Sunday, May 15, 2011

Should building owners be asking for ‘performance-based’ or ‘prescriptive’ BIM?

During my involvement with BIM I’ve had the privilege to set the BIM framework for a number of building projects.
In retrospect I wish I’d more often based those documents on the principle described in the following paragraph:

This project is required to be fully delivered using BIM.
We as owners of the future building and the main providers of funds for it to happen, ask to have a “Digital Building Model-based” approach put in place for the duration of the project, that will result in us having full transparency in what is going on from start-to-finish.
We need up-to-date reporting on activities of all parties employed on this project and immediate feedback on how well the design is developed, where costs are compared with forecasts, advancement of construction and generally progress.
We ask for graphical, multidimensional representations of integrated data in accessible formats for us to be able to assess all criteria described.

This paragraph above I classify as a ‘performance-based-specification’ as opposed to a prescription-type, that spells out exactly how something is to be done;
Too much room to wiggle out of providing meaningful BIM by allowing the consultants to decide how the owner’s goals are achieved?

I prefer this approach to setting detailed rules. Those need a lot of skills to interpret and they usually constrain real improvement and innovation in BIM.

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