BIM Level 2 Feedback Session #UKBIMCrew


About time too!…

Last week saw a group giving feedback on ‘Level 2 BIM’ at The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Conference Centre in Westminster.

Entitled ‘Practical Implications of Implementing Level 2 BIM’ and off the back of both the recent BIM4Real event and the subsequent feedback at the Excitech Tech forum, Richard Lane (BIM Training Development Officer – UK BIM Task Group) gathered a small group of construction professionals to provide ‘real-world’ feedback on PAS1192:2 and the CIC suite of BIM docs.

The result of this is what the BIM4Real session aimed to do – an almost direct route to feed back our thoughts into the Government Department responsible for authoring and disseminating these documents.

I’ll not write much more, as below is Richards summary of the meeting…


Practical Implications of Implementing Level 2 BIM

7 August 2013


  • Richard Lane                      BIM Task Group                (Organiser & Session Facilitator)
  • Graeme Tappenden       BIM Task Group
  • Casey Rutland                   Arup Associates                (Organiser)        Arch.
  • Rebecca De Cicco             DMA (Organiser)                              Arch.
  • Daniel Walsh                      BIM Academy                                    Arch/Client
  • Bethan Onions                  Arup                                                      Legal
  • Richard Bates                     Davis Langdon Aecom                    QS
  • Dave Monswhite             Turner & Townsend                        QS
  • Duncan Reed                     Tekla (formerly Balfour Beatty) Contractor
  • Chris Barker                        Balfour Beatty                                   Contractor
  • Clare Reinhold                   BDP                                                        M&E
  • Paul Hill                                Arup                                                      PM
  • James Middling                 Mott Macdonald                              Structural
  • Mark Eggleton                   AWE                                                      Client


The session was organised to collect feedback from a multi-disciplinary group to increase engagement with industry at a practical working level and inform further work within the BIM Task Group.

The feedback was based on ‘live’ project experience in addition to building on the feedback from simulated and theoretical activities such as the BIM4Real event.


  1. To discuss the practical implications of implementing Level 2 BIM; focussing specifically on the document set.
  2. To collect recommendations on improvements to the available information including:
  • Training Needs
  • Explanatory / Supplementary Documents
  • Possible revisions to the core documents
  • Further investigation / research


  1. UK-specific (recognising that many participants have international responsibilities)
  2. Focussed on the following documents:
  1. Due to time constraints the following documents were not discussed


Key Conclusions

  • It is a significant step forward having a set of standards and documents backed by the Government Construction Strategy
  • While the level of understanding and application of level 2 BIM with the session participants is generally higher than the industry as a whole, there was still a high degree of uncertainty and inconsistent interpretation of the information available
  • Successful Level 2 BIM implementation relies on a (BIM) skilled client and/or client representative. Guidance should be created to aid the up-skilling of clients.
  • Guidance documents should sit alongside all key BIM documents, supported by completed examples and use-cases where possible
  • Provide detailed feedback to document owners / authors and identify if there is a formal process & schedule for review and revision
  • Identify the most efficient way to capture the expertise /guidance the BIM Task Group is providing to central government clients so that this can be reused in a scalable way with other clients
  • Identify the most effective way to coordinate communications and upskilling of the industry with the Institutions and other industry groups
  • Provide an ongoing mechanism of sharing lessons-learned (i.e. what worked and what didn’t, with supporting rationale etc.) on projects where Level 2 BIM has been used

General Comments

  • Documents seem to work best with a single linear process. More clarity is needed on how to use the documents in other situations e.g. early stage engagement where the scope and approach for the project are not clearly defined
  • Document set appears to be aimed at (and will likely work well with) a large, skilled client employing a contractor-led consortium.
  • It was suggest that the Institutions provide role-specific guidance level 2 BIM, ideally coordinating to ensure broad consistency


  • Some redundancy between the scope of the PQQs and EIRs
  • Many participants are preparing, or have already prepared, standard answers
  • “The way the questions are phrased works well if you produce information but not so well for other roles” e.g. QS. PM with no design responsibility. Particularly where the client extends the standard question set significantly.
  • Cynicism regarding the responses in the short-term (are suppliers exaggerating their experiences?). Recognition that the questions will have more value in the longer term.
  • The questions rely on the Client’s ability to assess the responses appropriately
  • “The PQQs have value when they are asked consistently and marked consistently, problems occur when the client goes ‘off-piste’”
  • Clients should exercise caution arbitrarily excluding suppliers based on BIM capability in the short-term. There was concern that trying to assess the subjective nature of the responses may lead clients to excluding suppliers who are capable.
  • “Many clients request Level 2 BIM without a full understanding of what it is or that it replaces a responsibility on them (it is not just something the supply-chain does)”
  • Many clients “don’t know what they don’t know” (described as ‘unconscious incompetence’). The key is to develop strategies to transition them to ‘conscious incompetence’ (they know what they don’t know) which creates motivation to research information or contract the appropriate expertise
  • Recommend creation of client guidance documentation

