sought to establish the optimum scheme for the particular site and brief and has been used to generate approximate quantities costs based on measurement of this design as well as outline specifications. The early design was developed to a stage where external materials and key details were considered. A small scaled BIM approach was realised in terms of modelling the external and internal structure, as well as doors, windows, partitions. Bespoke furniture was modelled indicatively and furniture provided by the owner was added as smart objects. Different façade cladding options were generated.


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“As, the brief continued to develop throughout the design process both in terms of services to be provided and in terms of the layout of specific functions within the building plan. Various care services such as dentistry and radiology were finalised to a later stage. Some were added or withdrawn from the brief. The provision of a radiology suite is a first for a primary care building of this type” (Avanti Architects, 2008). “The final building layout was agreed in consultation with all heads of service, including GPs, the trust, the IT department, caretakers, security, etc. This detailed brief development has been an iterative process of investigation, interrogation and presentation of proposals, with continued development for the drawings and layouts throughout” (Avanti Architects, 2008). Flexibility and sustainability “One of the few certainties about the design of health buildings is that their function, and therefore their design brief, will change over time, probably before the design of the building is completed. In the case of the Portadown CCTC it seemed likely that the number and size of GP surgeries will reduce over time and that their size will increase. The Portadown CCTC is planned as a compact triangular building with a triangular atrium space at the centre. The circulation core in the centre of the atrium connects each floor level the lifts and stairs arrive at a platform from which 3 bridges cross to the middle of each side of the triangle. Not only is this arrangement planned to facilitate easy public access to many separate departments, it is also planned so that the relative size and number of departments can be changed in the future. Hence, two of the bridges that serve the perimeter accommodation on each floor are movable. In the future, a different set of departmental areas can be created by altering the position of the bridges. The design of the steel stair, lift and bridge construction was drawn and detailed fully in 3D in close collaboration between the architects and the structural engineers” (Avanti Architects, 2009). The concrete column structure allowed the space to be subdivided by non-structural partitions as required. The only constraint on the location of partitions was their relationship to windows on the external and internal walls of the floor plate. On the external walls, structural columns and ducts for services are located at regular intervals around the perimeter of the building. Between these fixed positions a continuous horizontal band of window frames is provided. This strip can be used to form glazed openings or filled in with cladding panels to form solid walls. The arrangement of the glazing/cladding allowed for alterations to be made to the building in the future, including the repositioning of windows, to suit a different room layout should department ever need to be re-planned. External and internal wall interferences were controlled inside the 3D model. Generated 2D drawings were printed to highlight clashes and to finally optimise the positioning of walls, windows and cladding panels. Team work and collaboration As the brief developed during the design process the 3D approach made it possible to quickly respond to new client and user’s wishes by visualising them on the next day. Avanti Architects were responsible for the overall development of the design. The external façade and the roof details were developed by Kennedy Fitzgerald architects, whereas the internal detailing was developed by Avanti


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architects. The architects loaded their counterpart 3D model into their own 3D model. The use of the same software was essential as the project developed to an elaborated state. Specific views were agreed and determined the general arrangement plans (GA plans). The fixed views generate the appropriate 2D plans from the 3D model. The software allowed for automatically updated views when changes were made to the 3D model. Through the use of views, floor plans, elevations, sections and details such as staircases were quickly visible. Clashes of external windows and internal partitions were detected. Unfortunately, the engineers were BIM conversant. “If not all architects and consultants were conversant in BIM, this will create gaps in the integrated project team.� In many construction sectors today, the entire design/builder team is not functional in BIM. Hence, the long-term advantage that comes from a fully integrated project, when you hand off the project to the design/builder or contractor, will automatically stop� (Jernigan, 2008).

The 3D model was used as a design model right from the start. Light, air and shadow cast studies led to the conclusion that the balance of naturally and non-naturally ventilated rooms was achieved even with or without a semi-naturally ventilated atrium. The requirements of the brief also matched the proposal of the design. The 3D model also showed lower levels of illumination inside the building than the outside. The need for a continuous glazing in the form of clerestory windows at ground floor level and office windows at first and second floor levels was established.

Due to a lack of PATs inside this BIM software, energy demand analyses and sustainable optimisation were not achieved. Energy reduction measures to achieve a passive energy building were made externally without exploiting the 3D model. This meant that no accurate data was provided and the energy performance could only be predicted. The building was predicted to achieve an annual energy consumption of 128 kWhm2/year. This would meet the NEAT criteria with an excellent score. The passive building design maximised the use of natural ventilation and lighting, solar control and air movement measures. A geothermal heat pump, biomass heating, solar panels and the use of sustainable materials and equipment was incorporated.


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Room data sheets (ADB codes) All room information was assembled through the use of sophisticated software which used the room boundaries to generate room elevations. Each room element referred to a code which was linked back to a huge database of 2D elements such as electrical and sanitary appliances as well as furniture. Room data sheets contained the plan of the room (showing the positions of all furniture and equipment), elevations with mounting heights of elements and reflected ceiling levels, as well as all associated schedules showing detailed equipment lists, doors, room data and finishes.

Conclusion The structural and MEP engineers were not involved into the 3D design process, as laid out and pursuit by the architects. Hence, all structural and MEP 2D information needed to be added by the architects into the 3D model. Providing the owners and engineers with 2D drawings was often associated with more work than if there would have been a shared data model. Publishing 2D drawings meant not only printing A0 hard copies beforehand to detect mistakes but also publishing this information a second time and generating dwfs with all related issue sheets and additional information. Each change, e.g. to staircases, ceilings, partitions, windows meant considerable amounts of paper waste which could also been prevented when working on a shared data model. The design development had been undertaken by an experienced design team. The design became a highly versatile structure, which was able to adapt easily to future change. Although, the design process was a small approach to BIM, the architects were satisfied with the outcome when working on a 3D model. The model was regarded better for coordinating and communicate information as well as generating 2D information, quickly. It was used for designing faรงade options and configuring window and partition options for future change scenarios. It was utilised for shadow cast scenarios and light penetration. However, the engineers could have done well with providing their information in 3D to ease the pressure on issuing, auditing and additional workforce. A single data model shared by all disciplines was not achieved.


