@thenbs Digital Plan of Work Introduction


I attended the NBS Digital Plan of Works (DPoW) introduction session by Stephen Hamil as part of the South East BIM hub at Westminster University on the 18th March. This event was for the National Building Specification to introduce to the construction industry what has been described as the last link to describe BIM level 2.

Developed by our renowned NBS software developers, the finished BIM Toolkit will be accessible online, offering users a Digital Plan of Work tool and a new unified classification system, creating much-needed synergy in building projects.

This Toolkit will provide step-by-step support to define, manage and validate responsibility for information development and delivery at each stage of the asset lifecycle, in preparation for the Government-mandated use of Level 2 BIM on all public sector projects by 2016.


Having attended this presentation, and not knowing too much about the DPoW beforehand, it was useful to understand the DPoW in more detail and I can see how this will be useful in time, however, I was left with the impression that a clearer overview describing the DPoW could be developed to ensure that professionals have a simple way of understanding the use and benefits. Stephen Hamil explained the actual workings of the software but I think that people would benefit from a clear definition of why it is required, what it was for and who will use/manage it, this may only be one slide in reality.  I am sure future presentations will communicate this as feedback will refine this process, I know it has with presentations I have given.  Below is a summary of my notes and the questions asked from the audience:

John Eynon introduced the session by explaining that the NBS BIM Toolkit is missing piece of BIM Level 2 framework in the UK. He believes that the construction industry can start working to the same standards and processes within a digital environment. It also describes the transition from an information economy in line with Digital Built Britain Level 3 strategy.

Stephen Hamilton the NBS began his talk by referencing the government’s Construction Strategy which describes amongst other things that level 2 should be:

– Understandable for the whole industry

– Non proprietary

– Open

– Verifiable

– Compliant

In addition to this Stephen talked about the Construction 2025 report that aims to lower costs, create faster delivery times, lower emissions and lead to improvements in exports from the UK.

There is now a Level 2 definition, which includes the 8 pillars of BIM, however the missing part was unified Classification and a Digital Plan of Works tool. The NBS with numerous partners won the award for this project and this has resulted in the Digital Plan of Works.

So, how will the BIM toolkit benefits those working within the level 2 process? This free to use digital tool utilises the RIBA work stages 1-7 to form the basis for the information contained within.

Stephen ran through some work stages to illustrate this;

Overview: Roles can be defined and tasks aligned to stages – e.g. Prepare the feasibility study stage 1

  • Can be templated and amended if required
  • Not just for building projects but all types of infrastructure/asset
  • Information can be exported – excel, COBie or IFC for digital reuse
  • Issued and stored in the CDE

Stage 1- Assessment and need defined with Plain language questions asked by the client to determined their need. From this the EIRs can be produced to form part of the tender information.

Stage 2 – Procurement

  • Bidders can respond with their pre contract BIM execution plan
  • Client can then compare submissions against criteria
  • Leads to post contract award and mobilisation

Stage 4- Production

  • This would include Modelling and specification development
  • The DPoW defines what, when and who
  • Systems start to be added – ceilings, alarms, etc.
  • Level of Detail LOD (geometry) and level of information LOI (information) defined within this
  • American system is the best definition currently 100,200,300, etc. But is very long. A UK version has been developed and adopted within the DPoW
  • There is a LOD pop up incorporated into software to describe LOD
  • Quantity surveyor can input NRM1
  • Incorporates new Uniclass system
  • Spaces can be searched to simplify the process of different naming
  • Uniclass models design process by driving down into detail over time
  • Naming of elements – synonyms added to reduce problems
  • Validation process – building smart technologies
  • Verification between what has been asked for and what has been delivered

Stage 7 – In use

  • The aim is to provide digital, well structured information at handover

Stephen’s Conclusion – overall benefits described as;

  • Clients able to align information requirements
  • Design and construction – who is doing what and when
  • Fully digitised and well structured information

Sources of information:


Questions from the audience:

Classification system is Uniclass, can this be changed if working overseas?

Not currently but planned


Data accumulated – is it open source? Will there be a cut off?

Yes, open API functionality to be incorporated


Is there a recommended source to align information requirements?

The bim toolkit will form this and be able to add standard RIBA forms into appendix


Difference between level 2 and 3, what is the difference?

Level 2 is about looking after their own information and then pushing into CDE as PDFs

Level 3 is everyone working within the cloud and digital procurement online using digital information


Definition of EIRs – are there any tools to support clients in their requirements?

The BIM Taskgroup website has a template which is the source document for the DPoW


How much is it developed for an international audience?

More required work over time to meet this need, the US identified initially as a prime market


Clients confidentiality – how secure is the site?

HTTPS and SSL security incorporated from Microsoft – PAS 1192-5 will be included as a tick box required to ensure security is understood on the information uploaded by users.


Will it work for sensitive projects such as a nuclear project ?

To be tested in the future


Toolkit has potential to make Level 2 accessible to rest of industry- what is the approach to training and guidance?

This will be on the website, support included within tool with videos and case studies. The aim is for an intuitive interface.


2 thoughts on “@thenbs Digital Plan of Work Introduction

  1. I agree that the Why/What/Who needs some clarification. Does it aim to add further detail to Stage 4 of the RIBA Plan of Work with regard to ‘Information Exchanges’? I have the ‘BIM Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work’ from 2012 which talks about ‘sufficient detail’ at the old stage F1 (Production Information). Is this still relevant? and if so, is this where reference to the NBS is meant to be made? This afternoons webinar may provide further clarification – https://thebimhub.com/en/events/2015/03/discover-exactly-what-is-required-for-uk-level-ii/#.VQ_aa_msW84

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