Employers Information Requirements (EIRs)

  • Would it be possible to publish an example completed EIR document e.g. from Cookham Wood?
  • Do the MoJ have any ‘Lessons Learned’ from the creation of the EIR document?
  • Often information requirements will emerge during the project, is there a mechanism for updating the requirement without incurring change requests.
  • Critical role for the client advisor / representative
  • Considerable discussion on novation. Guidance needed.
  • Concern over generic model vs. specified model. Part of the benefit of BIM is in the simulation of the asset but this can’t be done with a generic model. Once specified products then can restrict competition.
  • Concerns were raised regarding European Procurement (competition) law and:
    • Client standardisation
    • Inferred supplier preference based on space allowed for certain components
    • Level of Detail / Definition supplied beyond client needs e.g. to test compliance with high level M&E performance requirements, reusing design elements from previous schemes etc.

It was acknowledged that these problems exist today but are increased by the formal information exchange and the intent to gain greater certainty earlier in a project (removing assumptions and de-risking a project)

  • Could guidance be prepared for the application of the documents with different procurement arrangements?
  • How should EIRs be handled on a large, multi-year project, where the use of information (and associated information need) will likely change over time?
  • Should the EIR cover the entire scope of a project or just the current contract?
  • Serious questions were raised as to whether clients would have enough information available at the early stages of a project to be able to write clear EIRs

 Level of Definition, Development and Detail

  • Is there more work involved in stripping out extra ‘detail’ over and above what the customer requires at each stage? (Going against the principle of BIM reducing / eliminating rework) E.g. if an architect has included finishes etc. to create visualisation or if M&E plant has been modelled to verify performance. Alternatively, could the additional detail be provided with a statement that the information can only be relied upon for use at the level of detail originally requested
  • Some participants expressed a preference for the AIA E202 document over the LOD guidance in PAS1192-2:2013 Table 20.
  • The group generally felt that the LOD terminology was confusing i.e. Level of Detail / Definition / Development etc.
  • There was some concern that Table 20 infers a connection between LOD and a project work stage. Where it may actually vary by project (and by discipline within a project) depending upon the key drivers critical to the stage and programme. It might also be useful for Table 20 to refer or link to separate documents that provide more detail for disciplines (i.e RIBA plan of work, BSRIA BG6 for MEP, CIC doc) to prevent table becoming too detailed


  • Concern was expressed regarding the fact that all of the Figures in the document are subject to Copyright (owned by individuals). This may restrict the dissemination of BIM knowledge to the industry.
  • It was suggested that a ‘Guide to PAS1192-2:2013’ be prepared to provide more clarity and guidance, citing the value of the ‘Guide to BS1192’ as an example. i.e. ”Plain Language explanations of the standard”. It was felt that the current document was written by experts as a reference document for professionals experienced in its application, rather than a guide for the inexperienced.
  • Example ‘Use Cases’ may also aid the understanding of how to apply PAS1192-2:2013 in difference situations
  • Why are there two sets of definitions in the PAS; one at the front and one at the end, with duplication and inconsistencies between the two? E.g. 3.30 / A.77 – A.78
  • Should the term ‘Plain Language Questions’ (Figure 7) be explained in the definitions
  • It is unclear why the ‘Employer Activities’ row in Figure 20 is shown blank.
  • Could an interactive online version of the PAS be created similar to the new RIBA Plan of Work?
  • Link to the CIC Scope of Services was noted (although it is not referenced in Table 1)
  • Reference was made to value of the BSRIA Design Framework for Building Services BG6-2012
  • It was suggested that more clarity was needed around what can/should be produced at Stage 0 & 1, where there is little clarity around the solution and/or the procurement route
  • There was some conversation looking forward to the publication of PAS:1192-3.