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All Figures 18-21: (Source: HOK )

Case Study 2 Conceptual BIM + Architectural BIM + Engineering BIM Building Description: St.Barts and the Royal London Hospital being a state-of-the-art Cancer and Cardiac Centre of Excellence Design Team: HOK Procurement Route: PFI Length of Concession (Including Build Period) = 42 years Cost: ~ £900 million estimated Size: 54,905m2 and 157,030m2 of new-build + 14,171m2 and 33,940m2 of refurbishment. In total 900 in-patient beds/ 10,000 rooms with over 300,000 items of equipment loaded into BIM sqm of the building

Project In February 2002, the UK National Health Trust (NHS) solicited proposals for the renovation and expansion of its Bart’s and the London campuses. The detail design effort began in autumn 2003 with construction expected to be completed in 2013. The Bart’s and The London Skanska team responsible for the construction of Trust’s new hospitals has won the Innovation Award in the Constructing Excellence Awards for their use of interactive three-dimensional computer modelling on the project to ensure best possible use of the space. The very large size and long duration of the Bart’s and London Trust (BLT) project warrant a special effort in the planning of its CAD standards and procedures. “In mid of 2005, the design team was not yet at working drawings (GAs) for the construction phase, but already the contribution made by the HOK team was estimated at some 45 man-years” (Walker, 2005). This mirrors the amount of effort which has to be put in during the design phase when utilising BIM. Team work and collaboration The integrated nature of the single model which was held on a single server in London after the relocation of the team from New York to London required better coordination and communication 32

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results. Changes in the model were often related to systems in the model, and often manifested in multiple drawing views. The way of communication with the teams during the design process negated much of the need for ‘red-marking and drafting changes’ that would have been typical in a non-BIM project. Use of software packages This project is one of the earliest of its size. Unfortunately, the project consumed the use of several software packages. The architects decided for ADT, the structural engineers used CSC 3D+ for concrete and steelwork, the medical team chose Codebook for room data sheets. HOK worked with Autodesk, Excitech and Codebook to develop a link from ADT to Codebook utilising the Area Object; “previously Codebook only in order to make use of the ‘humbled Polyline’ as we did not want to draw room boundaries twice” (Walker, 2005). Daylight studies were produced in IES analysis software. However, during the design phase, programs such as 3D Studio could be eliminated for producing 3D models as the BIM model provided a sufficient model for presentation purposes. However, a ‘Visual Basic for Applications’ code had to be written to facilitate an interchange between the architects and the structural engineers. BIM in use of 3D and 4D A 4D approach was established by enabling the additional software tool “Estimating Desktop” to count building elements for costing and (energy analysis), including room areas, wall types and extents, doors and glass.

Figure 19: Division of the model by component

Figure 20: Division of the model by level

Figure 21: Division of the model by them


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Challenges to the design process Both process and cultural changes were needed in advance of utilising a BIM approach, and working with the BIM has resulted in additional changes that were not fully foreseen. HOK recognised right from the start, that BIM had to be fully introduced and utilised. It was also critical, that certain actions would be essential to ensure success. While significant training was carried out at the start it was also recognised and agreed that there would be “incremental” training over time as the project developed and that new areas of expertise was required. An entirely new BIM specialist had been added to the project team. Such individuals were responsible for the integrity of the model, and divide the work according to building systems and components (curtain wall, core, etc.) rather than by sheet as in conventional drafting. These positions require staffs that were relatively knowledgeable about the construction of the building as well as very capable using the software, skills which were not easily found in the same person. On the other hand, the need for pure drafting staff was greatly reduced. The most obvious change in designing with BIM was that elements were no longer drawn line by line but through parametric objects. The commitment and the benefits of designing with objects were clear but drafters still had to be reminded from time to time. When a deadline was getting close and a particular drawing had to be produced, there was a temptation to just “draw some lines”. Mostly this was a problem with a few project members who strayed back to their traditional ways of working. However, this was increasingly recognised as producing a short-term gain but at the same time a longer term loss which if left in place would cause problems later.

Teamwork and Collaboration Due to the technology of BIM software in 2002, the software was still not elaborated enough to accomplish what seemed to be standard, today. “For this and other reasons, the client chose to locate the entire interdisciplinary design team to a single new location.” This brought more effective results in terms of promoting collaboration and built a positive team spirit. However, “it came with the expenses that some team members were relocated and had tended to isolate the BIM experience from the rest of the office” (Walker, 2005). “Simply putting all the team members in the same room does not necessarily build good relationships and an integrated team. More effort and planning needs to be put into establishing the components of TEAM (Trust, Enthusiasm, Appreciation, and Mutual respect) that can be continued throughout the duration of the project and maximise the full potential of IPD” (AECbytes Viewpoint Nr. 45, 2009). George Dimitrov, another member of the team said “that in his view the major challenge on this project was the large number of people involved. This could have posed a serious coordination problem. Steve Hartwanger, a senior member of the design team said, “that people must stand back and view the whole lifecycle of the project; the initial management problems and set-up overhead of ADT is tiny for the gains you get later.”


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Conclusion HOK Group made a major commitment to Building Information Modelling (BIM) in general being one of the first offices utilising BIM in its infancy. The firm sees the intelligent use and exchange of information in the building industry as one of its strategic goals. Mario Guttman, firmwide CAD Director, states that, “We see hospitals as our best initial opportunity to gain added value by maintaining life-cycle information about a facility. Owners are already very savvy about these database issues and they have a lot of high-value assets that lend themselves to management through a BIM approach”. The project was fortuitous in that it provided an opportunity for HOK to develop firm wide BIM standards that were capable of handling very complex projects, since it can be assumed that they will then be capable of handling simpler ones. The ability to rapidly change complex Curtain Wall objects throughout 20 floor levels coordinated on plans, sections, elevations and visualisation with individual glazed panels identified, enabled HOK to schedule 29,000 Curtain Wall Units on the Royal London Hospital with ease sufficient for them to verify Thermal Calculations to comply with Part L2 of the Building Regulations.

