Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And a Little Present

Everyone is wishing each other Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays or whatever, here comes mine with a little present in case you wanna have some Revit fun this holidays
Show me more...

Revit: Creating a Basic Wall with Stacked Materials Using the Split Region Tool

Basic walls can behave like stacked walls in certain way if you know how to use the Split Region and Merge Tools.
Show me more...

MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 2.- Literature Review

Due to the scope of this dissertation, three main topics were identified, and relevant literature for each of them has been analyzed. The topics are:
  • Project complexity and inter-organizational collaboration
  • The role of BIM in improving the delivery of construction projects
  • The current status of BIM and other ICT in the AEC Industry
Literature for each of these topics will be critically reviewed in the following sections. On the final summary of this chapter, links between the literatures will be drawn and conclusions from these links will be used to design the research methodology and to suggest further topics for research out of the scope of this dissertation.

Let’s start with the first topic for it has a wider scope and will help us understand the overall framework in which BIM has a role to play and the gaps in current practice that could be bridged by the correct implementation of BIM.

<-- Previous....................................................................................................................Next -->

Show me more...

BIM Management Postgraduate Course in Barcelona in 2014

BIM Education in Barcelona, and I'll be one of the teachers!
Show me more...

Creating Flat Roof Slopes in Revit

Step by step on how to create the slopes of a flat roof in Revit
Show me more...

BIM Related Free Live Feeds from Autodesk University 2013

Free Live BIM related lectures from Autodesk University 2013.
Show me more...

Revit Basics: Closing All Open Views Except the Active One

One click button to close all the open views and leave only the active one open.
Show me more...

MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 1.3- Research Question and Objectives

On the previous sections we have seen that the implementation of BIM is not homogeneous in all countries. We have also noted that despite the increase in literature related to BIM in recent years (Table 1.2 and Figure 1.3) PM scholars have ignored BIM as a tool to be considered in PM research.

Considering the increased complexity of construction projects mentioned on the first section of this chapter, any tools that help optimize the design and construction process should be analyzed if they help practitioners cope with this increased project complexity. On the other hand, PM scholars have for too long ignored the study of BIM (Table 1.2), despite its potential benefits that we will alter see, despite the increased interest by other field’s scholars (Figure 1.3) and by construction professionals in general (Figure 1.4)

The intention of this research is to study BIM from the PM point of view, and to do this, this paper tries to answer the question: “Is BIM a Project Management Tool? How can BIM help Project Managers succeed in delivering complex construction projects”? The author’s intention is to proof based on existing literature and empirical evidence that the answer to the first question is affirmative and that the answer to the second one includes a wide range of ways in which BIM can be a helpful PM Tool.

Parallel and as a consequence to this search for answers, several research objectives are defined:
1. To identify in which aspects is BIM implementation showing more benefits for the delivery of construction projects
2. To compare the benefits of BIM with the role of the Project Manager
3. To define which role should the Project Manager assume within the BIM framework.

The intention of the author is in no way to produce a promotional pamphlet for a specific BIM platform, nor is it to ignore the challenges and shortcomings of BIM platforms. For this reason, another research objective is defined as:
4. To analyze the existing challenges for BIM implementation and estimate future developments that might mitigate these challenges.

Figure 1.4 Google Search Trends for CAD vs. BIM (Google Trends, 2010)

The research methods to answer the research question and objectives will be described in the Methodology chapter of this paper. A key aspect that lead to the definition of the research methodology is the in depth analysis of relevant literature. The following chapter will deal with this topic, since despite the lack of references from the International Journal of Project Management there are plenty of scholars from other related research fields that have analysed the role of BIM (Table 1.2).

<-- Previous..................................................................................................................Next -->

Show me more...

List of Free BIM Object Libraries

Where can you get BIM Content online? Here.
Show me more...

Transfer Revit Schedules from Project to Project

Easy guide to copy Revit Schedule Views from one Project to another
Show me more...

Revit IFC Exporter Update

New version of the IFC Exporter Available.
Show me more...

Revit Add-In: Creating Topography the Standard way or from Lines in Revit

Awesome Plugin from Harry Mattison (Boost your BIM) to create Topography from Lines in Revit.
Show me more...

MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 1.2- Problem Definition

BIM is argued to be “a catalyst for change, poised to reduce industry's fragmentation, improve its efficiency/effectiveness and lower the high costs of inadequate interoperability” (Succar, 2009: p. 357). Studies show that there has been an important growth on the use of BIM software in the recent years (AIA, 2009; McGraw-Hill, 2008 and McGraw-Hill, 2010).

In the USA, as of 2008 and according to AIA (2009), 34% of registered AIA members have purchased a BIM software package, percentage that doubles the numbers of 3 years before (Ibid). It is important to remember the definition of BIM used on the previous section comprises not only tools but also the adoption of new processes, so the data expressing “use of BIM” has to be analyzed with caution for it is not clear if it refers only to the use of BIM software or to the holistic approach to BIM that this dissertation is interested in.

