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 software, 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.
The BIM Manager is the person who is responsible for the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital construction procedures.
He or she deals with organising the digital processes, supervising and generally coordinating orders and the specialised human resources involved in the BIM process. The BIM Manager manages also interacts mainly with two other management figures: the BIM Specialist and the BIM Coordinator; but needs to have the right background to make the final decisions independently. Although he is not always technically proficient in the software used by the team, he must have a practical knowledge that allows him to be fully involved in the management process and the creation of standards and documentation.
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.
BIM manager tools
The BIM manager needs to coordinate and manage all the information of a BIM process. Therefore, he/she needs to develop a certain knowledge of the tools and technologies used by all the professionals involved to actively participate in all processes and choose the tools that everyone should use.
On the contrary, he/she must have a perfect working knowledge of management software.
In fact, 4 different types of software are needed in the BIM process:
- BIM Authoring software to create the 3D model (architecture, structure, MEP, etc.)
- BIM tools for aggregating data to the BIM model (BIM 4D, BIM 5D, BIM 6D, for construction time, costs, energy performance, etc.)
- BIM collaboration platform 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:
- usBIM – the integrated system to manage all the aspects of BIM
- usBIM.platform – the BIM platform to manage collaborative working
- usBIM.viewer+ – the software to view and manage IFC files for buildings and infrastructures.
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), tools for clash detection, code checking and work flow 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.merge – 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.