Timeline 1993 – 1997: First proposals for a new hospital for east London 1997 – 2002: Developing proposals for the current new hospitals programme 2002 – 2003: Identifying a private-sector partner 2004 – 2005: The town planning process December 2005 – March 2006: Reconsidering the proposals April 2006 – present day: Construction of new hospitals for east London and the City. The Director of Finance and Investment presented the Full Business Case (FBC) for the new hospitals program to the public meeting of Bart’s and The London’s Trust Board on 6 September 2006. 2010: expected completion


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All Figures 22 - 24: (Source: SMCCV)

Case Study 3 Conceptual BIM + Architectural BIM + Engineering BIM + Analysis BIM Building Description: Sutter Medical Hospital Centre Castro Valley (SMHCV), USA Design Team: Devenney Group General Contractor: DPR Construction Lean/BIM project integration: GHAFARI Associates Procurement Route: Partnering Contract, Cost: ~ $320 million estimated funded by Sutter Health, a community based health care provider Size: 130 beds

Project Eden Medical Centre is a trauma centre for Southern Alameda County and has served thousands of patients over that time, including victims of the 1989 ‘Loma Prieta’ earthquake. The client is Sutter Health who is one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit networks of community-based health care providers. “Sutter Health identified the fundamental motivation for the project as the need to dramatically improve patient safety, clinical and logistic operations efficiencies, construction cost containment and facility sustainability. The prototype would be a scalable 60-90-120 bed secondary care, general acute services facility. This was to be a Greenfield site and the proposed solution would be adaptable to varying site constraints. Adaptability in this case was more focused on building design features and standardisation of the key processes (clinical and logistic) than on a specific floor plan” (Chambers, 2010).


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The need for a new hospital arose from California’s hospital seismic safety law, SB1953, passed in 1994 that requires every hospital in the state to meet specific criteria to the structures providing uninterrupted care during a struck. The deadline for complying with SB1953 is by 2013. The SMCCV project had several challenges that made it a good candidate for an IPD+BIM approach: 

Tough deadline for both design and construction,

30% faster schedule than a conventional schedule,

Cost target could not be exceeded.

None of these could be met with the conventional design-bid-build process, as that was seen too iterative and took too long, and usually results in higher risk of rework and higher cost.

Team work and collaboration The core team was assembled early on in the planning process to sign a preliminary IFOA (Integrated Form of Agreement) that commits them to function as an IPD (integrated project delivery) team. A GMP (guaranteed maximum price) was included in the final partnering contract along with profitsharing incentives for all the participating firms to finish the project on time and under budget. The consulting firm ‘GHAFARI Associates’, a leading A/E firm specialised in advanced BIM use and AEC technology was taken on board to leverage their expertise in the form of consulting service. It was a necessity, that all team members used BIM along with supporting collaboration and analysis tools and adopt the principles of lean construction. This IPD approach encouraged the participating firms to change their normal work process and devote people full-time to this project, as opposed to the traditional process where they typically had people working on 3 to 4 projects at a time. In addition to the core IPD team, there were over 25 additional firms in the expanded project team, who were also supporting the IPD approach and adjusting their traditional process. A brief is seen as a fundamental basis for a successful project, the project and management team decided to allow as much thoughtful deliberation as possible.

Design Process The IPD approach and the BIM tool and contract strategies which were taken on right from the start boasted the schedule in such a way, that the design was going ahead quickly. The reduction in design time could mean a reduction of cost. “An important aspect of meeting the time deadline for this project was to improve upon the typical review process by the state regulatory agency for hospitals, OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development). This agency normally takes 16-24 months to review a conventionally designed project after it has been submitted and issue the necessary approvals and permit. The IPD team for the SMCCV project is using a “phased review” approach instead, where they submit the fully coordinated construction documents to OSHPD in stages (see Figure 2).” (Khemlani, 2008).


Individual Research and Data Collection

Figure 23: The design and OSHPD review schedule originally planned for the SMCCV project. (Source: SMCCV IPD team)

Despite the challenges of the site, the complicated shape of the design and the schedule and budget constraints, the use of BIM on this project was indispensable (Figure below). Having drawn up the concept design, the aim was to produce a multi-disciplinary, fully coordinated 3D model first and delay the production of paper documents until the last responsible moment to then produce them with as little rework as possible.

Figure 24: evolved 3D model with structure, MEP and cladding data


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A facility close to the site was rented specifically for face-to-face meetings. The entire project team met there at least every fortnight, and those who cannot physically attend were remotely connected when required to the meeting sessions using the ‘GoToMeeting’ collaboration application. The coordinated model was projected on one large screen, with a second adjacent screen showing the related plan view in 2D (Figure 1). By asking questions to the specific team member, clarifications on issues such as electrical, plumbing, ADA compliance (DDA), door swings, fire-rated walls, medical equipment, acoustics, lighting could be solved. The software ‘Solibri Model Checker’ helped for automated code-checking and easy-to-use visualisations and an intuitive walk-in functionality. The software detected clashes, showed wall interferences, validated spaces, analysed escape routes and fire compartments and showed all dimensions of building elements in one work environment. The SMCCV team found this area very promising, even though the technology still needed a great deal of development to make it more usable and effective. In contrast to the conventional process where changes and clashed do not show up as obvious and often end up creating major issues on the construction site, problems here were detected almost immediately in a collaborative design process and subsequently resolved.

“In reviewing the combined model within ‘NavisWorks’, the project team at one point detected some new beams that hadn’t originally been present, which were now clashing with some of the MEP ducts and conduits. There was a flurry of consternation and a “timeout” was declared to try and figure out what was going on” (Khemlani, 2008).

The capability allowed older and new versions of a model to be compared using color coding to determine exactly what had changed since the last review process (Figure 4). “It turned out, that in addition to the new beams that had been added, the depths of some of the existing beams had also been changed” (Khemlani, 2008). The structural firm had not informed the rest of the team.

Value Stream Mapping Another important aspect of the SMCCV project was the extensive use of Value Stream Mapping (VSM). The SMCCV team was using VSM to continuously improve their design process and streamline their workflows. They were able to achieve substantial design time savings. Some examples of the maps at various stages are shown in Figure 1. Maps became a focal point of collaboration and were constantly revised by the team to reflect current conditions and new ideas. This kind of continuous evaluation of the process as the design is progressing increased the quality and reliability of the information that was produced and helped decision-making processes.


