International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Comparative analysis of existing building information modelling (BIM) guides Keenliside, Susan Jun 30, 2015

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5th International/11th Construction Specialty Conference 5e International/11e Conférence spécialisée sur la construction    Vancouver, British Columbia June 8 to June 10, 2015 / 8 juin au 10 juin 2015   COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EXISTING BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) GUIDES  Susan Keenliside S8 inc., Canada Abstract: The current approach to development of building information modelling (BIM) guides has catered to each specific client in a unique way. There has been no universal standard format or standardized content employed in the development of these guides from one organization to the next. Conversely, many organizations have pioneered the development of their guides to support the need for standardized methodologies in developing and deploying BIM capability within their organization and/or supported by industry deliverables. Further, published BIM guides around the world define similar or the same terms and concepts in unique ways (and vice versa). The BIM guides project is the first project to leverage existing publications within an open process of consensus standardization, in pursuit of harmonization of concepts, definitions, terms and the organization of how this content is delivered. It uses a review template to capture common metadata fields for comparative analysis within a database. A database of BIM guide information can inform on real-world procedures and requirements from industry. Guidelines are for the user, and this project gives insight and direction to those needing, using and creating BIM guidelines. It is hypothesized that this approach will deliver guides more efficiently, contribute to BIM adoption and standardized use within industry and provide a needed baseline from which the end-user can effectively build their knowledge, skills and abilities. 1 INTRODUCTION In the construction and facilities industries, clients and professionals currently need to perform or outsource a major amount of work to review existing BIM guide documentation in order to develop their own version of a BIM guide for their company or organizational needs. The process of reviewing, analysing and drafting guide documents is labour-intensive and results in parallel or duplication of effort without value added to the achievement of standard procedures or best practices. Recognizing the opportunity for greater efficiency through harmonization of efforts, a group of experts working collaboratively under buildingSMART International launched the “BIM Guides Project” to determine if and how standards and the standards developing process can aid in improving the process of creating, implementing and using BIM guide documentation.  The project’s goals when initially established included publishing a publicly accessed database of pre-defined and user-defined search criteria and then using these results to make recommendations on an international framework for BIM guidance documentation. Additional questions the project seeks to answer include: Can the plethora of global BIM Guides be reverse-engineered down to a few pioneering documents? What are the roots to today's foliage of guidance documentation? What published documents are used in popularity, and thus becoming de-facto industry standards? What are the common elements of BIM guidance documentation across the majority of publications? Where are there gaps in 293-1 existing BIM guidance documentation? How can new concepts in standardized applications be used to the benefit of BIM guidance development? 1.1 Definitions For the purposes of this project, "Guides" refer to any documentation that has been published to support the end-user in applying standardized processes, procedures or technical requirements in Building Information Modeling (bSI BIM Guides Project Team 2014.). 1.2 Current Guidelines Development Process The current process of developing BIM guidelines typically involves one or all of the following steps: • duplication, modification and/or addition of content to an existing guide; • compilation of existing content within a new organization of information (table of contents); and • development of original content.  It takes a lot of time for someone to get up to speed on all major guide publications, as they consider each for content, organization of content, and scope. The results vary in quality, applicability to the ‘real-world’ and achievement of the client’s objectives.   Overall, most clients and consultants will agree with the adage of “not wanting to re-invent the wheel” when it comes to BIM standards and best practices. If information can be available, the general consensus is that this content would be welcomed and leveraged for greater industry use. That said, issues of intellectual property and a general comfort level of openly sharing content developed continues to lead to clients or consultants, willingly or forced, to develop guideline and other standard or best practice documents independently and often uniquely. 1.3 An Industry Project to Benefit from Academic Rigour This project identifies a gap in the current ability to achieve consensus and consistency on BIM guide content. This gap varies from country to country, but exists everywhere nonetheless. This is evident by the amount and variety of guides publically available. Although not initiated as a research project, this industry-identified project recognizes the role that the academic process can bring to achieving rigour in the methods and outcomes, including substantiating results and recognizing value. Future work is anticipated and encouraged within academia in collaboration with this project team to bring best value to industry. 2 BACKGROUND The BIM Guides Project started out of a recognized need during the delivery of the United States’ National BIM Standard, version 3 (NBIMS-USv3). At that time, there was little to no known literature available that provided a way to categorize or classify content of and within guides. Specific focus on comparing guidelines was first introduced by a work group within FIATECH, but limited in scope to focus only on the AutoCodes project (FiatechAutoCodes), and then left to this project to take further.  The BIM Knowledge Content taxonomy (BKC) (Succar 2013) has since been identified and should be reviewed for relevancy in the metadata fields captured within the database via the review template. Identification of the noteworthy BIM publications (NBP)s concept and metrics (Kassam 2013) also provides opportunity to fine-tune the review template for metadata capture that can assist in supporting existing research areas and overall industry needs.  A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose (International Standards Organization 2015). Building off of existing guide content to achieve standardized parts, methods and terms would support greater efficiency in BIM adoption and use. Recognizing that a guide document needs flexibility to achieve its purpose, where trying to standardize on 293-2 too much is not useful or realistic, the project has set its ultimate goal to achieve a framework with sample language and agreed terminology/concepts for easy population of content. 3 METHODOLOGY The project uses a template approach as the key method to establishing a baseline of common fields, or metadata, about the majority of BIM guide documentation available globally.  A template approach is defined as the review of a document captured in a commonly defined template in order to provide a method for comparison of disparate document content. This metadata capture provides the ability to search across document content and make comparisons. The culmination of the analysis places the document in a chart comparing content and scope, where all guidance documentation can be related from a high-level. The choice to use a wiki was based on the capacity to create a searchable compendium of reviews of all known BIM standards, guidelines, and best practices. The Wiki format makes it open to the worldwide BIM community.   