There are various delivery methods traditionally employed to deliver buildings. Most common is the design-bid-build approach. The recurrent wastage and inefficiencies emanating from the traditional delivery methods cannot be over-stressed. This brought about the Integrated Project Delivery.

According to AIA’s Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a project delivery approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.

This encapsulates the entire value chain of a project delivery. The journey, however, begins by establishing a flexible BIM Execution Plan.

  • The BIM plan is an extensive document that outlines The Project Goals and BIM Uses for the project.
  • It outlines The Process for implementing the BIM uses through a facility’s lifecycle.
  • It outlines The Information Exchange methods between the processes.
  • It also defines The Infrastructure required to implement the BIM as planned.

The preparation of this document is a collective process amongst the major parties in the project. It is an outcome of a series of preliminary meetings — bringing about a common understanding of the project goals.


There are many parties typically involved in a building delivery. They include the Owner’s Team, which may consist of the owner, a facility manager, and the occupants/users. The Design Team comprised of Architects, Engineers, and Consultants. The Construction Team made up of the general contractor and subcontractors. The Supplier’s Team that may include distributors, manufacturers, and product representatives. For an IPD, it is imperative that these teams are rather one big team.

The primary pitfall of the traditional approach to building delivery is the team. Typically, the team is fragmented, assembled on “just-as-needed” or “minimum-necessary” basis, strongly hierarchical and controlled.

  • This brings about a linear, distinct, segregated process; whereby knowledge is gathered “just-as-needed”.
  • Information is hoarded resulting in silos of knowledge and expertise.
  • Risks are individually managed, transferred to the greatest extent possible.
  • Compensation/reward is individually pursued; with minimum effort for maximum return; (usually) first-cost based.
  • Communications/technology is paper-based, 2 dimensional and analog.
  • Agreements encourage unilateral effort, aiming to allocate and transfer risk with no spirit of sharing.

With IPD, there’s an integrated team entity composed of key project stakeholders, assembled early in the process, open and collaborative.

  • The process is concurrent and multi-level; with early contributions of knowledge and expertise.
  • Information is openly shared with stakeholder trust and respect.
  • Risks are collectively managed and appropriately shared.
  • Team success is tied to project success and is value-based.
  • Communications/technology is digitally based and virtual — achieved via Building Information Modeling.
  • Agreements help encourage, foster, promote and support multi-lateral open sharing and collaboration.


  • Begin with the end in mind — what are the peculiar goals for the project?
  • As a client, do I want live access to the project during design?
  • Do I want to have an accurate record model after project delivery?
  • Do I need a visual and accurate cost estimate of my project, right from concept phase?
  • Do I need a presentation of the delivery timeline?

Once the goals are defined, the project team would identify the appropriate tasks that the team would like to perform using BIM. This analysis of BIM Uses initially focuses on the desired outcomes for the overall process.

The buildingSMART Alliance, in an effort sponsored by the Charles Pankow Foundation, the Construction Industry Institute, Penn State Office of Physical Plant, and the Partnership for Achieving Construction Excellence (PACE), has listed 25 potential BIM uses for a project.

Examples include:

  • Existing Conditions Analysis,
  • Cost Estimation,
  • Phase Planning,
  • Site Analysis,
  • Design Authoring,
  • Energy Analysis,
  • 3D Coordination,
  • Record Modeling etc.

More info can be found here. A template BIM selection worksheet is also available on the same website.

In summary, the selection procedure is as follows:

  • Identify the potential BIM uses.
  • Identify the responsible parties for each potential BIM Use.
  • Rate the capabilities of each party for each BIM use identified in the following categories: resources, competency, and experience.
  • Identify additional value and risk associated with each use.
  • Determine whether or not to implement each BIM Use.


It is imperative to understand the implementation process for each BIM Use and the implementation process of the project as a whole.This allows the team to understand the overall BIM process, identify the information exchanges that will be shared between multiple parties, and clearly define the various processes to be performed for the identified BIM Uses.

Mapping the BIM Process for the project requires the project team to first develop an overview map which shows how the different BIM Uses will be performed. Then, detailed BIM Use Process Maps are developed to define the specific BIM implementation at an increased level of detail.

Creating a BIM Overview Map entails the following steps:

  • Place potential BIM Uses into a BIM Overview Map.
  • Arrange BIM Uses according to project sequence in the BIM Overview Map.
  • Identify the responsible parties for each process.
  • Determine the Information Exchanges required to implement each BIM Use.