Individual Research and Data Collection

Conclusion A project like this took the initiative and leadership of an owner such as Sutter Health, which had the confidence to embark upon unchartered territory and put together a team that could actually deliver on this project as envisaged by the IPD concept. Design time for structure was reduced from an expected 15 months to 8 months, and informed by far more information from other disciplines than is usually available. Despite all the time spent planning the design process and meeting to do 3D coordination—all of which were billable hours—the cost for design was at or below what was anticipated. The dedicated consulting firm managed the BIM process and other technological aspects of the project. The use of the latest BIM technologies was a necessity. The key, however, is that all firms were fully committed to adjust their traditional processes to take advantage of the opportunities of BIM+IPD. However, despite the availability of relatively advanced collaboration technologies such as online meeting applications and video conferencing, the traditional face-to-face collaboration was still indispensable to sit in the same room and to work out design issues in real time were the core of the design phase. The SMCCV project was a project showing that IPD was not just a utopian vision but a practical reality that can be implemented on large as well as small projects. “It seems that with IPD, the AEC industry is coming full circle—the profession that started out with a master builder, and subsequently went through enormous fragmentation over the years, is now bringing all those people back again together to design and construct better quality buildings more efficiently and effectively” (Khemlani, 2008). The Sutter Project is seen as a ”Prototype Hospital Initiative”, where “Sutter Health engaged in a unique process of building a knowledge base for project planning, design and construction parameters. The development of these parameters was all to be based on lean concepts. The development process was also uniquely founded upon lean philosophy” (Chambers, 2010).


Individual Research and Data Collection

3.2 Online Survey

Figure 25: Online Survey accessible on

The survey was limited to 3 nations, the USA, the UK and Germany. A total of 120 architectural offices specialized in healthcare were consulted. A total of 20 offices responded. This is an outcome of 16,7%. The summary of all respondents’ answers can be found in ‘Appendix– Survey Results’ or downloaded at The data from the literature review was used as a basis to form the questionnaire of the onlinesurvey.


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The spread of BIM 1. What country is your architectural firm based? 69 German offices and 34 of UK and US offices were consulted. However, 9 out of 20 respondents came from the UK, 5 from the US and 5 from Germany. Hence, the use of BIM is seen higher in the UK and the US, compared to Germany. 2. How many people work at your architectural firm? 0% of offices had 1-2 employees, 20% of offices have 3-19 employees, 25% had 20-49 employees, 35% had 50-120 employees and 20% had more than 150 employees. 3. Does your office use BIM? 12 offices were using BIM and 8 offices were not. The information in this survey however, did not distinguish between non-BIM users and BIM users in the following questions. 4. Is your office considering implementing BIM in the near future? Only 8 offices responded to this question: 6 offices were clearly considering using BIM in the near future, whereas 1 office will not use BIM in the near future. 1 office abstained, whereas 12 offices did not commented on this, which could be seen as an abstention. The high number of abstention might be due to a general lack of knowledge of what BIM does, how and why BIM is used. 5. What is the spread of CAD and BIM workstations? An average of 108 CAD-workstations were used in all offices, whereas 38 of them were equipped with BIM software. On average, BIM is installed on every 3rd CAD workstation 6. Approximately, how many projects is your office involved in? No office had no projects, no offices had 1-2 projects, 2 offices had 3-5 current projects working on them, 6 offices had 6-10 projects and 11 offices had more than 10 running projects. Comparing this result with the previous question 2, it follows, that the offices with more employees were the same respondents who worked on more projects. 7. Of those projects, how many involve BIM use? Out of 20 offices, 8 offices had none of their project involved with BIM (=40%), no offices had 12 BIM projects, 6 offices had 3-5 BIM projects (=30%), 3 offices had 6-10 BIM projects (=15%) and 3 offices had more than 10 BIM projects (=15%). It is conspicuous, that the same respondents with more employees and more projects had more BIM projects, whereas smaller offices were hardly involved in BIM projects.

The use of BIM 8. At which work-stage do you normally start with 3D input? (multiple answers possible) All 20 offices started with 3D-input (Conceptual BIM) during work-stages A and E (equivalent to the German HOAI Leistungsphasen 1-5). Whereas 8 offices already started at work-stage A, 6 offices at work-stage B, 5 offices at work-stage C, 2 offices at work-stage D, only 1 office started at work-stage E. This is a clear sign for early involvement of BIM at early design stages, which corresponds to how BIM should be used according to the Literature Review.


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9. When do you use 2D drawings in your projects? (multiple answers possible) 40% of all offices replied in using 2D-drawing to start off a project, 50% replied in using 2D drawings for construction drawings and details, whereas 45% replied in using 2D-drawings for the whole project. Question 7 determined, that 60% of all offices had more than 3 BIM projects. 2D is used during the production of detail and construction drawings (50%). 2D drawings served as a basis for starting off a project (40%) as well as for the whole project (45%). Hence, BIM projects highly depend on 2D – input, 2D – drawings and prints during the whole DDP. However, due to multiple answers, this question could not clearly show the 2D usage inside a BIM or non-BIM project or both as well as when and how many 2D-drawings needed to be generated. 10. If your office does not use BIM, what has prevented or restricted you from doing so? (1=fully disagree, 5=fully agree) Most offices agree (4), they had “no external incentive or directive to move towards BIM.” Most offices were neutral (3), towards no adequate training available, nor staff enthusiasm, high cost of software/hardware and danger of losing design freedom as well as too little knowledge/experience about BIM in general. They disagreed (2) with the risk of losing existing programming techniques, the danger of producing 'stereotype' buildings and the danger of losing design intent. 11. If your office currently uses BIM, what does your office use it for? OR....if you don't use BIM, what would your office use it for? (1=never, 5= always) Most offices often (4) use BIM for design control and generating design options (Conceptual BIM), spatial planning, e.g. optimising workflows, generating floor plans, sections and elevations (Architectural BIM), collaboration for clash-detection and visualisation and presentation purposes (Analysis BIM). They hardly used BIM for structural estimates and analyses and MEP estimates and analyses (Engineering BIM). 12. Does/Would your office make use of the following BIM related activities during the design development process and during the pre-construction process? (1=never, 5= always) Most offices often (4) used Conceptual BIM for creating design options, conceptual studies for presentations, massing, building heights and volumes, light and shadow cast scenarios and 3D visualisations. Architectural BIM was often used for component based elements and generating 'room data sheets'. Analysis BIM was often used for clash-detection analyses with engineers. 13. Does/Would your office make use of following estimating tools when utilising BIM? (1=never, 5= always) Most offices would often (4) use Bidding BIM for scheduling of quantities and estimating of cost. Hardly any offices would (2) use BIM for storm/water/earthquake acoustics or fire safety analyses. 14. Does/Would your office make use of modelling architectural elements in BIM? (1=never, 5= always) Architectural BIM was mainly used for building skin, external walls and openings, internal walls and openings, floor and roof assemblies. 15. Does/Would your office make use of modelling structural, mechanical and electrical design elements in BIM? (1=never, 5= always) When Engineering BIM was used, it was mainly used for steel columns, beams, trusses, concrete and steel details as well as HAVAC, MEP major equipment and light fixtures and panels (3).