Prior to this project there were no real efforts to harmonize BIM guides, whether at a national or an international level. Given the number of established and implemented BIM guides we cannot start over and propose one common international guideline. But harmonization of the content can be accomplished on multiple levels:  1. The first level is to harmonize or map the understanding of its field of application and aimed users. Human interpretation is required to tease out the metadata. The result is being able to query across documents. 2. The second level is mapping content (mainly by chapters) to a common table of contents. The result is the establishment of a common structure or framework, either to aid in comparison or to use when creating new guides. 3. The third level is harmonizing or mapping definitions. Also referred to as searching for keywords, the level of effort to identify and harmonize terminology is significantly greater than the first and second levels. All three levels contribute to the made-to-measure concept of building out guides with consistent or standard terms, definitions and structure.  Figure 1 below illustrates the project’s 3-level concept:   Figure 1: BIM Guide Project Concept 293-3  The goals of the project include: • support a common framework for BIM guides based on the results of the project; • promote BIM guide content that employs open BIM based file exchanges and processes; and • deliver a product application of the database tool for public consumption and use. 3.1 Developing a Matrix for Comparative Analysis The initial approach was to intuitively identify common categories of information type, based on expert experience within the project team, and to plot that content against an implementation level. Captured in Table 2: Guide Mapping Matrix, the comparative analysis hypothesis was that as content within existing standards and guidelines documentation was mapped to this matrix, awareness, consent and agreement on what (level of) content belongs where along the implementation continuum would begin to form from intuitively interpreting the results and recognizing trends or patterns. Table 2: Guide Mapping Matrix Categories of Information vs. Implementation Level* Standards Contracts (& Technical Specifications) Business Processes (By Role, etc.) Tools, Technology, Modelling Guidance International Framework     National Framework     Owner Organization Guides/ Manuals     Facility Managers/ Operators     Trade-Related/  Associations     Project/ Company- Related Use     Software- Related Use     *Guides are qualified by scope and mapped to this matrix; multiple boxes can be checked 3.2 Review Template for Common Metadata Fields The review template was created to capture these common metadata fields, thus providing the method by which to compare guides at a comprehensive level. Overall the capture and completion of a review of a guide document is not intended to be a labour-intensive or exhaustive exercise. Recognizing that BIM guides are so diverse in their content, the intent was to capture overall scope and subject areas from a generalization perspective. Sections are completed from drop-down menus, with a comment field at the end of each section for manual text entry at the reviewer’s discretion for additional information or specificity.  The template splits content into two (2) sections, with multiple sub-sections:   • Part A: Document Overview (Intended Use and Audience) • Section 1 – Document Details • Section 2 – Intended Use and Audience • Section 3 – Document position by type and content (see Table 2 above) • Part B: Document Content • Section 1 – Project Definition and Planning • Section 2 - Technical Specifications  293-4 • Section 3 – Implementation Processes • Section 4 – Supporting Tools • Section 5 – Legal Aspects  The goal is to have each document reviewed three (3) times to ensure accuracy and completeness. Ideally, the document author or authoring organization representative completes one of these reviews. This approach is especially important for documents that require purchase, as users will only want to purchase documents if they can see that they are applicable to their effort.  3.3 Using the wikiX platform  It was determined that using a wiki would serve the database and public-access requirements best. NOTE: This wiki does not host the source documents under review. A link is provided to the source document within the review. Some source documents may require purchase. The database at the metadata level can be used to query guides for items such as general scope and audience, including drilling down to specific topics such as Level of Development, Project Execution Planning or COBie, for example. 3.4 Mapping to a Common Table of Contents Parallel to the effort of trying to compare guides at an overall scope level, is getting down to the table of contents level (ToC). Mapping existing guides to a generic table of contents could be used when assembling from any BIM guidance document the sections within the database that are relevant to their organization or project. Developing a standardised TOC for the BIM Guides Wiki can provide a framework for users wanting to assemble their own customised guide based on content found in the guides included on the Wiki. This can contribute to harmonization of BIM guidance and, in turn, BIM practice. 3.5 Using Keyword Search Functionality The third level of granularity is to achieve functionality that supports keyword searches. This implies that the document content is accessible and set up to be able to be searched at the keyword level. Alternatively, keywords can be tagged to the document by human interpretation that are not already captured at the metadata or table of contents levels. Likewise, this functionality must be completed in conjunction with how the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bsDD) is used and in support of harmonization of terms and concepts. 3.6 The Made-to-Measure Concept The made-to-measure concept is a logical extension to having a database of i) standardized terms, ii) a standardized structure, and iii) access to existing content that can be used with appropriate citation. The idea of being able to have a tool that builds out a BIM guide based on these three levels of available content is theorized to deliver industry efficiency and repeatability in administering BIM guides for project use. Likewise, this kind of tool does not detract from organizations needing organization- and/or project-specific content within their guide(s). The focus is on delivering common content in a common way. This concept is already being leveraged in at least two (2) countries: buildingSMART Norway’s BIM Manual efforts and known activity through buildingSMART Korea. (Note: Both chapters have participants on this project team. The project does not necessarily have the goal to create another, similar tool if an existing tool can be leveraged for the needs of the project.)  3.7 Copyright and intellectual property A licensure letter and accompanying project prospectus document was identified as necessary to engage with document authors and authoring organization on the subject of copyright. The goal of the project is to leverage existing content for mass consumption via a standardization process. It is imperative that authors maintain their IP over existing content. Therefore, a requirement within the project is to ensure that accurate referencing is enabled when content is re-used and that content authors understand and agree to how their content can provide benefit to industry adoption and use of BIM. 293-5 3.8 Using the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) to harmonize terminology The buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) stores concepts with associated definitions to house a common ontology for the building and construction industry (buildingSMART International 2014a.). The open international data dictionary is a service based on [the] IFD Standard (ISO 12006-3) which allows users, architects, engineers, consultants, owners and operators on one side and product manufacturers and suppliers on the other from all around the world to share and exchange essential product information  (buildingSMART International 2014b.). Although not the traditional use of the bSDD, the BIM Guides Project is currently exploring how the bSDD will be used to support this context.   