Utilising BS 1192:2007 #BIM processes

Utilising BS 1192:2007 #BIM processes

What are the advantages that can be gained from utilising the BS1192:2007 (note: amended from PAS1192:2007 in original question) processes and what problems may arise from doing so?

(Note: this text refers to the previous iteration of BS 1192:2007+A1 and not the most recent 2016 edition)


To confirm the advantages that can be gained from utilising the BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 Collaborative production of architectural engineering and construction information – code of practice processes within a Common Data Environment (CDE) and what problems may arise from doing so, the aims of this document will be discussed as well as the benefits that have been experienced on previous pilot projects. Additionally, a perspective on current ways of working will be reviewed at an organisational level as well as a project level as an individual consultant’s traditional way of working, and how this is transferred to a project, will have an effect on the success of the use of the standard. Finally, behavioural change will be argued as the greatest challenge to implementing the processes within a CDE across the industry.

BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 states that the standard is for all construction project documentation and the aim is to allow “project team members to work together more efficiently and accurately on construction projects” (BSI 2015, p.1). This is further supported by explanatory notes that the standard should support communication, the reuse of information and the sharing of accurate information that involves “checking, approving, authorizing and accepting” (BSI 2015, p.5) information within the CDE process for better outcomes for the project.  This illustrates that the authors recognised that this process was lacking within existing construction documentation and this needed to be addressed by consultant and contractor teams for client benefit.  In order to achieve this, the processes described within the document focus on a process of quality control and the use of a CDE as a central location for a single source of information that facilitates collaboration and cooperation between project team members and limits the risk of duplication and errors (Designingbuildings.co.uk, 2015). In regard to the CDE the benefits to the client are proposed to be the assurance that the information is accurate and issued for a specific purpose, challenging existing construction industry practices of issuing information that is not well coordinated (particularly in 2D) where the exchange of information can lead to conflicting information.

When considering the advantages of the processes within BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 it is useful to understand what effect this has on client satisfaction and overall programme and budget performance, which are a major measure the success of a project. Richards confirms the aim of the standard is a new code of practice that defines the process of delivery of construction documentation and that this “provides a platform for ‘best profit for all’” (Avanti/BS1192:2007 for Best Profit for All 2008, p.12).  Richards confirms that this would include a project that succeeds when; the supply chain can deliver the production information, the project can be constructed first time, that there are no defects recorded, it is on programme and, crucially, to the expected budget (Avanti/BS 1192:2007 for Best Profit For All 2008, p.12).  His view is that there will be an increase in supply chain profitability, a reduction to project risks, less resource required on the project and financial concerns are minimised, particularly for clients procuring the project (Avanti/BS 1192:2007 for Best Profit For All, 2008, p.12). Further to this the document goes on to confirm that the financial savings on the pilot project included; 18% reduction in drawing production costs, design work enabled to be delivered faster and with less resources, less Requests For Information (RFI) required and a project that was returned to the client to the budget and the programme.  This appears to align with the intention for BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 to promote a standard methodology for working and for profitability for all team members.  This illustrates the proposal that BS 1192:2007-A1:2015 as a process that has advantages for the project team, the client and the project delivery itself.

Within BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 there is an acceptance of issues that may prevent the effective use of this standard, these include; establishing roles and responsibilities, naming conventions, specific codes and spatial coordination, requirement for a CDE and utilisation of an information hierarchy that supports the CDE (BSI 2015, p. 4). The standard goes on to either mitigate these issues within the standard or provide confirmation that these issues should be agreed prior to the project commencing.

Buttimer (2015) has illustrated many of the issues that can arise from using a CDE, in particular that process requirements have to be ‘strictly adhered to’. Additionally, Buttimer discusses interoperability being fundamental to achieve the benefits proposed by BS 1192:2007, as well as cyber security which is an emerging area of concern.  Smart (2015) also highlights areas such as unwillingness to share models, using other consultant models and protection of intellectual rights of modelled information, some of which are meant to be covered by the Construction Industry Council BIM Protocol (Construction Industry Council, 2013).

Whilst these are valid points which are being addressed with additional standards such as PAS 1192:5 (British Standards Institute, 2015) for security, however, there are additional problems that can arise from the use of this standard, not with the standards itself, but with behavioural and organisational change that will be required to implement them successfully within an organisation and on a project. These include additional training for existing staff, behavioural change away from current ways of working due to a perceived complexity that differs from current non-standardised ways of working and the requirement for additional management activities from the project team. Additionally, management within an organisation could raise concerns regarding the cost in terms of time or additional fee.  It would appear that greater communication of the benefits of this standard method of working and the project savings that were experienced by Richards would ameliorate these issues.