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16. Does/Would your office make use of analysing the whole building energy performance with BIM? (1=never, 5= always) Architects often use Analysis BIM (4) for day light, shadow and reflection calculations (4). 17. Is your office involved in green projects? Out of 20 offices, 12 offices were involved in green projects and 8 were not. 18. Which Green software (building analysis application) are you using? Out of a list of 6 sofware tools (PATs), Autodesk Ecotect, Graphisoft EcoDesigner and Bentley Green software were used the most, whereas non-mentioned PATs were also used.

The value of BIM 19. Does your office outsource BIM work? No office replied to this question. This could be reason for either a lack of knowledge in or no active outsourcing. 20. Has adopting BIM brought a positive or a negative impact on your staff? Out of 20 offices, staff from 6 offices made a positive impact. There was neither negative or no impact detected. 21. Is your office planning to invest in more BIM over the next years? 5 offices want to invest in BIM within 1 year, 4 offices within 2 years and 2 offices within the next 3-5 years. 9 offices did not reply to this. This might be reason for already existing BIM usage. As 45% of offices will invest into BIM before 2011, this was a strong sign for a switch from traditional CAD to BIM. 22. Of how many BIM tools did you know during the questionnaire? 6 offices knew of 75% or more BIM and PAT tools, 2 offices knew of less than 50% and 2 offices knew of less than 25%. 10 offices did not reply to this question. 23. Which 2D software do you use currently? Out of 20 offices, 5 offices still used Autodesk’s traditional 2D-AutoCad. It still remains the preferred option for drawing plans. Although this does not mean that CAD usage is preferred to BIM usage. By referring to question 7 and 9, this survey could not detect whether 2D-drawings were produced for a BIM project or a 2D-CAD project. It can only be presumed, that offices produced 2D-drawings generated from BIM projects and workflows and that 2D drawings were used as a basis for starting off a project and producing plans, sections and elevations for construction drawings. 4 offices used Autodesk’s AutoCad Architecture and 2 offices used Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD for 2D purposes. Bentley Microsation, Vectorworks and Autodesk’s Revit Architecture were each mentioned once. 24. Which BIM software package does your office use? By far, Autodesk’s Revit Architecture is the preferred BIM software with 6 respondents. However, this does not mean being the most advanced and most adequate software for healthcare design. One office each preferred Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD, Bentley Mircostation and Autodesk’s AutoCad Architecture as their BIM tool.


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25. Which additional software does your office use? As an additional software tool, 3 respondents used others than mentioned here, 2 offices used PATs within their Bentley Microsation and 2 offices used Autodesk’s Navisworks. 26. Which software do you intend to purchase? The preferred BIM software to purchase was Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD and other not listed software. Nemetschek Allplan and Bentley Microstation came second. 27. Please enter any other thoughts or comments on BIM.... There were no answers.


Individual Research and Data Collection

3.3 Interview Having talked to Rahul Shah, BIM/CAD Manager from MAAP, a London based healthcare office, I was informed, that “MAAP had established a clear BIM rollout plan and aimed to become 100% BIM competent by 2010-11 with BIM fully integrated in all they do.” By this time, MAAP should have made enough savings to pay for the implementation and more. The firm had undertaken ROI (return of investment) studies for BIM implementation that indicated an ROI of over 260% over four years; it is estimated to be even higher once more BIM projects have been completed.

BIM Management However, “it was very challenging and a very steep learning curve for the team to try and match the output coming from BIM to the earlier project protocol that had been established with 2D-AutoCAD. But with time, MAAP would become better and more efficient at producing output that would match the established BIM protocol“ (Shah, R. 2009). The BIM management group is actively working on this and also conducting BIM training at project kick-offs to achieve this goal. “MAAP pursues the use of BIM where it makes good business sense for a particular project’s delivery. As MAAP projects vary in scope and the services that MAAP is offering, each project is carefully assessed before. The level of development of BIM model also depends upon the project size and type along with the agreed design team CAD/BIM protocols“ (Shah, R. 2009). Based on this, an architectural office, no matter how big, had to be fully committed to this transition and accommodate the different style of practice, work process and project needs. Not only does the software have to be purchased, but the whole team needs to be re-trained, which is accompanied with huge investments, expertise, effort and endurance. Mainstreaming BIM in engineering and architectural offices required the following actions: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) 7.)

Managing change (towards a holistic design delivery) Staff education in utilising BIM New workflow patterns need to be established Teamwork on one model rather than dual track with 2D/3D data Building CAD/ BIM office standards Develop a 6 year plan to switch from 2D CAD to BIM by utilising it on a live project Staff training and education, evaluation of BIM tools is an ongoing process.

“The biggest selling point of BIM was the bidirectional associativity of plans, elevations, sections and schedules. Whenever a designer made any changes to any part of the building, the changes were propagated to all levels correcting relevant drawings and schedules automatically, saving a huge amount of time. For a typical 2D CAD workflow, this would have taken days to coordinate manually with the possibility of human errors. The architects were happy knowing they didn’t need to manually coordinate plans, elevations, sections, and schedules, and used that time saving to enhance the design“ (Shah, R. 2009)


Evaluation of Individual Research



4.1 Evaluation of Case Studies The 3 case study hospitals show 3 different approaches of BIM utilisation by adopting BIM on different levels of expertise. They represent the experiences of architects, engineers, contractors and owners and demonstrated a catalogue of benefits and disadvantages which were discovered during the planning and construction process. Each Case Study approach was seen as a feasible BIM approach. The table below evaluate the 3 Case Studies based on their utilisation of the 5 BIM models.

