For projects where Building Information Modeling (BIM) is used by the contractor for developing the shop drawings (LOD 400) based on the issued for construction (IFC) documents (LOD 350) and later the as-built documents (LOD 500), associating the BIM model objects with the project WBS levels and activities will be of great value for all those involved in delivering the project, including the project control system (PCS) team. The association of the data included in the BIM models and the data captured in the project control system (PCS) modules becomes the basis for achieving what is known as the digital twin to reflect what was designed to be built. In addition, this data association enables generating the 4D Schedule Simulation, 5D Connected Cost, and 6D for Facility Management. In addition, the association of BIM model data and PCS data enables the creation of dimensions for the BIM data including 7D Quality, 8D Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE), and other dimensions.
The first step for enabling the association of the BIM model and the PCS data is to establish a data field. This becomes common to both, BIM and PCS. For example, the Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) practice provides a very good approach for creating this common data field. The AWP breakdown structure is a comprehensive structure that covers the stages of engineering, procurement, and construction of a project. Of course, this can be modified to address each project’s own specific needs. For example, the data field “WTF.12.E.4.C05.14” stands for Installation Work Package (IWP) “14”, which is part of the Construction Work Package (CWP) “C05”, that belongs to the Sub-Discipline “4” for Excavation which is part of the Discipline “E” for Earthwork for which it belongs to Construction Work Area (CWA) ‘12”. The same coding structure is also used when it comes to Engineering Work Packages (EWP) and Material and Equipment Procurement Work Packages (PWP). Finally, the Project Code “WTF” will be also part of the BIM association data field.
The BIM Association data field should not be confused with the BIM Object ID, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS), or any other data field used in BIM models or PCS modules. It is a new data field that becomes common to all BIM modules and functions of the PCS modules. Unlike the data in the BIM models, the data or transactions created in the different functions of the PCS module might require that data be associated at a summarized level. To provide this flexibility, add additional data fields for the Construction Work Areas (CWA), sometimes also known as Zones, Major Discipline, and Sub-Disciplines. Using a Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb allows all those data fields to be created using the Selection List module.
Those data fields become available for each record or transaction that is needed for the PCS functions, like those for submittals, work inspection requests, safety events, pay items in interim payment certificates, and many others. In addition to the default or standard data fields that are available in PMWeb default processes, PMWeb allows adding an unlimited number of data fields to any given process as well as up to 10 additional data fields to the detailed tables for default PMWeb processes.
The same BIM objects association data fields are also created in other applications needed for the Project Control System (PCS). Those could include the Planning and Scheduling applications like Primavera P6 or MS Project as well as cost estimating applications like Cleopatra, Nomitech, CostX, and others. Projects that use their own document management system like Aconex, OpenText, MS Sharepoint, and others should also use the BIM Association data field.
The association of the BIM data with the PCS data enables the Project Control System (PCS) to improve the visualization of their PCS information. For example, the data captured in the daily report module provides the info needed for “Digital-Twin” reporting where the actual site progress data and progress photos can be associated with their relevant BIM data.
Similarly, the association of the BIM data with the project schedule data helps to provide the 4D schedule simulation. Of course, this 4D report does not replace the usage of advanced 4D schedule simulation that is usually provided by dedicated applications like Synchro or others. The association of the BIM data with the schedule data and other schedule-related data captured in Extension of Time (EOT) requests and Time Impact Analysis (TIA) reports provides the project team with better insight into the project’s schedule, schedule delays, and others.
Another popular BIM 4D report, the Delay Analysis Report can be created by the PCS team to provide a comparison between two schedule updates or between the baseline schedule and the updated project schedule. The report provides an interactive report that enables the project team to understand the progress variance.
In addition, the association of the BIM data with the project’s budget and contract management data provides the connected cost reporting with a different perspective. A Project Management Information System (PMIS) like PMWeb allows digitalizing the PCS functions for budget, budget adjustments and transfers, procured bid packages or contracts, awarded contracts, potential change orders, pending, approved and disputed change orders, interim payment certificates, actual payments made, income contracts, change orders, monthly payment requests, the actual payment received and forecast to complete. The association of this rich data with the BIM model data enables the PCS team to provide an interactive BIM Enabled Connected Cost Report.
For projects that require the PCS team to display the BIM objects associated with the work in place approved for the interim payment certificates, the line items of the monthly progress invoice managed in the PMWeb Project Management Information System will be tagged with the relevant BIM association data field. This enables the PCS team to provide an interactive report that details the total value of work done (VOWD) for each progress period as captured in PMWeb.
The report can be associated with another report that provides the breakdown of the work in place as per the project’s Bill of Quantity which is captured in the interim progress invoice module in PMWeb. This report enables the reader to better visualize the completed scope of work for the current progress period or any other progress period. Similar to all other interactive reports, the data displayed in the report including the BIM objects automatically changes depending on the selected data filter.
For project communications like Request for Information (RFI) or Technical Query (TQ), Technical Submittals like those for shop drawings, material or equipment, and other types of submittals as well as project communications can be tagged with their relevant BIM association data field. This enables the PCS team to create reports that displays the project objects associated with those records. The interactive report enables the reader to filter the data based on the discipline associated with those communication records.
For those involved in reviewing shop drawings, as-built drawings, and other types of engineering drawings using the submittal module of the PMWeb Project Management Information System (PMIS), those submittals can be tagged with their relevant BIM associate data field. This enables the PCS team to report on the status of those submittals including the achieved progress for engineering deliverables.
For quality-related processes such as those associated with the concrete pour, work inspection request (WIR), material inspection requests (MIR), non-compliance reports (NCR), and other quality functions, the template created in PMWeb will be designed to include the BIM association data field. This enables the PCS team to create interactive reports that display the location of the concrete pours, inspected work, or those associated with an NCR.
Similarly, all testing and commissioning inspections including function and performance, pre-startup and pre-energization tests as well as the inspection tests for static and rotary equipment as well as the engineering and procurement details of that equipment will be designed to include the BIM data association field so they can be tagged with their relevant BIM objects. Accordingly, the PCS team generates reports to enable visualization of the data captured in those transactions using their associated BIM model.
There could be many other usages of associating the BIM model data, PCS modules data, and data from other applications, but another type of report that could be of interest to the project team is the report associated with the project’s snagging for which the data will be captured using the PMWeb punch list module. Unlike the other BIM-enabled reports, this report is configured to display the room or the space where the snagging item was identified. The same report helps to report defects identified during the defects’ liability period.
The content of this article was extracted from the book titled “Let’s Transform: Enabling Digital Transformation of Capital Construction Projects Using the PMWeb Project Management Information System – 2nd Edition”. The book was written by the author of the posted article, Bassam Samman.
The book provides project owners with oversight on how technology available today can support their efforts to digitally transform the management of their projects’ portfolios. For each capital project life cycle stage, PMWeb is used to detail how the relevant project management business processes can be digitalized to enforce transparency and accountability in delivering projects. In addition, MS Power BI was used to show how the real-time, trustworthy data captured in PMWeb can be aggregated, modeled, monitored, evaluated, analyzed, and reported on anytime, anywhere using any device.