The bSDD group has been engaged and steps have been taken to identify the following: a) understanding and usage of the bSDD (general) b) choice in how the bSDD is used affects the outcome (project-specific) c) the processes for defining, inputting and using standard content in the bSDD d) the harmonization process of content, pre- or post-input to the bSDD e) a BIM guide project interface that accesses the bSDD in the background f) pilot projects that can show proof of concept 3.9 ISO/TS 12911:2012 – Framework for building information modelling (BIM) guidance ISO/TS 12911:2012 establishes a framework for providing specifications for the commissioning of building information modelling (BIM) (International Standards Organization 2012). The design intent behind the technical specification is to deliver structured, computable and therefore testable requirements, including how these requirements cascade down the contractual chain. The contractibility and checking functionality is predicted to be the key to the next generation of the standard.    The concept is to provide a framework that stands above any guide, taking a generic view. It is more ambitous than just a table of contents. It is meant to be used to deliver documents small in size, aimed at one particular deliverable, with multiple documents put together into a handbook for any particular project. The clause layout makes them computable: 1. Applies; 2. Select; 3. Except; 4. Require.  The overall structure divides the content into 3 Framework sections as shown in Table 1 below: Table 1: ISO/TS 12911 Framework Sections Framework Section* Level of Responsibility Topic Description Application Example (UK) Strategic Principals Outcomes (Outputs) Intended Deliverable from BIM Employer Information Requirements (EIR) Management Design Management Controls Management of BIM Project Execution Plan (PxP) Implementation Design Team Inputs (Data) Operational Requirements Digital Plan of Work (DPoW) *Table developed by author to harmonize content and verbal descriptions of content  Under the three (3) framework sections, three (3) levels of guidance are to be established: A. International B. National or Regional C. Project- or Facility-specific  ISO/TS 12911 was not on the radar of any of the experts within the team when this project began. A goal within the project was to use the comparaitive analysis to inform a framework for BIM guidance at the 293-6 international level. Currently, ISO/TS 12911 has been brought to the team’s attention as definition of said framework. Therefore, the team has efforts underway to continue to evaluate the applicability of ISO/TS 12911 to this body of work. Current discussion includes accepting this body of work as a technical standard of a technical standard compared to the fundamental definition of what a guide is. 4 DISCUSSION Harmonization of content (and concepts) when coupled with end-user consensus is a powerful tool to achieving standards and best practices that are respected and used within industry practice. It is not the project’s goal or vision to see one single guide as a standard. Instead, the project team sees value in focusing on key parts that can benefit from the standardization process. The idea is to have a tool available for creation of BIM guidance documentation based on standard terms and structure, with access to sample content referenced from existing sources. In doing so, a “standardized” approach can be taken to align all the various activity and achieve a compendium of (searchable) best practices without diminishing the need for guides to be localised.  Prior to this effort there was no single place to go for this information nor has there ever been an established set of criteria, or methodology, for the comparative analysis of guide documents. It is wasteful for practitioners to attempt to read and digest all the available material each time they wish to validate previous work accomplished. Likewise, it is unreasonable to expect those looking for guidelines for a specific purpose to adopt an existing document without assessing its suitability relative to ‘what is out there’.  The project could help answer the following questions: • How do you know what guidelines and best practices have been developed throughout the world related to Building Information Modelling?  • Some of these guidelines are based on previous efforts; what is their relationship to them?  • How do you ensure that new initiatives are taking advantage of previously accomplished work? • What International Standards are in place, and which ones have an impact on BIM?  • How can you align your work efforts with best practices already in place? • How do you ensure you are not reinventing the wheel when developing a new business practice?  The challenge with this project is identifying sufficient funding and resources to achieve the goals. Alignment to existing research cells, terminology groups and educational curriculum development would help broaden its reach and refine its implementation.  4.1 Highlighting BIM as a Process This project is a way of building up standard parts and best practices based on industry use and acceptance. What it also does is highlight BIM as a process. The purpose of guides is to direct and inform the end-user on tasks, deliverables, processes and practices. Through review of guide content and then building a purpose-specific guide, BIM as a process is highlighted. 4.2 Client-specific needs A strength of the project is the goal to engage directly with authoring organizations as well as to provide a tool for them, and industry at large, to use. It is expected that this project will help raise awareness, provide an educational role, and be a guide in itself for industry’s uptake and standardization around BIM terms, concepts, processes and frameworks.  That said, it should be explicitly recognized that each client has specific needs. By providing a framework and harmonized concepts and definitions, the client is free to tailor their guide to their needs in a standardized way. As the project is launched and we are better able to gauge industry uptake, we can better determine where specific value is being achieved (or not) and develop additional functionality accordingly. 293-7  Authors and authoring organizations in support of this project can expect the following benefits: • added visibility to their organization and published guide(s); • harmonization of content across global BIM guides, including terms and definitions; • informs future versions of their organization’s BIM Guide documentation; • contributes to standards development; and • supports industry adoption of BIM. 4.3 End-user acceptance A guidance document has to be user-friendly. User-friendly means easy to use, operate and understand.  A certain level of standardization as outlined in this project can help to produce guides that are more user-friendly and predicable. End-users typically have to follow a different BIM guide for every different client or even project. Having guides that follow a standardized structure and employ the same definition of terms would make it easier on the end-user and would support end-users delivering the BIM aspects of their projects more consistently across the board. 