Case Study 1 The Treatment Centre was regarded as a ‘small scaled’ BIM project. Here, BIM was used for future flexibility and sustainable planning tasks. A ‘Conceptual + Architectural’ BIM approach demonstrated the use of 3D CAD for conceptual models, presentations and coordination of architectural plans. BIM was utilised to support the design development process. In this scenario, architects modelled a 3 dimensional building and retrieve and prepare 2-dimensional plans from it and then passed them along to engineers for fitting in systems. Unfortunately, engineers were not involved in the BIM process. Coordination had therefore taken place in 2- dimensional environment mainly with floor plans, building sections and elevations. Case Study 2 The Bart’s showed higher levels of BIM expertise. ‘Conceptual, Architectural + Engineering BIM models were used. A ‘medium’ BIM’ approach enhanced the ‘small’ BIM approach by cost-modelling and process simulations conflict checking exercises – mostly with Engineers as an internal, project-byproject oriented exercise. BIM was utilised for collaboration and team-working scenarios, as well as for component based modelling techniques to establish firm wide BIM standards at HOK. Case Study 3 Inside the Sutter Medical Centre, all disciplinary BIM models were utilised: Conceptual, Architectural, Engineering + Analysis BIM. A ‘BIG’ BIM approach was the use of fully 3D/4D/5D tools to work globally and no longer in isolation from anything or anyone. Data was fed from a central repository that archives everything. The data was sharable, interoperable and grows over time. PATs were utilised for geographical (seismic) and spatial analyses. The Sutter Medical Centre was seen as a good example for a successful BIM + IPD implementation, where tight collaboration between all firms was achieved through BIM and IPD. This hospital was seen as a prototype project: Based on a client’s specific LEAN Project approach, BIM was utilised to achieve a holistic integrated design process with all members involved, for real collaboration processes, to provide target value design, to guarantee cost and time benefits.


Evaluation of Individual Research

Ratings of Component Questions (+ poor, ++ moderate, +++ strong)

Case Study 1

Case Study 2

Case Study 3

Conceptual and masterplanning modelling




What is healthcare information planning




Structural and engineering modelling




Analysed and optimisation planning



Scheduling of quantities and estimating of cost




Figure 26: Ratings Case Studies

4.2 Evaluation of Online - Survey Concluding from the survey evaluation above, the spread of BIM was more recognisable in the UK and the US, than in Germany. 55% of offices using BIM had more than 50 employees. Bigger offices had more BIM projects than smaller offices. On average, 60% of all offices with more than 50 employees had more than 3 BIM projects. Around 45% of offices will invest in BIM before 2011. Autodesk’s Revit Architecture was the preferred BIM software, whereas Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD was on the wish list of architects. There was still a certain lack of knowledge in offices of what BIM does. 3D-input already started at preliminary design stage, however there was also a tendency to start as late as at detail design stage (L) – which would correspond with the fact, that BIM was used for clashdetection. BIM projects still depended on 2D – input, 2D – drawings and prints during the whole DDP. Offices still had no external incentive or directive to move towards BIM at the moment. Architects, who are BIM conversant made use of the following: Conceptual BIM, for design control and generating and creating design options. Conceptual models for massing, building heights and volumes, light and shadow cast scenarios, 3D visualisations and presentation renderings. Architectural BIM for generating floor plans, sections and elevations. Spatial planning for optimising the design and using component based elements to generate 'room data sheets'. Engineering BIM came hardly into place at architects offices. This underlines the separate entities of BIM utilisation. Analysis BIM was used for clash-detection and, visualisation and presentation purposes such as day light, shadow and reflection calculations. Bidding BIM was used for scheduling of quantities and estimating of cost purposes based on core components such as walls, slabs and windows.


Evaluation of Individual Research

4.3 Evaluation of Interview Based on new project protocols and new office standards in order to replace the existing CAD standards, MAAP looked at a steep learning curve with appropriate staff and continuous training for each new BIM project. Apart from managing change, huge investments, expertise in team working, effort and endurance, a thorough road map was needed to be developed to switch from 2D CAD to BIM. This could be done by utilising BIM on a live project, where staff training and education and evaluation of BIM tools was an ongoing process and will be. According to MAAP, this effort will be paid back with cost and time benefits. Concluding, real ‘Commitment, Communication, Collaboration, and Coordination’ was needed when an office switched from 2D-CAD to BIM.

The implementation of BIM still means a complete change of resources is required and is associated with huge investments. This puts it at a disadvantage for smaller firms who are interested in making the step towards an integrated design process, but can’t afford it. A possible solution could be a ‘pay as you model’ scheme, where the cost of the software is paid for by frequency of using it. As late as logging on to the software, the vendor could apply a certain fee. Another solution could be a renting or leasing mechanism, where the software is lent by the consortium or owner to all companies involved during a project. Above all, the question about the ownership of the 3D model is still an open question, even if there is a ‘partnering contract’ in place. This is an essential point when it comes to legal issues and when a huge amount of money is shifted around. Generally, BIM and their PAT applications are difficult to learn given its extensive capabilities. Simplifying the interface of some BIM applications to make them easier to learn and use would be tremendously helpful for the user. If there was a better priced version of BIM software that did not include all of its powerful capabilities, BIM vendors could offer BIM software by building types, such as healthcare buildings. The software would be tailored for healthcare buildings and their component libraries would contain specific elements for healthcare infrastructures.


Evaluation of Individual Research

5 CONCLUSION Separate BIM entities inside an integrated design process Building design is a broad and collaborative undertaking. It is in this broad context during the design process that BIM must operate, by both enhancing quality and coordination. The conformity between architectural, structural and MEP models include the reasoning for walls and slabs modelled with beams and columns and coordinated with all MEP services. All 5 BIM entities are crucial for the design development process (DDP). They have to be met and maintained, throughout. Although bigger construction firms have already adopted BIM, the implementation in smaller offices remains somewhat slow. It is associated with huge investment, competent staff and the fear BIM software might have not yet been fully elaborated. Yet, BIM and PAT interfaces are still difficult to control and the learning curve is steep. Challenges of BIM lie in recognising the shift of responsibilities, work processes, the integration of the different trades, appropriate and fair contracts between the whole team, as well as interoperable and smaller file sizes to foster the process of an integrated building model. For example, if anybody in the supply chain is not BIM proficient, the benefits of BIM will effectively stop at this point (Case Study 1). Although short-term benefits still make the process valuable, much of the owner’s value comes during the operation. If the owner does provide BIM expertise, any long term benefits for building operations such as facility and maintenance (FM) are possible. Under the contractual framework of an ‘Integrated Project Delivery’ (IPD), however, BIM can bring a collaborative approach to design through a shared model technology, which meets the design project documentation requirements. Detailing in 3D models and walkthroughs are used as facilitator of discussions between the client, the architects and contractors, e.g. through focus group meetings or video-conferences. The design review process changes, as BIM enables the entire team to work with a shared data model and communication breakdowns are reduced. Access to project’s information are shared and controlled. Ideally, the open BIM-platform brings all participants back on one table (or screen), right from the start and throughout the project. BIM enables interference checking of visual modelled elements for all systems and disciplines. In the future, BIM has the potential for better model integrity and absolute performance design which could include simulations of energy, airflows, fire spread, and acoustics. The possibilities and advantages of this would be immense. The 3D experience supports the design process to achieve planning agreements rather than disputes. Hospital staff can participate and express their needs, while architects can implement them into the model. For the first time, the client’s wishes will more evident in the end result. Staff contribute actively their clinical expertise and experience of workflows, details (interior fittings) and maintenance to eventually design and optimise a thoroughly well thought out hospital. This collaborative workshop with architect and client and the early decision making process, costly errors are minimised while workflows are optimised and real partnering contracts are achieved. 50


