At Vico, we believe that BIM involves much more than just creating a 3D model and spinning it around on the screen. It might be better defined as a new, integrated construction planning and management methodology, also referred to as Virtual Construction. Although 3D coordination is an extremely valuable capability that many firms have adapted by now, we think that it is only the beginning of planning and managing construction projects in a more efficient, effective and understandable way.
Therefore, when we started the development of our BIM Score Calculator, we began by defining the aspects (or areas of proficiency) that we believe should be part of an integrated construction planning and management approach, which ranges from design team engagement to cost and schedule planning and project/enterprise management.
The 7 categories of BIM proficiency include:
1. Portfolio and Project Management
2. Cost Planning
3. Cost Controlling
4. Schedule Planning
5. Production Controlling
6. Design Coordination
7. Design Team Engagement
Portfolio and Project Management involves the creation and use of project status reports that provide managers insight in planned versus actual progress, material and resource usage, as well as forecasts based on the performance so far. Portfolio Management contains a roll up of this type of reports to the enterprise level.
Cost Planning is the evolution of estimating into a more proactive methodology to calculate and report projected cost, using the integration and cooperation with the design discipline to provide rapid and more frequent feedback to partners and owners.
Cost Controlling goes along with Cost Planning and is used to determine current status of the project's cost, as compared to earlier versions, as well as a set of cost targets per building system.
The integrated approach for Schedule Planning is more than just drawing bars that reflect the expected (desired?) duration of a task, which results in just an uncoordinated "window of opportunity" for subcontractors that come on board in a later stage. It determines the amount of work by using BIM quantities per location and applying production rates obtained by measuring performance in previous and current projects.
Production Controlling using BIM means checking completion of the project per location, and deriving the actual progress from quantities rather than guesstimates. This actual production is then fed back into the baseline schedule to reforecast the entire job – based on progress to date. This means valuable real-time feedback for more accurate forecasting and decision making.
Most companies who have tried BIM today are already familiar with the Design Coordination category: clash detections are run on the sets of trade models and issues are resolved by working with the various parties involved, to create a coordinated 3D model for all trades. Design Coordination also involves change management and constructability reviews.
Lastly, planning and organizing your design, cost, and schedule content to connect seamlessly and defining a process that all parties follow during the design phases of the project falls in the Design Team Engagement category.
For all of the categories, we have developed three questions: one about use of software, one about best practices and processes, and one question about the level of integration with other categories.
When you answer the three questions per seven aspects, the calculator cranks out your BIM Score.
We send you a detailed report after completing the questions in the survey. We also point out areas where we think you have a "gap" between your current situation and potential BIM use. The maximum score is 100 points – so go to our website to calculate your BIM Score and let me know what you think!
My colleagues have also penned some interesting articles on the topic: