Setting the standard

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A new national standard for users of Autodesk Revit has now been released into the wild for the benefit of architecture, engineering and construction firms across the UK and the rest of the world.

Following in the footsteps of its generic cousin the AEC (UK) BIM Standard, released November 2009, and covering all aspects of BIM adoption from the perspective of a Revit user, this first draft of the new standard provides a framework for quality and consistency of output aimed at design professionals.

The new standard is designed for companies that have adopted Revit but versions will emerge soon that will offer an equivalent for Bentley users.

While the majority of the standard refers to generic BIM techniques and best practice and is hence applicable to all stakeholders in a construction project regardless of software platform, the language of the document does not attempt to cover all bases and is able to be more specific to Revit terminology.

The result is a document that is a workable BIM Standard for companies that have adopted Autodesk Revit as the platform of choice. Versions will be emerging soon that will offer an equivalent for Bentley users.

To complement the standard, a suite of Revit project templates have been released along with a ‘Project BIM Strategy Document’ and associated guidance notes. Further documents and files are planned and will be available in the near future, such as a specific content creation addendum — more about that later — a full set of family templates, and a best practice user guide to show users how to comply with some of the more comprehensive topics.

The standard comes as a result of collaborative group effort from some of the most experienced Revit users and consultants in the country. The Revit sub-group of the AEC (UK) committee is chaired by Paul Woddy of DCI, who brings to the table a decade of experience on implementing Revit and BIM. Other members of the team include representatives of Atkins, HOK, Aedas, Mott MacDonald, Ramboll UK, Excitech and CADline. A list of the committee members can be found on the web site at www.aec-uk.org although this does not start to cover all the individuals around the world who have participated in reviewing and editing draft versions as well as providing content and advice.

DCI and Atkins, following meetings of the AEC Revit sub group and a three-day intensive workshop for the Atkins GBEG, developed the bulk of the standard. A large acknowledgement is due to Atkins, who provided both financial backing and a significant investment of time and experience through its internal ‘Global BIM Excellence Group’ chaired by Richard Scott-Smith. This group has cross-discipline representation from Atkins BIM experts throughout UK, Middle East, India, China and the Philippines and the creation of the standard aligned with their own efforts as part of their global initiative to transition to a BIM methodology where it has now been adopted.

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Mr Scott-Smith says: “Rev 1.0 of the Standard has received approval from our Group Executive. Using it on our BIM projects globally is leading to an increase in quality and consistency across Atkins’ regions, along with a marked improvement in the efficiency in the use of Revit.”

A key part of the standard, the Project BIM Strategy Document aims to capture all BIM-relevant information on a job and raise pertinent questions in order to guide the development, management and sharing of BIM data throughout the design and issuing phase of the project.

Training

To help Atkins continue its rollout of Revit, and to promote full adoption of the Standard, DCI is developing a modular training programme, which provides training to each discipline in line with the methodologies prescribed in the standard. The programme delivers a basic introduction to the key principles of the software and then additional information is delivered in a very targeted manner, as per the project and individual delegate requirements. It promotes specialisation within a team while ensuring that any overlap is consistent, and that all training is compliant with the standards.

Copies of the standard are free. Not often you hear that phrase in conjunction with something useful. It can be downloaded along with the rest of the supporting material from DCI web site at www.dcbim.com.

With this first revision of the standard complete, and released to the community for use on projects, the committee hope to collect feedback from across the globe to enable continued refinement. One key aim for later revisions is to widen the scope to include Standards for other BIM activities such as construction, specifications, and quantity take off and facilities management.

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