4.4 Showcasing the use of open standards The project team have discussed and agreed that under the banner of buildingSMART International, “the home of open BIM”, showcasing the use of open standard end deliverables should take precedence to proprietary-focused guides. Whereas there is value in BIM guides with proprietary deliverables outlining important process changes and collaboration methods, there is also a need to recognize milestone deliverables versus final project deliverables in terms of open standards. It’s not always a clean cut, and it’s important to recognize that disparity continues to exist around the world on the functionality and usability of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) deliverables without also including the originating platform files. Certainly, needing to highlight uses of IFC as the final deliverable are needed to dispel the myth that IFC and open standards don’t work. 4.5 The need for a degree of standardization within guidelines Although there will always exist discussion around the ‘degree’ to which standardization is important or practical, certainly a basic requirement is to achieve greater consistency and compatibility between guidance documents.   As mentioned, there is a sweet spot to hit between the flexibility required for clients to define their unique requirements and all end-users having a baseline standard to work from. It seems logical that any end-user would accept an easier way of working. 4.6 Guidelines use as a medium for education At a minimum, guidelines have an opportunity to link to further discussion on topics relative to the end-user level of competency and experience. They are informative, descriptive and cater to a specific audience for a specific need.  Guidance documentation can serve a needed role in the following areas: • help owners/clients define their needs; • communicate corporate and/or project requirements; and • educate industry (or other members of the client organization) on BIM processes, deliverables, technology requirements, among others. 5 CONCLUSION Within the construction and facilities industries, each client feels they do things differently. And they do – to a degree. But doing things differently without attempting to identify commonalities and standard pieces does nothing to improve overall industry productivity. Likewise, authoring organizations, in pursuit of their 293-8 own guide, often would like to build off existing ‘de facto standard’ content, but don’t have access to a database or tool that does this.  This project is a unique opportunity for industry to be engaged in the process of standardization. It leverages existing content being used as ‘de-facto’ standards, and sets out to achieve harmonization of concepts, terms, definitions and the overall structure or framework that guidance documentation is delivered within. What is exciting about it is the level to which industry can be engaged and learn from the process, with an eye to making achievements in efficiency and productivity. Acknowledgements This project has been developed out of the work started in the US-NBIMS Planning Committee (Chris Moor, Former Chair of NBIMS), and specifically within the Product Development Subcommittee (Susan Keenliside, Former Chair of NBIMS-PDS), supported by Deke Smith (Former Executive Director, buildingSMART Alliance). The NBIMS-PDS had already begun to do reviews using the template approach, and it was within the PDS that this work was recommended to be elevated to the bSI forum for international participation. The Process Room group adopted the methodology used by the NBIMS-PDS and agreement was made to move ahead with the guideline reviews and create a wiki to support it at the buildingSMART International Technical Summit Process Room meetings in Munich, Germany, in October 2013, and taken on by Sylvain Marie (VTREEM, France). The current bSI BIM Guide Project team includes (alphabetical order by first name) Deke Smith (United States), Ghang Lee (Republic of Korea), Jan Karlshoej (Denmark), Mark Baldwin (Switzerland), Neil Greenstreet (Australia), Nick Nisbet (United Kingdom), Steen Sunesen (Norway), Susan Keenliside (Canada), Sylvain Marie (France), and Tomi Henttinen (Finland). Thanks to the NBIMS-US PDS members that contributed to the original project: Alan Redmond, Andrew Baranowski, Andy Smith, Chris Moor, Dominique Fernandez, Igor Starkov, Jason Reece, Jeffrey Ouellette, John Grady, John Messner and Monte Chapin. Special thanks to those who participated independently or as past-members of the team: Ingo Kittel, Zeynep Aydin. References bSI BIM Guides Project Team. 2014. Welcome to the BIM Guides Project (Home Page). http://bimguides.vtreem.com/bin/view/Main/. (Accessed 01 28, 2015).  buildingSMART International. 2014a. buildingSMART Data Dictionary. http://bsdd.buildingsmart.org/. (Accessed 01 27, 2015).  buildingSMART International. 2014b. Data Dictionary Services. http://www.buildingsmart.org/standards/standards-library-tools-services/data-dictionary-services/. (Accessed 01 27, 2015).  International Standards Organization. 2012. ISO/TS 12911:2012 - Framework for building information modelling (BIM) guidance. Technical Standard, Geneva: ISO. International Standards Organization. 2015. Standards. http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards.htm. (Accessed 02 12, 2015).   Kassam, M., Succar, B. and Dawood, N. 2013. "A proposed approach to comparing the BIM maturity of countries." CIB W78 2013: 30th International Conference, 9-12 October. Beijing, China. Succar, Bilal. 2013. "Building Information Modelling: conceptual models and a facilitative framework." PhD Thesis (submitted), School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW.  Team, bSI BIM Guides Project. 2014. Criteria. http://bimguides.vtreem.com/bin/view/BIMGuides/Criteria. (Accessed 02 03, 2015).   293-9  5th International/11th Construction Specialty Conference 5e International/11e Conférence spécialisée sur la construction    Vancouver, British Columbia June 8 to June 10, 2015 / 8 juin au 10 juin 2015   COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF EXISTING BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) GUIDES  Susan Keenliside S8 inc., Canada Abstract: The current approach to development of building information modelling (BIM) guides has catered to each specific client in a unique way. There has been no universal standard format or standardized content employed in the development of these guides from one organization to the next. Conversely, many organizations have pioneered the development of their guides to support the need for standardized methodologies in developing and deploying BIM capability within their organization and/or supported by industry deliverables. Further, published BIM guides around the world define similar or the same terms and concepts in unique ways (and vice versa). The BIM guides project is the first project to leverage existing publications within an open process of consensus standardization, in pursuit of harmonization of concepts, definitions, terms and the organization of how this content is delivered. It uses a review template to capture common metadata fields for comparative analysis within a database. A database of BIM guide information can inform on real-world procedures and requirements from industry. Guidelines are for the user, and this project gives insight and direction to those needing, using and creating BIM guidelines. It is hypothesized that this approach will deliver guides more efficiently, contribute to BIM adoption and standardized use within industry and provide a needed baseline from which the end-user can effectively build their knowledge, skills and abilities. 