All you need to know about the main BIM professionals (BIM Manager, BIM Coordinator and BIM Specialist)
Do you want to become a BIM Manager? Do you want to know what a BIM Specialist does? Do you want to know what software a BIM Coordinator uses?
In this focus article I’ll give you an overview with regards to the main figures involved in BIM management, the best BIM software, the tools and platforms that are indispensable for their work.
The BIM experts
In order to correctly and efficiently manage all the information and data involved in a BIM (Building Information Model) process, it is necessary to have an organisational structure where roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder involved in the process are clearly defined.
This implies the need for new professionals with specific knowledge and responsibilities, such as the following BIM experts:
- BIM Manager
- BIM Coordinator
- BIM Specialist
- CDE Manager
- BIM Lead
- Project Manager
- Design Team Leader
- Modeler II
- Modeler I
- BIM / VDC Manager (Virtual Design Construction).
Each of them contributes to the BIM process in relation to their know-how, skills and competences on:
- team members
In addition to the above roles, we need to also mention other BIM Users, which are all the other figures involved in BIM processes, but without having a specific knowledge.
What is the role of a BIM manager? What does a BIM Manager do?
The BIM Manager is a professional figure responsible for the creation, management and updating of the BIM Model. Typical tasks include:
- organizing each phase of the creation and updating of the Building Information Model;
- coordinating the professionals involved in the BIM (Building Information Modeling) process;
- managing interferences between BIM models of different disciplines (architecture, structure, MEP, etc.).
Typical tasks relating to information management are manifold and include:
- coordinating and supervising orders
- drafting information specifications
- drafting the information management offer
- supporting the information management plan
- appointing the BIM coordinator
- drafting and updating the organisation’s information management guidelines
- promote a research and development training program
- prepare reports and cooperate in auditing activities
- defining contractual aspects.
What are the responsibilities of a BIM Manager?
The BIM manager is responsible for the planning, design, delivery and efficient management of the BIM plan while coordinating with professional figures such as he BIM Specialist and the BIM Coordinator.
Although he/she is not a managerial role in the traditional sense of the word, the BIM manager must have the right background to make final decisions independently and manage the technology, the processes, the tools and the policies in order to guide and guarantee the collaborative process among the various actors during the whole construction process.
Particularly, he/she must have a perfect working knowledge of management software such as:
- BIM collaboration platforms to federate BIM models and data into a single collaborative cloud environment that allows architects, engineers, surveyors, builders, maintainers and owners to work together
- BIM Management software to manage workflows and collaborative work roles.
They are BIM co-ordination and management software, usually working in cloud, which allows the whole team to synchronise in real time and to assign, authorise, record and control the activities of all team members.
The use of a single data sharing environment, as a cloud platform for BIM collaboration and coordination, provides unquestionable efficiency and productivity benefits throughout the construction lifecycle and enables the creation of an advanced Building Intelligence system.
Here is a list of the software that the BIM Manager will need:
- a BIM management system to manage all the aspects of BIM
- a BIM platform to manage collaborative working
- a BIM coordination software to connect multidisciplinary teams and optimize workflows;
- a software to view and manage IFC files for buildings and infrastructures.
How do you become a BIM Manager?
The process of acquiring BIM skills is very complex and requires concrete study that is as coherent as possible with the needs of the role. The courses that can be attended and which aim to improve one’s professionalism, are designed to obtain a certification which, of course, opens up and guarantees further job opportunities.
Do BIM Managers need to be certified?
To become a BIM Manager, BIM Coordinator or BIM Specialist there is currently no specific training path.
The professional is, however, required to follow autonomous or guided paths of continuous professional development.
In particular, the following requirements are generally considered appropriate:
- degree or diploma in a subject related to the construction industry
- experience in the construction sector (many employers require at least 5 years of experience)
- familiarity with the BIM modelling process
- excellent IT (information technology) skills
- excellent verbal and written communication skills
- thorough knowledge of quality and document management processes.
Required qualifications for a BIM manager
Certifications can only be obtained after attending BIM Manager training courses, which can be followed either in the classroom or online.
Certification is the most suitable tool to guarantee the operators in the supply chain (clients, suppliers, companies, etc.) that the professional carries out his activity in accordance with criteria verified and recognised by an independent third-party certification body.
Why is it important having a BIM manager for a project?
The BIM manager is an extremely important figure during a multidisciplinary BIM project as:
- coordinating different professionals involved in a BIM process
- resolving any interferences by reassigning them to the different figures in the team
- managing the company’s resources, in full respect of the correct company procedures.