On the other hand, creating a detailed BIM Use Map entails the following steps:

  • Hierarchically decompose the BIM Use into a set of processes.
  • Define the dependency between processes.
  • Develop the Detailed Process Map with the following information: Reference Information, Information Exchanges, Responsible Party.
  • Add Goal Verification Gateways at important decision points in the process.
  • Then document, review and refine this process for further use.

One of the key elements of the process map is the visual appearance of the of the symbols and markers used. These should conform to the shapes defined in BPMN (Business Process Model Notation) specification — developed by Object Management Group.More details at


During the previous step — Process Map Development — Information Exchanges between project participants was clearly identified. This step defines the content of the Information Exchanges. This helps the team understand what information is necessary to deliver each BIM Use. This is achieved through an Information Exchange (IE) Worksheet — completed in the early stages of a project after designing and mapping the BIM process.

It is important for the team members and, in particular, the author and receiver of each information exchange transaction to clearly understand the information content.

Below is the procedure for creating the information exchange requirements:

  • Identify each potential Information Exchange from the Level 1 Process Map.
  • Choose a Model Element Breakdown Structure for the project. An example is the CSI Uniformat II structure.
  • Identify the Information Requirements for each Exchange (output & input). They include Model Receiver, Model File Type, Information (level A, B, or C) and Notes.
  • Assign Responsible Parties to author the Information Required. Common parties include ARCH (Architect), CON (Contractor), CE (Civil Engineer), FM (Facility Manager), MEP (MEP Engineer), SE (Structural Engineer), TC (Trade Contractors).
  • Compare Input versus Output Content for a mismatch. If the output is inadequate, revise information; if the input is inadequate, revise responsible party.


Fourteen specific categories support the BIM project execution process. This includes the Facility Data Needs, the Technological Infrastructure Needs, the Human Resources etc.

For the Technological Infrastructure, the team should determine the requirements for hardware, software platforms, software licenses, networks, and modeling content for the project.


Teams and organizations need to determine which software platforms and version of that software is necessary to perform the selected BIM Uses. It is important to agree upon a software platform early in the project to help remedy possible interoperability issues. File formats for information transfer should have already been agreed upon during the information exchange planning step. Additionally, the team should agree upon a process for changing or upgrading software platforms and versions, so that a party does not create an issue where a model is no longer interoperable with other parties.

Computers / Hardware
Understanding hardware specifications become valuable once information begins to be shared between several disciplines or organizations. It also becomes valuable to ensure that the downstream hardware is not less powerful than the hardware used to create the information. In order to ensure that this does not happen, choose the hardware that is in the highest demand and most appropriate for the majority of BIM Uses.

Modeling Content and Reference Information
The project and reference information, such as modeling families, workspaces, and databases, must be considered to ensure that the project parties will use consistent standards.


The outcome of the entire planning procedure is a flexible document — The BIM Execution Plan.This is developed through a series of collaborative meetings, followed by work tasks in-between. It typically takes a series of four meeting to build the first Plan. However, this is always updated as the project progresses, and more information becomes available.The content of a typical BIM plan include the following:

  • BIM Project Execution Plan Overview
  • Project Information: Project Owner; Project Name; Project Location, and Adress; Contract Type/Delivery Method etc.
  • Key Project Contacts: Project Manager(s); BIM Manager(s); Discipline Leads; Other Project Roles.
  • Project Goals/BIM Uses: Major BIM Goals/Objectives; BIM Use Analysis Worksheet; Selected BIM Uses.
  • Organizational Roles/Staffing: BIM Roles and Staffing Descriptions; Respective BIM Use Staffing.
  • BIM Process Design: Level One Process Overview Map; Level Two — Detailed BIM Process — Maps.
  • BIM Information Exchanges: Information Exchange Worksheets; Model Definition Worksheet.
  • BIM and Facility Data Requirements
  • Collaboration Procedures: Collaboration Strategy; Meeting Procedures; Interactive Workspace; Electronic Communication Procedures etc.
  • Quality Control: Overall Strategy for Quality Control; Quality Control Checks; Model Accuracy, and Tolerances.
  • Technological Infrastructure Needs: Software; Computers/Hardware; Modeling Content and Reference Information.
  • Model Structure: File Naming Structure; Model Structure; Measurement and Coordinate Systems; BIM Standards.
  • Project Deliverables
  • Delivery Strategy/Contract: Delivery and Contracting Strategy for the Project; Team Selection Procedure; BIM Contracting Procedure
  • Attachments

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***Adapted from Blaze Monthly Digest – June 2018.

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