1 INTRODUCTION In the construction and facilities industries, clients and professionals currently need to perform or outsource a major amount of work to review existing BIM guide documentation in order to develop their own version of a BIM guide for their company or organizational needs. The process of reviewing, analysing and drafting guide documents is labour-intensive and results in parallel or duplication of effort without value added to the achievement of standard procedures or best practices. Recognizing the opportunity for greater efficiency through harmonization of efforts, a group of experts working collaboratively under buildingSMART International launched the “BIM Guides Project” to determine if and how standards and the standards developing process can aid in improving the process of creating, implementing and using BIM guide documentation.  The project’s goals when initially established included publishing a publicly accessed database of pre-defined and user-defined search criteria and then using these results to make recommendations on an international framework for BIM guidance documentation. Additional questions the project seeks to answer include: Can the plethora of global BIM Guides be reverse-engineered down to a few pioneering documents? What are the roots to today's foliage of guidance documentation? What published documents are used in popularity, and thus becoming de-facto industry standards? What are the common elements of BIM guidance documentation across the majority of publications? Where are there gaps in 293-1 existing BIM guidance documentation? How can new concepts in standardized applications be used to the benefit of BIM guidance development? 1.1 Definitions For the purposes of this project, "Guides" refer to any documentation that has been published to support the end-user in applying standardized processes, procedures or technical requirements in Building Information Modeling (bSI BIM Guides Project Team 2014.). 1.2 Current Guidelines Development Process The current process of developing BIM guidelines typically involves one or all of the following steps: • duplication, modification and/or addition of content to an existing guide; • compilation of existing content within a new organization of information (table of contents); and • development of original content.  It takes a lot of time for someone to get up to speed on all major guide publications, as they consider each for content, organization of content, and scope. The results vary in quality, applicability to the ‘real-world’ and achievement of the client’s objectives.   Overall, most clients and consultants will agree with the adage of “not wanting to re-invent the wheel” when it comes to BIM standards and best practices. If information can be available, the general consensus is that this content would be welcomed and leveraged for greater industry use. That said, issues of intellectual property and a general comfort level of openly sharing content developed continues to lead to clients or consultants, willingly or forced, to develop guideline and other standard or best practice documents independently and often uniquely. 1.3 An Industry Project to Benefit from Academic Rigour This project identifies a gap in the current ability to achieve consensus and consistency on BIM guide content. This gap varies from country to country, but exists everywhere nonetheless. This is evident by the amount and variety of guides publically available. Although not initiated as a research project, this industry-identified project recognizes the role that the academic process can bring to achieving rigour in the methods and outcomes, including substantiating results and recognizing value. Future work is anticipated and encouraged within academia in collaboration with this project team to bring best value to industry. 2 BACKGROUND The BIM Guides Project started out of a recognized need during the delivery of the United States’ National BIM Standard, version 3 (NBIMS-USv3). At that time, there was little to no known literature available that provided a way to categorize or classify content of and within guides. Specific focus on comparing guidelines was first introduced by a work group within FIATECH, but limited in scope to focus only on the AutoCodes project (FiatechAutoCodes), and then left to this project to take further.  The BIM Knowledge Content taxonomy (BKC) (Succar 2013) has since been identified and should be reviewed for relevancy in the metadata fields captured within the database via the review template. Identification of the noteworthy BIM publications (NBP)s concept and metrics (Kassam 2013) also provides opportunity to fine-tune the review template for metadata capture that can assist in supporting existing research areas and overall industry needs.  A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose (International Standards Organization 2015). Building off of existing guide content to achieve standardized parts, methods and terms would support greater efficiency in BIM adoption and use. Recognizing that a guide document needs flexibility to achieve its purpose, where trying to standardize on 293-2 too much is not useful or realistic, the project has set its ultimate goal to achieve a framework with sample language and agreed terminology/concepts for easy population of content. 3 METHODOLOGY The project uses a template approach as the key method to establishing a baseline of common fields, or metadata, about the majority of BIM guide documentation available globally.  A template approach is defined as the review of a document captured in a commonly defined template in order to provide a method for comparison of disparate document content. This metadata capture provides the ability to search across document content and make comparisons. The culmination of the analysis places the document in a chart comparing content and scope, where all guidance documentation can be related from a high-level. The choice to use a wiki was based on the capacity to create a searchable compendium of reviews of all known BIM standards, guidelines, and best practices. The Wiki format makes it open to the worldwide BIM community.   Prior to this project there were no real efforts to harmonize BIM guides, whether at a national or an international level. Given the number of established and implemented BIM guides we cannot start over and propose one common international guideline. But harmonization of the content can be accomplished on multiple levels:  1. The first level is to harmonize or map the understanding of its field of application and aimed users. Human interpretation is required to tease out the metadata. The result is being able to query across documents. 2. The second level is mapping content (mainly by chapters) to a common table of contents. The result is the establishment of a common structure or framework, either to aid in comparison or to use when creating new guides. 3. The third level is harmonizing or mapping definitions. Also referred to as searching for keywords, the level of effort to identify and harmonize terminology is significantly greater than the first and second levels. All three levels contribute to the made-to-measure concept of building out guides with consistent or standard terms, definitions and structure.  