BIM manager salary
According to Glassdoor, the average basic and maximum salary of a Bim Manager can be as follows:
- USA: average salary: 88159/year; maximum avarage salary: 125,881 USD
- India: average salary: 885,639 INR/year; maximum avarage salary: 2 million INR
The BIM Coordinator develops and maintains BIM protocols and Execution Plans and other documentation while coordinating work information flows. A BIM Coordinator reports directly to project leadership, but is also overseen by the BIM Manager. In cases of complex and multidisciplinary works, more than one BIM Coordinator professional can be involved. One of the BIM Coordinator’s main roles is also to guarantee efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s digitalised processes and being responsible for verifying the correctness and consistency of the BIM model.
Specifically, the tasks he/she is in charge of are:
- guaranteeing the digitised process with reference to the specific order
- supporting or draft the information specifications
- supporting or drafting the information management plan and/or the information management offer
- assigning information requirements to stakeholders and supporting the BIM manager’s activities
- selecting staff and tools
- managing interferences and conflicts
- outlining and analysing control rules
- supporting the BIM manager in defining contractual aspects.
Software for BIM Coordinator
The BIM Coordinator, in addition to having knowledge of the software supporting the BIM Manager’s activities, must have an in-depth competence of the BIM tools for verification, collaboration and coordination of activities.
In this respect, the use of data sharing environments (such as cloud platforms), BIM document management, tools for clash detection, code checking and BIM data management that allow to follow any work process is fundamental.
The software that a BIM Coordinator needs to know are:
- usBIM.editor – to edit, print, render and take virtual tours in the BIM model directly in the IFC standard
- usBIM.checker – to check and validate all the BIM model data in IFC format
- usBIM.clash – the Clash Detection software to verify interferences and conflict management between the different IFC models, such as the architectural, structural and installation system modeling projects
- usBIM applications:
- usBIM.browser – to view and manage BIM models, documents and data online with any device
- usBIM.pointcloud – to view, federate, manage and share online and in real-time Point clouds
- usBIM.federation – to manage federations of BIM models (buildings and infrastructures) and point clouds of big dimensions with the maximum power and speed entirely online
- usBIM.gis – the GIS cloud service for creating GIS thematic maps integrated with BIM models
- usBIM.bcf – manage BCF files online, simplify collaboration and solve critical issues during BIM design
- usBIM.gantt – the application for BIM project planning (4D BIM project management), management and optimisation of the time variable in construction processes
- usBIM.IoT – to integrate the BIM model with IoT systems and sensors, to visualise sensor data on the model in real time and to obtain a summary of the information and control of the sensors
- usBIM.project – to organize the CDE, to schedule and control time and costs of activities and to integrate processes, documents and data
- usBIM.blockchain – to register on the Bitcoin Blockchain any file stored in the integrated usBIM system and to guarantee its authenticity, date certainty and immutability over time
- usBIM.refactor – to merge in a new IFC file the elements of several BIM models exported in IFC format both for the geometric part and for the information data
- usBIM.compare – to compare different versions of a BIM model in IFC format and understand in detail the differences in terms of both geometry and information
- usBIM.facility – to manage construction maintenance and advanced integration of all facility management functionalities with the BIM model and processes or with the digital twin document system.
The BIM Specialist is the advanced operator in information management and modeling. He/she acts within each project using a BIM Authoring software. In practice, he deals with architectural, structural, installation systems modelling, etc., and possesses the specialist disciplinary skills that enable him to collaborate actively with designers.
He/ she has a background that enables him to place his activity within the digital workflows provided by the BIM coordinator. Furthermore, he/she analyses the main contents of the information specifications and of the information management plan in order to work in accordance with them and performs some preliminary checks on the model.
Specifically, the areas of responsibility of a BIM Specialist include:
- modelling objects through specific applications
- analysing the contents of information specifications and information management plans in order to comply with them
- converting discipline knowledge into models
- pre-testing models
- contributing to validating model objects information consistency.
Software for BIM Specialist
The BIM Specialist works directly with the use of software. In fact, he/she is in charge of the actual construction of the BIM model. Among the skills required, the most important is the advanced management of one or more BIM Authoring applications
The software within his competence, therefore, are:
- Edificius – the BIM software for integrated architectural design
- Edificius-MEP – to design mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems
- EdiLus – for structural calculation
- TerMus – for energy calculation and certification
- Solarius – to design renewable energy installations
- PriMus – for accounting and cost estimating.
In addition to these tools, the BIM Specialist needs also to master different other software used in the BIM supply chain, in order to be able to interact with other actors involved in the BIM process so as to share information, data and models.