Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Qatar-list for BIM (or just sweet revenge for someone?)

Many other BIM-mers stated it before (after/alongside) me that BIM needed to be first-and-most driven by building owners.
Still, few commentators have gone into any depth on why building clients were unwilling/unable to do this effectively.
When questioned, most cite superficial reasons like cost, technology, lack of skills, resources etc.
Labeling these factors as ‘superficial’ might not be entirely fair from my side – as they CAN be significant obstacles, still, compared to the main one, and that is the ‘lack of incentive to do so’, they ARE minor.

Consequently, I have not been holding my breath waiting for a mass uptake of BIM by various building owners operating around me, although have seen a number of them getting their ’feet wet’ by specifying some (often very low) level of BIM requirements in their tender documents.

One example on the other hand, has been standing out for a while for its boldness.
A huge project from Qatar that came across my desk about 3 months ago had gone further than most.
In it, a pretty demanding BIM spec.

Our dilemma followed (internally):

Should one fully and properly price the BIM (and likely lose the job on price) or should one replace ‘pretend 2D’ (already priced) with ‘pretend 3D’ (at no extra cost) and hope for the best?

Obviously others have come to similar conclusion request for clarification from a tenderer turned up – (see below);

The answer provided by the owner’s representative was amazing (in a way) – though made me suspect that a kid had hijacked someone’s computer to write it, it was so ‘out there’!

No one in their right mind would ask for ‘all rebar design shall be BIM modelled’ – and I comment with the experience of our company having had done quite a bit of rebar modelling …

(and a bit of rebar BIM modelling too, but all????)

The answer and its originator, whether they’d turn to be THE great BIM catalyst of the region or exposed just as a kid driving a Mack, certainly made my day with their entertaining value;

On the other hand, the spec could be someone’s sweet revenge for decades of ‘underground-BIM’ work, finally getting the opportunity to make their mark.

Now, that I can relate to!





Q: The tender document requires that all design and construction information shall be modeled as a single discipline model in reference to appendix E in volume 4. (a) Please clarify that the temporary works can be excluded in the scope of 3D modeling for BIM. (b) Please clarify that the rebar model for all structure also should be carried out in the scope of 3D modeling.

 A: (a) All design and construction information (including temporary works) shall be modeled (b) All rebar design shall be BIM modeled.



  1. I hope we hear more about this project. Like you, I'm looking for the punchline....

  2. The punchline is that you should do it all for free :)

  3. I know about one single example of an owner requesting BIM in our region. This was for a new hospital to replace three existing sites. In fact, the technical director saw some presentations from a local software reseller and training institute and was convinced that this was the way forward. So he forced the architects and the engineers to step up the bandwagon. They agreed (not knowing what hit them), but got good results out of it.

    One of the main reasons was that the owner understood the added value of the model for the owner, as a model to manage maintenance, keep an overview. In most cases, the owner does not (and should not) care about the savings in the design process, apart from the improved qualiity through better communication and collaboration.


  5. You can blame software vendors for some of this along with Consultant organisations that overstate their capabilities.

    I work for a large constructor and am continually surprised that designers haven't discussed new options for documentation based on the capabilities of BIM.

    Better communication of design information normally only displayed in 2D has a benefit to the construction teams along with the ability to modulise work areas that is rarely discussed at conferences I attend.

    I think consultants need to think outside the square and look at what can benefit the constructor who is 85% of the spend on a project. This along with value to the building owner in tagged FM content which could be leveraged with the Constructor as a value add at handover.


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