Figure 1 below illustrates the project’s 3-level concept:   Figure 1: BIM Guide Project Concept 293-3  The goals of the project include: • support a common framework for BIM guides based on the results of the project; • promote BIM guide content that employs open BIM based file exchanges and processes; and • deliver a product application of the database tool for public consumption and use. 3.1 Developing a Matrix for Comparative Analysis The initial approach was to intuitively identify common categories of information type, based on expert experience within the project team, and to plot that content against an implementation level. Captured in Table 2: Guide Mapping Matrix, the comparative analysis hypothesis was that as content within existing standards and guidelines documentation was mapped to this matrix, awareness, consent and agreement on what (level of) content belongs where along the implementation continuum would begin to form from intuitively interpreting the results and recognizing trends or patterns. Table 2: Guide Mapping Matrix Categories of Information vs. Implementation Level* Standards Contracts (& Technical Specifications) Business Processes (By Role, etc.) Tools, Technology, Modelling Guidance International Framework     National Framework     Owner Organization Guides/ Manuals     Facility Managers/ Operators     Trade-Related/  Associations     Project/ Company- Related Use     Software- Related Use     *Guides are qualified by scope and mapped to this matrix; multiple boxes can be checked 3.2 Review Template for Common Metadata Fields The review template was created to capture these common metadata fields, thus providing the method by which to compare guides at a comprehensive level. Overall the capture and completion of a review of a guide document is not intended to be a labour-intensive or exhaustive exercise. Recognizing that BIM guides are so diverse in their content, the intent was to capture overall scope and subject areas from a generalization perspective. Sections are completed from drop-down menus, with a comment field at the end of each section for manual text entry at the reviewer’s discretion for additional information or specificity.  The template splits content into two (2) sections, with multiple sub-sections:   • Part A: Document Overview (Intended Use and Audience) • Section 1 – Document Details • Section 2 – Intended Use and Audience • Section 3 – Document position by type and content (see Table 2 above) • Part B: Document Content • Section 1 – Project Definition and Planning • Section 2 - Technical Specifications  293-4 • Section 3 – Implementation Processes • Section 4 – Supporting Tools • Section 5 – Legal Aspects  The goal is to have each document reviewed three (3) times to ensure accuracy and completeness. Ideally, the document author or authoring organization representative completes one of these reviews. This approach is especially important for documents that require purchase, as users will only want to purchase documents if they can see that they are applicable to their effort.  3.3 Using the wikiX platform  It was determined that using a wiki would serve the database and public-access requirements best. NOTE: This wiki does not host the source documents under review. A link is provided to the source document within the review. Some source documents may require purchase. The database at the metadata level can be used to query guides for items such as general scope and audience, including drilling down to specific topics such as Level of Development, Project Execution Planning or COBie, for example. 3.4 Mapping to a Common Table of Contents Parallel to the effort of trying to compare guides at an overall scope level, is getting down to the table of contents level (ToC). Mapping existing guides to a generic table of contents could be used when assembling from any BIM guidance document the sections within the database that are relevant to their organization or project. Developing a standardised TOC for the BIM Guides Wiki can provide a framework for users wanting to assemble their own customised guide based on content found in the guides included on the Wiki. This can contribute to harmonization of BIM guidance and, in turn, BIM practice. 3.5 Using Keyword Search Functionality The third level of granularity is to achieve functionality that supports keyword searches. This implies that the document content is accessible and set up to be able to be searched at the keyword level. Alternatively, keywords can be tagged to the document by human interpretation that are not already captured at the metadata or table of contents levels. Likewise, this functionality must be completed in conjunction with how the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bsDD) is used and in support of harmonization of terms and concepts. 3.6 The Made-to-Measure Concept The made-to-measure concept is a logical extension to having a database of i) standardized terms, ii) a standardized structure, and iii) access to existing content that can be used with appropriate citation. The idea of being able to have a tool that builds out a BIM guide based on these three levels of available content is theorized to deliver industry efficiency and repeatability in administering BIM guides for project use. Likewise, this kind of tool does not detract from organizations needing organization- and/or project-specific content within their guide(s). The focus is on delivering common content in a common way. This concept is already being leveraged in at least two (2) countries: buildingSMART Norway’s BIM Manual efforts and known activity through buildingSMART Korea. (Note: Both chapters have participants on this project team. The project does not necessarily have the goal to create another, similar tool if an existing tool can be leveraged for the needs of the project.)  3.7 Copyright and intellectual property A licensure letter and accompanying project prospectus document was identified as necessary to engage with document authors and authoring organization on the subject of copyright. The goal of the project is to leverage existing content for mass consumption via a standardization process. It is imperative that authors maintain their IP over existing content. Therefore, a requirement within the project is to ensure that accurate referencing is enabled when content is re-used and that content authors understand and agree to how their content can provide benefit to industry adoption and use of BIM. 293-5 3.8 Using the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) to harmonize terminology The buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) stores concepts with associated definitions to house a common ontology for the building and construction industry (buildingSMART International 2014a.). The open international data dictionary is a service based on [the] IFD Standard (ISO 12006-3) which allows users, architects, engineers, consultants, owners and operators on one side and product manufacturers and suppliers on the other from all around the world to share and exchange essential product information  (buildingSMART International 2014b.). Although not the traditional use of the bSDD, the BIM Guides Project is currently exploring how the bSDD will be used to support this context.   The bSDD group has been engaged and steps have been taken to identify the following: a) understanding and usage of the bSDD (general) b) choice in how the bSDD is used affects the outcome (project-specific) c) the processes for defining, inputting and using standard content in the bSDD d) the harmonization process of content, pre- or post-input to the bSDD e) a BIM guide project interface that accesses the bSDD in the background f) pilot projects that can show proof of concept 3.9 ISO/TS 12911:2012 – Framework for building information modelling (BIM) guidance ISO/TS 12911:2012 establishes a framework for providing specifications for the commissioning of building information modelling (BIM) (International Standards Organization 2012). The design intent behind the technical specification is to deliver structured, computable and therefore testable requirements, including how these requirements cascade down the contractual chain. The contractibility and checking functionality is predicted to be the key to the next generation of the standard.    The concept is to provide a framework that stands above any guide, taking a generic view. It is more ambitous than just a table of contents. It is meant to be used to deliver documents small in size, aimed at one particular deliverable, with multiple documents put together into a handbook for any particular project. The clause layout makes them computable: 1. Applies; 2. Select; 3. Except; 4. Require.  