Richards (2015) has argued that the construction industry has struggled to learn from the Egan and Latham reports particularly with regard to collaborative working towards a shared goal. Therefore behavioural change is a key area required to overcome these issues.  Recently there has been new collaborative working documentation issued to support this shift to collaborative and cooperative methodologies as “BS 11000 provides a framework for collaborative business relationships, to help companies develop and manage their interactions with other organizations for maximum benefit to all.” (BSI, 2015).

BS 11000 Collaborative Business Relationships (BSI, 2015) promotes and explains how to collaborate successfully by discussing various ways of collaborative working, such as enhancing communication, defining roles and responsibilities and generating partnerships. Also it outlines how to begin to share possible project costs, risks and look at training and building better relationships overall.   As part of this it appears to support the concept of additional management skills required to ensure that staff are able to understand processes such as a CDE, test out the concepts initially and also to receive the support they need.  The perceived burden on an organisation could be considered by management to be an additional cost to the practice in regard to time and fees, however Richards (2008) states that “The cost of implementing this simple methodology and following the procedures is very small compared to the return on that investment.” (Richards 2008, p.14)

However, problems have been highlighted with the updates to the processes in relation to the new update BS1192:2007+A1:2015.  This was meant to align the documentation across the suite of PAS 1192 documentation that supports BIM Level 2.  Rob Jackson of Bond Bryan Architects on Twitter (Mobile.twitter.com, 2015) has raised discrepancies between the former BS 1192:2007 and the new BS 1192:2007+A1:2015, these include;

Table 4 (p.16) File name example includes a code of Z1 but this should be V1.

8.2.2 (p.18) has a code of ’00 All zones’ but zones were replaced by volumes/systems in the update.

8.3.2 (p.19) appears twice. Second entry should have been deleted as still refers to “zone” and “asset”.

9.2 (p.20) None of the additional codes and changes to codes are noted as A1 except for Survey.

C.2 (p.30) refers to BS 1192:2007 layers except document is now withdrawn? Should reference A1 update.

(Mobile.twitter.com, 2015)

With the exception of clause 8.3.2 these appear to be minor errors, however if the standard is to give confidence to the construction industry these should be updated as soon as possible to ensure that there is no confusion, clause 8.3.2 in particular needs to be omitted urgently.

Therefore, the advantages that can be gained from utilising the BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 processes within a CDE have been shown through real project evidence to reduce project costs, deliver projects to the programme and budget, and also ensure that a quality checking system provides verified information for the design team, contractor and supply chain and, crucially for the client.   Some of the problems that may arise from this process have included, behavioural change management away from existing ways of working, future updating the document to mitigate the discrepancies contained within it and also ensuring that there is greater understanding within consultant teams that implementing this will be a cost effective solution to historic and current industry issues.  The standard should give greater confidence to clients that the projects they are procuring will be delivered on time, on budget and this will lead to a satisfied client and greater profitability for all involved.


Avanti/BS1192:2007 for Best Profit For All. (2008). Design Productivity Journal, [online] 4(5), pp.12, 13, 14. Available at: http://www.excitech.co.uk/dpj/aec/vol4_5_pdf/bs1192.pdf [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015]

British Standards Institute, (2015). BS 11000 Collaborative Business Relationships Product Guide. London: British Standards Institute.

British Standards Institute, (2007). Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information – Code of practice. London: BSI

British Standards Institute, (2015). BS 1192:2007+A1:2015 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information – Code of practice. London: BSI

British Standards Institute, (2015). PAS 1192-5:2015 Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management. London: British Standards Institute.

Constructing Excellence, (2009). Never Waste a Good Crisis. [online] Available at: http://constructingexcellence.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Wolstenholme_Report_Oct_20091.pdf [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].

Construction Industry Council, (2013). BUILDING INFORMATION MODEL (BIM) PROTOCOL. London: Construction Industry Council.

Construction Task Force, (1998). Rethinking Construction. [online] London: Constructing Excellence. Available at: http://constructingexcellence.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/rethinking_construction_report.pdf [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].

Designingbuildings.co.uk, (2015). Common data environment CDE – Designing Buildings Wiki. [online] Available at: http://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Common_data_environment_CDE [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].

Mobile.twitter.com, (2015). Twitter. [online] Available at: https://mobile.twitter.com/bondbryanBIM/status/657571659659018240?p=v [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].

HMSO, (2015). Constructing the Team. [online] London: Constructing Excellence. Available at: http://constructingexcellence.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Constructing-the-team-The-Latham-Report.pdf [Accessed 1 Nov. 2015].

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