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information workflow in BIM

The BIM information workflow: the BS 1192 and Pas 1192-2 standards (part 2)

How the WIP (Work in Progress) and SHARED blocks interact in the Common Data Environment (CDE) within the BIM information workflow.

[Missed the first part of the article? Read it here: The BIM information workflow: the BS 1192 and Pas 1192-2 standards]

How is the information flow between the four areas of the Common Data Environment (CDE) managed?
The BS 1192 standard provides us with a simple example, starting from the architectural design phase.

Architectural design

The architectural design team, using their own organization (composed of tools, software and external consultants), initiates and develops the architectural model of the building. The figure below shows an example where walls, columns, etc. are taken into account.

Collaborative working- step 1

Collaborative working: step 1

During this activity, all documentation will be continuously updated within the team’s design activities by issuing document revisions, exclusively available to the team members involved in this phase of design. The documentation will then be characterized by a suitability code (set as “S0“, for the period during which all documentation is meant for internal use only) and by a version code, which is updated with each progressive revision (Pnn, nn).

When the level of development reaches the planned step, after a compliance control and verification phase, the documentation is moved to the SHARED area and the relating suitability code, updated to status S1 (meaning suitable for coordination).


CollaborativeWorking-step2: Suitability Code Update

Structural Design

At this point, the structural design team will proceed to acquiring the latest architectural design, now available in the Shared area, and use it as a reference for structural design and analysis.


CollaborativeWorking-step3: acquisition of the architectural design


The structural design aspects of the building will now be addressed by the structural engineering team, being the legitimate owner of this part of the project. Starting from what was initially prepared by the architectural design team, there will now be various corrections, calculations and updates to the structural model and carried out by the structural engineering team. Each revision during this phase, will of course be marked with its suitability code, starting from S0 and version, (using the Pnn, nn syntax).


CollaborativeWorking-step4: adding the structural design of the building (P01.1)


When an adequate level of design has been reached in terms of structural configuration and analysis, the document can be shared again. For example, the column data and relevant documents, are now loaded in the Shared area.


CollaborativeWorking-step5: loading data to the Shared area.

The Shared area, however, will now have 2 structural documents simultaneously (the column design and sizing aspects): those produced by the architectural design team and those verified by the structural design team.

As underlined previously, the structural design team has major priority as the legitimate owner of this part of the project, therefore, the structural documentation, produced by the architectural designers, will be removed. The information available in the shared area is now updated to the latest revision.


CollaborativeWorking-step6: structural documentation produced by the architectural design team is removed

The figure above clearly explains that the architectural team will have to update the structural design aspects of its project taking the updated version from the Shared area. Once this phase is completed, they can then continue with other architectural design tasks.

While the design process continues, the architectural team will continue to update the project and publish further revions in the shared area.

This working method, as illustrated by the BS 1192 standard, can easily be extended to all the other aspects of design, as shown in the following figure.


Extension of Collaborative Working to all design aspects

When all the implementation cycles have been completed and all project documents coordinated, validated and published to the Shared area, the client will then be able to assess and provide approval on the basis of the results achieved by the entire design firm.

Its approval will allow the publication of the documents (in the dedicated Published Documentation area) which can be used for the construction of the building.

The virtual model according to the AEC (UK) BIM Technology Protocol

In conclusion, it also turns out to be interesting how the illustrated functional structure, as suggested in BS 1192, was taken up in the “AEC(UK) BIM Technology Protocol” (document drawn up by the AEC (UK) Committee) and used effectively to realize an structured example of an electronic archive of the project.


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