The overall structure divides the content into 3 Framework sections as shown in Table 1 below: Table 1: ISO/TS 12911 Framework Sections Framework Section* Level of Responsibility Topic Description Application Example (UK) Strategic Principals Outcomes (Outputs) Intended Deliverable from BIM Employer Information Requirements (EIR) Management Design Management Controls Management of BIM Project Execution Plan (PxP) Implementation Design Team Inputs (Data) Operational Requirements Digital Plan of Work (DPoW) *Table developed by author to harmonize content and verbal descriptions of content  Under the three (3) framework sections, three (3) levels of guidance are to be established: A. International B. National or Regional C. Project- or Facility-specific  ISO/TS 12911 was not on the radar of any of the experts within the team when this project began. A goal within the project was to use the comparaitive analysis to inform a framework for BIM guidance at the 293-6 international level. Currently, ISO/TS 12911 has been brought to the team’s attention as definition of said framework. Therefore, the team has efforts underway to continue to evaluate the applicability of ISO/TS 12911 to this body of work. Current discussion includes accepting this body of work as a technical standard of a technical standard compared to the fundamental definition of what a guide is. 4 DISCUSSION Harmonization of content (and concepts) when coupled with end-user consensus is a powerful tool to achieving standards and best practices that are respected and used within industry practice. It is not the project’s goal or vision to see one single guide as a standard. Instead, the project team sees value in focusing on key parts that can benefit from the standardization process. The idea is to have a tool available for creation of BIM guidance documentation based on standard terms and structure, with access to sample content referenced from existing sources. In doing so, a “standardized” approach can be taken to align all the various activity and achieve a compendium of (searchable) best practices without diminishing the need for guides to be localised.  Prior to this effort there was no single place to go for this information nor has there ever been an established set of criteria, or methodology, for the comparative analysis of guide documents. It is wasteful for practitioners to attempt to read and digest all the available material each time they wish to validate previous work accomplished. Likewise, it is unreasonable to expect those looking for guidelines for a specific purpose to adopt an existing document without assessing its suitability relative to ‘what is out there’.  The project could help answer the following questions: • How do you know what guidelines and best practices have been developed throughout the world related to Building Information Modelling?  • Some of these guidelines are based on previous efforts; what is their relationship to them?  • How do you ensure that new initiatives are taking advantage of previously accomplished work? • What International Standards are in place, and which ones have an impact on BIM?  • How can you align your work efforts with best practices already in place? • How do you ensure you are not reinventing the wheel when developing a new business practice?  The challenge with this project is identifying sufficient funding and resources to achieve the goals. Alignment to existing research cells, terminology groups and educational curriculum development would help broaden its reach and refine its implementation.  4.1 Highlighting BIM as a Process This project is a way of building up standard parts and best practices based on industry use and acceptance. What it also does is highlight BIM as a process. The purpose of guides is to direct and inform the end-user on tasks, deliverables, processes and practices. Through review of guide content and then building a purpose-specific guide, BIM as a process is highlighted. 4.2 Client-specific needs A strength of the project is the goal to engage directly with authoring organizations as well as to provide a tool for them, and industry at large, to use. It is expected that this project will help raise awareness, provide an educational role, and be a guide in itself for industry’s uptake and standardization around BIM terms, concepts, processes and frameworks.  That said, it should be explicitly recognized that each client has specific needs. By providing a framework and harmonized concepts and definitions, the client is free to tailor their guide to their needs in a standardized way. As the project is launched and we are better able to gauge industry uptake, we can better determine where specific value is being achieved (or not) and develop additional functionality accordingly. 293-7  Authors and authoring organizations in support of this project can expect the following benefits: • added visibility to their organization and published guide(s); • harmonization of content across global BIM guides, including terms and definitions; • informs future versions of their organization’s BIM Guide documentation; • contributes to standards development; and • supports industry adoption of BIM. 4.3 End-user acceptance A guidance document has to be user-friendly. User-friendly means easy to use, operate and understand.  A certain level of standardization as outlined in this project can help to produce guides that are more user-friendly and predicable. End-users typically have to follow a different BIM guide for every different client or even project. Having guides that follow a standardized structure and employ the same definition of terms would make it easier on the end-user and would support end-users delivering the BIM aspects of their projects more consistently across the board. 4.4 Showcasing the use of open standards The project team have discussed and agreed that under the banner of buildingSMART International, “the home of open BIM”, showcasing the use of open standard end deliverables should take precedence to proprietary-focused guides. Whereas there is value in BIM guides with proprietary deliverables outlining important process changes and collaboration methods, there is also a need to recognize milestone deliverables versus final project deliverables in terms of open standards. It’s not always a clean cut, and it’s important to recognize that disparity continues to exist around the world on the functionality and usability of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) deliverables without also including the originating platform files. Certainly, needing to highlight uses of IFC as the final deliverable are needed to dispel the myth that IFC and open standards don’t work. 4.5 The need for a degree of standardization within guidelines Although there will always exist discussion around the ‘degree’ to which standardization is important or practical, certainly a basic requirement is to achieve greater consistency and compatibility between guidance documents.   As mentioned, there is a sweet spot to hit between the flexibility required for clients to define their unique requirements and all end-users having a baseline standard to work from. It seems logical that any end-user would accept an easier way of working. 4.6 Guidelines use as a medium for education At a minimum, guidelines have an opportunity to link to further discussion on topics relative to the end-user level of competency and experience. They are informative, descriptive and cater to a specific audience for a specific need.  Guidance documentation can serve a needed role in the following areas: • help owners/clients define their needs; • communicate corporate and/or project requirements; and • educate industry (or other members of the client organization) on BIM processes, deliverables, technology requirements, among others. 5 CONCLUSION Within the construction and facilities industries, each client feels they do things differently. And they do – to a degree. But doing things differently without attempting to identify commonalities and standard pieces does nothing to improve overall industry productivity. Likewise, authoring organizations, in pursuit of their 293-8 own guide, often would like to build off existing ‘de facto standard’ content, but don’t have access to a database or tool that does this.  