Regardless of this difficulty analysing the data, the penetration rates (McGraw-Hill, 2010a) show the relevance that the technology is gaining in some countries. But not all countries embrace it at the same pace. As it can be seen on Figure 1.2, North America is ahead of Europe on BIM adoption rates.

Figure 1.2 BIM Adoption Rates in North America and Europe
After McGraw-Hill, 2010a)

On the other hand, and despite the great increase in Journal Articles about BIM in recent years (Figure 1.3), Project Management Literature has tended to ignore the topic of BIM. Only Bansal (2011) and Benjoaran (2009) mention this concept in the International Journal of Project Management. The only mention found on the Project Management Institute literature –the Project Management Journal and PMI organised Conferences- is a conference paper by Lee (2008) that briefly mentions the possible beneficial outcomes of using BIM from the Project Manager point of view.
BIM is becoming a relevant topic of research in recent years (Figure 1.3) but none of this increase in interest on the topic has arrived to PM specialised literature (Table 1.2). Research is thus needed on the role of BIM as a Project Management [PM] tool. Most of the potential benefits of BIM mentioned on the previous section of this chapter are key aspects of the role of a Project Manager (PMI, 2004), for this reason PM literature should no longer ignore this topic and join other scholars on analyzing the potential benefits of implementing BIM in construction projects.

Figure 1.3 Evolution of the Number of Journal Articles Mentioning BIM

<-- Previous.................................................................................................................Next -->

Show me more...

Revit: Don't Use Parts if You Want to Use Groups. Don't Use Groups if You Want to Use Parts

Exactly what the post title says. Tried it in many projects, always with problems.
Show me more...

BCF Add-Ins for Revit

If you need to use the BIM Collaboration Format and you are using Revit this Add-Ins might be what you are looking for.
Show me more...

Revit: Copying an Element Multiple Times

Copy an Object Multiple Times in Revit
Show me more...

Revit: Control the Number of BackUp Files that Revit Saves.

It is quite annoyint and space consuming to have up to 20 backup files in your folder. Luckily, this can be changed quite easy.
Show me more...

Splitting Up Revit Models

What criteria would you use to decide if you are going to split or not your Revit Models? And if you decide you are going to do it, how are you going to do it?

Show me more...

MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 1.1- Background

The author of this Master Thesis has always been interested in the implementation of ICT in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction [AEC] Industry. During the last decade, the major shift in ICT for the AEC industry has been the proliferation of Building Information Modelling [BIM] in industrial and academic circles as the “new CAD paradigm” (Succar, 2009).

BIM is currently the most common denomination for a new way of approaching the design, construction and maintenance of Buildings. Different authors and commercial firms have chosen to name this new approach in different ways (Table 1.1) but they all refer to the same concept that will be referred always on this dissertation as BIM.

There is not a single definition of what BIM is. Some scholars define it as “a set of interacting policies, processes and technologies generating a methodology to manage the essential building design and project data in digital format throughout the building's life-cycle” (Succar, 2009: p. 357). Other scholars prefer to define it using papers by commercial BIM vendors. Aouad et al. (2006) used the following definition: “building information model (BIM) is a computer model database of building design information, which may also contain information about the building’s construction, management, operations and maintenance” (Graphisoft 2003, cited in Aouad et al., 2006: p. 5). Other software vendors have also stated their own definitions of BIM such as “create and operate on digital databases for collaboration, manage change [...] and capture and preserve information for reuse by additional industry-specific applications” (Autodesk, 2002 : p. 2). For the purpose of this dissertation the author would like to use his own definition of BIM that encompasses the most common accepted views on the topic.

Building Information Modelling [BIM] is the most commonly used term to describe a set of parametric CAD tools and processes for the creation and maintenance of an integrated collaborative database of multi-dimensional information regarding the design, construction and/or operations of a building, with the purpose of improving collaboration between stakeholders, reducing the time needed for documentation of the project and producing more predictable project outcomes.

Table 1.1 Widely used terms related to BIM
(after Succar, 2009 : p. 359)

Although it is sometimes understood that BIM is only the software platform and that all the inter-organizational integrated processes should receive other names (like Integrated Design, Integrated Project Delivery, etc), when referring to BIM in this dissertation, the reader should always understand that BIM refers to the previous definition of tools and processes and never to just the software tools that allow the geometrical modelling and the input of information. It is the understanding of the author, that this holistic definition embraces all the potential of BIM and offers a better understanding of all its scope.

Defining the term though, is not the purpose of this dissertation. As we will see in the following section, despite the potential benefits that we can infer from the previous definition, the implementation of BIM and the perception of its benefits is not equal everywhere (AIA, 2009; McGraw-Hill, 2008 and McGraw-Hill, 2010). This disparity between potential benefits and acceptance is the starting point for our problem definition.

<-- Previous.......................................................................................................Next -->

Show me more...

