BIM M&E – RIBA stages

There does not seem to be much doubt of the benefits BIM can deliver on new projects along with the timely, cost efficient decisions that are being made in collaboration. This is good for the process, and the drivers behind the process.

This article discusses how the MEP disciplines fit into the UK recognised RIBA work stages and how things are changing for the better to align the many different views and working practices from the different institutions and bodies, involved in the construction process.

At hurleypalmerflatt, we currently use a six stage BIM process that aligns to the current BIM RIBA work stages published in May 2012. The RIBA work stages are currently undergoing a consultation with a view to being rewritten to align with the Construction Industry Council’s (CIC) proposed work stages.

This revised work flow is anticipated to be released late 2012 or early 2013.

The changes are a significant step forward in the alignment of work flow between the whole construction industry and will reflect the BIM work processes’. The most obvious change will be the use of numbers instead of letters to describe the work stages.

A brief summary of the proposed work stages is as follows:

  • Stage 1 Preparation
  • Stage 2 Concept Design
  • Stage 3 Developed Design
  • Stage 4 Technical Design
  • Stage 5 Specialist Design
  • Stage 6 Construction
  • Stage 7 Use and Aftercare

The various numbered stages will align with the various construction activities of tendering, programming, planning and a newer concept of key information exchanges.

BIM uses these information drops in its process to allow clear and defined information for a client and his team to make key decisions. Examples of these drops or information exchanges are:

Information Exchange 1

Initial project brief. The brief will be decided following consultation with all design team members to ensure all elements are considered, the MEP and energy/sustainability proposals being key to this part of the process.

Information Exchange 2

Concept design, to include all design strategies, preliminary cost information and final project brief. From the MEP aspect, this will include volumetric information on plant spaces, riser sizes and service routes, to show how the MEP installations fit into the overall building volumes.

Information Exchange 3

Developed design, with the various disciplines being co-ordinated in their design solutions, particularly those that have a significant impact such as structural and mechanical design. The cost information is also developed further at this stage.

Information Exchange 4

Technical design, including the various specifications and scope requirements. From the MEP side the design will be developed to allow all performance specified work to be understood by any specialist sub contractors. Any early procurement packages will also be finalised for issue at this stage.

Information Exchange 5

Specialist design, will include the progression of specialist subcontractors design elements to comply with the performance requirements as set out in the design responsibility documents and specifications.

Information Exchange 6

Construction or Installation process, including any offsite fabrication and on site construction, monitoring of programming, quality inspections and general administration of the contract. The Contractor will also be completing the as installed and record information to allow the soft landings aspect of the project.

Information Exchange 7

Use and aftercare, includes implementation by the Contractor of the soft landings strategy, including any post occupancy evaluation and feedback. From MEP side this will include any comparison between design and actual target performance.

For Hurley Palmer Flatt the proposed changes to the RIBA work flow stages are welcome as they will allow a clarity and alignment of responsibility to the whole construction process from inception to building operation for the MEP design services.