This project is a unique opportunity for industry to be engaged in the process of standardization. It leverages existing content being used as ‘de-facto’ standards, and sets out to achieve harmonization of concepts, terms, definitions and the overall structure or framework that guidance documentation is delivered within. What is exciting about it is the level to which industry can be engaged and learn from the process, with an eye to making achievements in efficiency and productivity. Acknowledgements This project has been developed out of the work started in the US-NBIMS Planning Committee (Chris Moor, Former Chair of NBIMS), and specifically within the Product Development Subcommittee (Susan Keenliside, Former Chair of NBIMS-PDS), supported by Deke Smith (Former Executive Director, buildingSMART Alliance). The NBIMS-PDS had already begun to do reviews using the template approach, and it was within the PDS that this work was recommended to be elevated to the bSI forum for international participation. The Process Room group adopted the methodology used by the NBIMS-PDS and agreement was made to move ahead with the guideline reviews and create a wiki to support it at the buildingSMART International Technical Summit Process Room meetings in Munich, Germany, in October 2013, and taken on by Sylvain Marie (VTREEM, France). The current bSI BIM Guide Project team includes (alphabetical order by first name) Deke Smith (United States), Ghang Lee (Republic of Korea), Jan Karlshoej (Denmark), Mark Baldwin (Switzerland), Neil Greenstreet (Australia), Nick Nisbet (United Kingdom), Steen Sunesen (Norway), Susan Keenliside (Canada), Sylvain Marie (France), and Tomi Henttinen (Finland). Thanks to the NBIMS-US PDS members that contributed to the original project: Alan Redmond, Andrew Baranowski, Andy Smith, Chris Moor, Dominique Fernandez, Igor Starkov, Jason Reece, Jeffrey Ouellette, John Grady, John Messner and Monte Chapin. Special thanks to those who participated independently or as past-members of the team: Ingo Kittel, Zeynep Aydin. References bSI BIM Guides Project Team. 2014. Welcome to the BIM Guides Project (Home Page). http://bimguides.vtreem.com/bin/view/Main/. (Accessed 01 28, 2015).  buildingSMART International. 2014a. buildingSMART Data Dictionary. http://bsdd.buildingsmart.org/. (Accessed 01 27, 2015).  buildingSMART International. 2014b. Data Dictionary Services. http://www.buildingsmart.org/standards/standards-library-tools-services/data-dictionary-services/. (Accessed 01 27, 2015).  International Standards Organization. 2012. ISO/TS 12911:2012 - Framework for building information modelling (BIM) guidance. Technical Standard, Geneva: ISO. International Standards Organization. 2015. Standards. http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards.htm. (Accessed 02 12, 2015).   Kassam, M., Succar, B. and Dawood, N. 2013. "A proposed approach to comparing the BIM maturity of countries." CIB W78 2013: 30th International Conference, 9-12 October. Beijing, China. Succar, Bilal. 2013. "Building Information Modelling: conceptual models and a facilitative framework." PhD Thesis (submitted), School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW.  Team, bSI BIM Guides Project. 2014. Criteria. http://bimguides.vtreem.com/bin/view/BIMGuides/Criteria. (Accessed 02 03, 2015).   293-9  Comparative Analysis of Existing BIM Guides Susan KeenlisideTerminologyFor the purposes of this project, "Guides" refer to any documentation that has been published to support the end-user in applying standardized processes, procedures or technical requirements in Building Information Modelling.Concept• One-off development of guides• Time-consuming to create effective and relevant guides• Need for a degree of standardization• Organization of content• Scope of content• Referencing sources of information• Terms and concepts not used consistently• BIM implementation and end-user experience could be greatly enabled by a tool for guide creation and content populationProject’s 3-Level Concept:A buildingSMART International Project• International Working Group• bSI for standards development piece• Terms• Common Table of Contents• bSI for community and quality brandMetadata Template Review• Way to compare guides (“it is what it is”)• Data collection activity (human element required to interpret)• High-level, broad comparison:1. Audience2. Scope3. Technical4. Legal5. Reference StandardsTemplate: Part A – Document Overview1. Document Details2. Intended Use and Audience3. Document Position by Type and ContentTemplate: Part B – Document Content1. Project Definition and Planning2. Technical Specifications3. Implementation Processes4. Supporting Tools5. Legal AspectsTemplate: Part C – Chapter Mapping• Testing a Common Table of Contents• As a mapping methodology / functionality to compare content• To identify gaps in current available guidance• To identify common areas of sufficient coverageTemplate: Part D – Terminology & Definitions• Alignment with the buildingSMART Data Dictionary (bSDD) for terms• Steps to do this:1. Identify key terms2. Determine if the same concept to a term already in the Data Dictionary3. Follow harmonization process if the same concept4. Enter new terms if concept is different5. Identify source of term definition, including language/country originOpenBIM Criteria• To promote the use of open standards…the main requirement, both in the daily inter-disciplinary exchange and at handovers to be openBIM (IFC or other buildingSMART Data Schemas). It is acceptable if the guide in addition requires proprietary formats for specific purposes that are not supported by current levels of implementation of open formats.Using xWiki for the functionality desired• Public and open platform• Complex Search function• Repository viewer• Easy to interconnect                                                                               additional functionality• Google Map• Mendeley• bSDD• Etc.Map-enabled Searching• Using Google Map• Query function• Visual picture of global representationGuide Mapping Matrix / Positioning MapEngaging Document Authors & Industry• The end goal of the project is to be a useful resource and tool for industry.• Part of this is to engage with the published document authors and authoring organizations to provide:a) Awareness of the projectb) Engagement in the review processc) Support for future guide version publicationd) Feedback on continuing to deliver a useful resource and tool for industryProject Team• Australia: Neil Greenstreet• Canada: Susan Keenliside• Denmark: Jan Karlshoej• Finland: Tomi Henttinen• France: Sylvain Marie• Korea: Ghang Lee et al.• Norway: Steen Sunesen• Switzerland: Mark Baldwin• United Kingdom: Nick Nisbet• United States: Deke Smith*Work began under the Product Development Subcommittee (PDS) of NBIMS-US Version 3 (Chris Moor, Chair).Activities we’re following:ISO 12911:2012• Framework for building information modelling (BIM) Guidance• Technical Spec• Structured• Computable• Testable Copyright & IP Norms• A Prospectus and Copyright Release letter have been drafted to interface with document authors and authoring organizationsMade-to-Measure Tool Concept• Norway• KoreaDiscussion• Many questions this project can help answer• Highlighting BIM as a process• Client-specific needs supported• End-user acceptance• The need for a degree of standardization within guidelines• Guidelines use as a medium for educationConclusions• Each client feels they do things differently.• Need to identify commonalities and standard pieces• Identify ‘de facto’ standard content• Critical to engage with industry (harmonization process + tool)• Supports a framework where knowledge, skills and abilities can be developed and assessed• A GLOBAL ANALYSIS WITH LOCAL APPLICATIONThank YouSusan.Keenliside@gmail.comhttp://BIMGuides.vtreem.com

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