5.1 Design Recommendations Conceptual BIM Supports visualisation, flexibility and sustainability planning - Quick massing models envision first ideas and mark the first design solution by influencing the building’s whole life value. 3D modelling/BIM is used for spatial planning, sun studies and shadow casts scenarios, early energy performances, cost estimates and site management. Clients to be involved into scenario testing of light and shadow, better spatial coordination and checking of sightlines and access options. The integration to early cost parameters can allow for studying quick alternative solutions. A design process which is based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) guarantee updates of ever changing infrastructure and site constraints. Right from the start, the model should be set up properly as it becomes a repository for all data. Architectural BIM Reduces administrative work and allows focus on design - Hospitals easily have more than 20 different types of specialised services and consultants involved. Due to specialised technology and detailing embedded in healthcare facilities, design and construction errors are very costly to correct later. So far, common guidelines and notes were translated into a drawing only to then realise they had become obsolete, following that RFIs (request for information) and RFC (request for change) are common. With BIM, such administrative work is incorporated and is visible with readily available building data for commissioning and recommissioning. This work process reflects more the responsibilities of architects and reduces file management requirements. Assists with faster coordination of disciplines - Inside such ‘high information developments’, design coordination is a key issue in the building industry. Very complex and specialised functional requirements have to be met by the needs of a very diverse list of users. The solution is to ensure that design information is developed within a shared environment. The further we move decisions forward in the design timeline, the earlier we achieve more control by gaining a prolonged design process to realise the design intent, retrieve distinct analyses, cost schedules and consistent construction documents. This will result in faster delivery of projects, with improved communication capabilities for clients and consultants. The 3D database, including operations and maintenance, will allow architects, contractors and owners to stay involved throughout the building’s lifespan. Automates drawing set navigation - Automated design processes guarantee time and cost benefits to the client as less administrative work for updating and amending drawings is required. The automation of repetitive elements speeds up drafting. Purpose-built modelling refers to the process of selectively building detailed models of building sections/components to check interference, to provide more detailed information to the construction team, for information to the client at the early design phase. Due to parametric modelling, fewer coordination errors and easier change control are achieved. This guarantees more coherent construction documents and bridges the different requirements for the various BIM models and leads to better supply chains. BIM is a repository for objects with ‘as manufactured’ building components and specifications. Already existing digital



prototypes, e.g. typical patient room layouts can be further optimised in future BIM projects. This significantly reduces design approximations and planning cost in order to creates a more refined design based on sound healthcare theories. Allows model checkers to assist with quality control – Healthcare design matters for design and construction information are better communicated through a purpose-built integrated 3D model. BIM defines customised rules for model checking analysis in the building design. Based on healthcare design rules, model checker refers back to databases for checking design parameters. In the future, BIM software could be tailored for healthcare buildings and include all the capabilities necessary to build specialised healthcare buildings. Their component libraries would only contain specific elements for healthcare infrastructures. Engineering BIM The conformity between structural and MEP models include the reasoning beams and columns modelled with all conduits, trusses and pipes. Designers visualise MEP layouts to detect collisions and interferences to immediately and automatically synchronise them. The 3D geometry finds conflicts before they materialise in the field (mitigation of clashes). Revisions to the plan, including architecture, can be checked in much less time compared to CAD or drafting methods. All data is automatically and continuously followed back in plan and analysed in a variety of views and filters. Designers can add, delete, and modify fixtures and outlets easily with automatic update to the engineering data and the model. It visualises the building early in the process and therefore supports and accelerates the decision making process. The detailing of Engineering BIM is linked and automatically synchronises their schedules. Analysis BIM Based on long-term considerations, the whole building approach is a deductive approach as single issues step back for the sake of the design identity. Here, analysis can support best life values. BIM and PATs can analyse, optimise and enhance the building performance (Green Building – Certificates, Energy Analysis). Building optimisation is guaranteed through performance analyses (geographical, spatial, energetic, acoustical, for fire safety, structural and MEP), e.g. sophisticated algorithm for defining escape routes of the building or the spread of fire and smoke in real time. More model analysis integrates the design and prevents splitting up the tasks. Bidding BIM Efficient production and speed of delivery of a building refers to coordinated design with quantity takeoffs (e.g. minimising material consumption), time scheduling and the integration of cost estimation systems. For optimisation of schedules and cost, BIM significantly reduces rework, as schedules, specifications and costs are linked to the model. Bidding BIM adds efficiency to generate documents by easily extracting architectural, strucutrual and MEP specifications from the 3D model. It saves building costs by decreasing design related flaws, enables more accurate and up-to-date cost estimates and supports transparent and more reliable planning processes, saves labour and time. By using an existing database for cost, area and material quantities control, Bidding BIM is a sustainable approach to optimise future healthcare projects.