BIM Execution Plan (BEP)

  • The Pre-Contract BIM Execution Plan caused some confusion. Some participants had interpreted it as ‘Pre-Contractor Involvement’ i.e. Design Team BEP. Where it is intended to be ‘Pre-appointment’, enabling the employer to determine if the requirements in the EIRs are achievable.
  • Questions were raised regarding the value of the pre-contract BEP and whether it is a duplication of effort with pre-qualification and other aspects of the tender process
  • Ultimately there was acceptance of the value to a client of having the tendering suppliers explain how they would address their EIRs and that the concern / confusion was principally in the name  of the document (pre-contract BEP),when it is really a tenderers ‘Response to the Employers Information Requirements’
  • In a project where there are multiple professional appointments, it was unclear when and where the Post-Contract BEP would be applied and if there might be multiple BEPs associated with each appointment

Design Visualisation

  • If a design visualisation is delivered to the client to communicate a designer’s vision, is there a risk that it infers some element of the technical design at an early stage of the project and sets an expectation with the client? This is not new to BIM, but with model based design and contracted delivery of models to the client, is the risk higher? Is there clear separation between ‘sales’ tools and technical design?
  • Would a design visualisation be a contractual deliverable?
  • If a model was developed beyond the required level of detail, to support the creation of design visualisations, would this need to be stripped out by the designer before models are delivered to the client or contractor?

The Role of the Information Manager

  • Everyone understood that the Information Manager was a role rather than a person and that most, if not all, of the responsibilities defined were already undertaken by Designers and Contractors.
  • Some participants felt that there may need to be a reorganisation of existing roles and responsibilities to consolidate all of the information management responsibilities from a number of project team members down to one. Or could the role remain shared across a group of individuals with responsibility for elements of the role e.g. Design Manager, Document Controller, 4d Planning
  • It was unclear to the group how the role would be assigned; would the client specify their expectations or would it be down to one of the suppliers to ‘volunteer’. This was specifically unclear in situations where a Designer and Contractor were both under contract.
  • Responsibility for the provision of the Common Data Environment (CDE) was also unclear. Should this be with the client and / or client rep or should this be provided by the Lead Designer / Main Contractor? Would ownership and potentially the CDE itself change over time e.g. during the transition from Design to Construction and then to the customer / FM contractor as part of maintaining the Asset Information model? Would there potentially be multiple CDEs?
  • Would the Information Manager role migrate from one individual or organisation to another over time e.g. Design Lead to Main Contractor
  • Are there Information Management responsibilities which exist before the appointment of a supply chain? Would the client be aware of, and responsible for these?
  • Should the cost of the CDE be a line-item on a project, so that the cost is recognised?
  • The group generally agreed with the scope and content of the document and were seeking supplementary guidance and great detail to support the document and how to transition current project roles to align with the scope of the Information Manager role

The Value of BIM to Clients

  • Ideally guidance for clients would start with the value of BIM, although it is difficult to make this generic as it will relate to their industry and organisation goals and priorities. Clients need to understand ‘why’ to do BIM before understanding ‘how’ to do BIM
  • Clients need to understand that the information supplied in a BIM project can be a strategic asset to their organisation
  • Suggestion that it would be beneficial for clients to consider their BIM strategy and goals at an organisational level first before exploring project-specific needs. This limits the number of external organisations that can help support clients as most are engaged specifically on projects. It was suggested that the big consulting groups e.g. KPMG, Deloitte etc. could be the most relevant organisations to support a more strategic exploration of BIM in an organisation
  • There was a suggestion to form a BIM4TransformationalChange group to bring together organisations and individuals focussed on BIM in the context of organisational strategy and transformation
  • Can the engagement methodology the BIM Task Group uses with central government departments be packaged in a way that it could be used by other clients?
  • One strategy to reach a broader base of clients is through the Procurement hubs e.g. Scape, leading with guidance on PAS91:2013
  • It was suggested that someone confirm if PAS91:2103 BIM PQQs will be included in the next GPS framework

So that’s the record of the event, the next steps are putting plans in action to address them, then for us as a professional network to review the results and feedback again – or even better, be involved in the plans!  ;0)

3 responses to “BIM Level 2 Feedback Session #UKBIMCrew

  1. Yep, thanks – Sounds like this was a really good session. Would have been good to attend.

  2. Hi Casey
    Thanks for sharing this. It was very helpful, and one of the only constructive criticism articles I have seen on BIM Level 2. Thanks again.
    The big question is: It is two and a half years since the above items were tabled. How many of these issues have been actually addressed?
    It appears to be that very few have. A bit of a concern with the Mandate deadline only 2 months away.

    Cheers again.
    Brian Renehan

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