BIM Thoughts and Conclusions from UK's National Construction Contracts and Law Survey 2013

The recently published NBS report has some insights on the real BIM use in UK's projects
Show me more...

World Habitat Day is Today

Happy World Habitat Day.
Show me more...

BCF: BIM Collaboration Format

BCF is the format that might become standard to share issues found in BIM models from one platform to another
Show me more...

MT - Using BIM as a PM Tool: 1.- Introduction

The development of a construction project goes through several stages and requires a wide range of services (Clough et al., 2008). During any project, there will be reciprocal interdependencies between different stakeholders, such as financing bodies, authorities, architects, engineers, lawyers, contractors, suppliers and tradesmen (Ibid.). Another driver in the project-management domain causing an increase in reciprocal interdependencies is the rise in concurrent engineering [CE] (Williams 1999).

To this inherent complexity of stakeholders we must add that construction projects are becoming much more complex and difficult (Chan et al., 2004; Williams, 2002; Alshawi and Ingirige, 2003). The big size of projects is traditionally seen as the cause of project complexity (Williams 2002) although it is argued that it is not the size itself but aspects derived from the size of the project - like number of stakeholders or number of project management tools and methods – that contribute to project complexity (Bosch-Rekveldt et al. 2010).

On the other hand, studies show that while productivity in other industries has increased considerably in the last 40 years, the productivity of the construction industry has actually been steadily decreasing.

Fig. 1.1 – Construction and Non-Farm Labour Productivity Index (Teicholz, 2004)

To cope with the increasing complexity of projects, information and communication technology [ICT] has been developing at a very fast pace (Taxén and Lilliesköld, 2008). This uptake in ICT did not bring yet all the expected benefits to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction [AEC] Industry (Majer et al. 2010), such as an important increase in Labour Productivity. This could be because the human ability to cope with these complexities has not developed at the same rate as ICT (Taxén and Lilliesköld, 2008), or because the implementation of ICT alone is not enough and the industry needs a shift into a new way of working.

In any case, understanding what ICT can do to help industry professionals cope with the increased complexity of projects is key to reach successful project outcomes and could be the key to increase the overall productivity of the industry. Any changes in tools and also in processes that may help the Construction Industry shift its tendency towards higher productivity should be considered and studied in detail.

<-- Previous..............................................................................................................Next -->

Show me more...

Software Currently Certified for IFC Import or Export

A list by BuildingSmart of the BIM tools currently certified to Export or Import IFC files
Show me more...

New version of IFC Exporter for Revit (v2.14/v3.6) available

Update available for the Revit IFC exporters
Show me more...

Revit 2014 Update Release 1

Available since last August an update for Revit 2014 to fix some issues
Show me more...

Revit: Changing Family Type

How to change a family type? Easy and simple.
Show me more...

Revit: Calculating and Scheduling Gross Wall Area

Revit wall area is incorrect if you want it including the openings area. This add in allows you to get the gross area (including openings) correct.
Show me more...

AutoCAD: Modify the Size of the Breakline Symbol

Control de size of the Breakline Symbol before you draw it.
Show me more...

Revit: Rotating the Section Box

You can actually rotate Section boxes in Revit to cut the model in a non perpendicular angle. How to do it is simple
Show me more...

New IFC Exporters for Revit Available for Download

New IFC exporters for Revit available

Show me more...

SketchUp 2013 is now Available

SketchUp 2013 is now available with many new features
Show me more...

Revit 2014 Books

Revit 2014 Books are now available
Show me more...

Let's not overstate BIM benefits, let's not hide the difficulties

Is BIM paying off or are we exaggerating results?
Show me more...

Level of Development Specification (LOD) Released by BIMForum

BIMForum has published a LOD Specification Document that aims to clarify the level of Development of each model element according to the LOD 100-200-300-350-400 scale.
Show me more...

EGLC Meeting - Our Experience aplying the Last Planner System

The EGLC Meeting took place last Wednesday May 8th and I was there presenting. A great event, a pity not more people showed up.
Show me more...

Revit 2014 Download Links

Revit 2014 is finally available for download
Show me more...

What's new and enhanced in Revit 2014

Introduction to the new features of Revit 2014
Show me more...

Embedding an Editable Google Drive / Docs Spreadsheet

How to insert on your page an embedded and editable Google Drive / Docs Spreadsheet
Show me more...

EGLC 16 :: European Group for Lean Construction Meeting

The Meeting of the European Group for Lean Construction will take place in Valencia, Spain, next May
Show me more...

Book Review: Instant Autodesk Revit 2013 Customization with .NET How-to

A brief review on this book that introduces you to .NET programming to create Revit Add-ins
Show me more...

IFC4 officially released

The last version of the Industry Foundation Classes, IFC4 was oficially released last tuesday, and it is ready for download.
Show me more...

Updated List of BIM Stanrdards

The list has been updated and reformated for a better user experience
Show me more...

UK's NBS - RIBA National BIM Report 2013

The 2013 National BIM Report about UKs AEC Industry is available online.
Show me more...