5.2 ‘Design Guideline’ for healthcare planners By reformulating my findings and summarising from the literature reviews, the 3 Case Studies, the Online-survey and the Interview, the Outcome forms a ‘Design Guideline’ – a possible briefing approach and an initiative to mainstream BIM in architectural offices. The aim is to establish a precise ‘generic brief’ for designers when using BIM in their early design process. Setting-Up BIM Choose the software that matches the expectations of the client, the AEC team as well as the facility management team (interoperability). BIM’s simultaneous working processes and teamwork capabilities have heavy demands on design tools, computer power and data flows resulting in a potential drag and lag on the design process. Invest into latest technology to allow interoperability and making best advantages of BIM and PATs. Contractual Arrangements BIM is a total change of existing office structures and cultures. Identify expectations ahead of time of all of key players inside the integrated team. Inside an ‘Integrated Project Delivery’ (IPD) set up partnering clauses, also tough targets and deadlines, e.g. GMPs (Guaranteed Maximum Price) as well as a thorough and stable design brief. BIM projects are Design + Build contract forms due to their early and detailed DDP. As the process shifts forward in the timeline there are limited deferred approvals. Make use of 3D visualization, renderings and ‘fly-through’ to promote your ideas. Allow for early automated review processes (clash detection) to mitigate risks. Clarify the degree of commitment to BIM implementation (for customization, etc.). Full commitment of all disciplines to achieve one common goal - Commitment, Communication, Collaboration, and Coordination. Establish protocols for communication, for building the model, for information requests. “BIG room” coordination with decision makers in central area. Prepare to make BIM the heart of the process – a typical ‘BIM war room’ approach is essential. Consider who generates and owns the data and decide who will be the keeper of the BIM model when it is all said and done. Staff management Inform staff how to utilise BIM as workflow patterns are new to use: Teamwork is done on one model rather than dual track with 2D/3D data. It needs a 6 year plan to switch from 2D CAD to BIM by developing CAD/ BIM office standards and utilising BIM on a live project, continuous staff training and education in utilising BIM as new workflow patterns need to be established. Be aware, that the evaluation of BIM tools is an ongoing process. Make sure, you have sufficient expertise, a BIM specialist to set up technology in the first place. Manage change (towards a holistic design delivery) by building the most helpful conceptual object and data model and relate to the initial time investment in creating a BIM model. Decide on the level of detail to be included – matching the level with the decision support mission of the model built.



BIM facilitates team collaboration, team members in different cities can interact with groupings of objects, has less requests for information and change (RFI and RFC). It can support just-in-time decision making process for equipment purchasing decisions – medical equipment planning. Keep people involved to a minimum, as a single shared data model brings better coordination of information. No more than 5 people (+ 1 BIM manager) for a 10.000m² gross area healthcare project are needed.



6 APPENDICES 6.1 Referenced software solutions Autodesk Revit Family

Graphisoft ArchiCAD Family

Other PAT applications:

Autodesk AutoCad Autodesk Architecture (ADT) Autodesk Ecotect Autodesk Green Building Studio Autodesk Revit Structure Autodesk Revit MEP Autodesk Navisworks Autodesk Map 3D Autodesk Civil 3D

Graphisoft ArchiCAD Graphisoft EcoDesigner Graphisoft Physik Graphisoft MEP Modeler Graphisoft Virtural Building Explorer

IES Virtual Environment Solibri Model Checker Tekla Structure e-Specs Dprofiler CodeBook Google Sketchup/Earth/Maps

Figure 27: Refernced BIM products

6.2 Interoperability + file-exchange Data interoperability is a key enabler to achieving the goal of an integrated design process and the use of secondary applications. The IFC (Information Foundation Class) format ‘ifcXML2x3’, by June 2007 is a common data schema that makes it possible to hold and exchange relevant data between different software applications. The IFC format was originally developed by the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) established in 1995 by American and European firms. Since 2005, the IFC specification is developed and maintained by buildingSMART International. Graphisoft, a BIM vendor and the developer of ArchiCAD, was the first software company worldwide to allow users to save/export their files in the IFC format. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (, waste due to “inadequate interoperability” cost the U.S. capital facility industry $15.8 billion in 2002. The primary waste-creating culprits identified by the study included a continued reliance on paper-based processes, non-standardised documentation, and inconsistent adoption of technology. Until now, a single programme does not allow the whole spectrum of performance analysis, a mix of programs and addons must be utilised. The ways in which structural analyses, energy performing analyses or geographic information to name only a view, are linked to the BIM authoring tool today, is still associated with the use of separate program alternatives manufactured by different software vendors. The construction industry is looking for a way to get away with the need for multiple data entries. Efforts are underway to create an interoperable file which supports structural analysis and to smaller degree, energy analysis. The object oriented file format ‘IFC’ enables IFC models to carry annual solar radiation gains, but not lighting,



acoustic or airflow simulations. Such tailoring can be expected as BIM technology becomes more widely adopted.

Figure 28: The upcoming file exchange system with IFC (Source: American Institute of Steel Construction)

Some BIM companies already offer their own applications to provide the additional capabilities: ‘Autodesk Revit Architecture©’ and ‘Autodesk Revit Structure©’ as well as Autodesk MEP©’ have the same interface and data is easily interoperable. Basic objects and relationships commonly used by structural engineers, such as columns, beams, walls, slabs, etc. are fully interoperable with the same objects in their sibling architectural BIM application. These applications are able to calculate structural loads and abstract behaviours of connections by providing direct running structural analysis and by optimising the structure in order to achieve building code approval. ‘Graphisoft ArchiCAD©’ offers a ‘one-click’ energy analysis with an in-built application called EcoDesigner©. An energy performance certificate can be printed before the building is completed (see chapter ‘Energy Analyses’).

Modelling task

File exchange

Landscaping, geographic modelling Building placement, building elevations and massing studies Shadow cast scenarios and light penetration Space planning and allocation Structural system Exterior envelope MEP and HVAC and vertical circulations Energy demand

IFC 1.5.1, 2.0, 2x2 and 2x3 format for all 3D architectural and structural exchange

2D/3D DWF and 2D/3D PDF for layouts and communication

Estimated operating costs Material scheduling Fire egress, storm and water flooding, earthquake simulations 3D Communication

Autodesk Map 3D, Google LandXplorer, GIS-systems inside BIM or GIS

DWG for 2Dand,

Artificial and natural lighting Solar gain and natural ventilation

Appropriate Software (PATs)

gbXML and DXF with PAT, CityGML for GIS


inside BIM inside BIM, Autodesk Naviswork, Solibri Model Checker, Graphisoft VBE Autodesk Revit Structure, Tekla Structure inside BIM, ArchiFacade, Revit Structure MEP modeller, Autocad MEP Green Building Studio, IES, ArchiPhysic, EcoDesigner Inside BIM and as above Green Building Studio, IES, ArchiPhysic, EcoDesigner, Autodesk Ecotect D-Profiler e-specs Special software required, not listed here

Autodesk Design Review, Adobe Acrobat 9 Figure 29: Possible file exchange options for BIM and PAT



6.3 Online survey results












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