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ThinkBIM Security – 7th December 2016

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December 2016’s ThinkBIM was particularly memorable for an eye-opening and occasionally frightening view of just how vulnerable the built environment might be to cyber attack, writes Paul Wilkinson of pwcom and thinkBIM Steering Group member.

In May 2015, PAS1192-5 – “Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management” – became the latest addition to the suite of UK BIM documents, and Turner & Townsend’s Nathan Jones gave us the benefit of a non-construction person’s view of this document. Nathan was recruited into the construction industry after working in the armed forces specialising in military grade IT and security-related technologies.

From his presentation and roundtable contributions, it was clear that he felt existing construction industry IT practices lag behind most other industry sectors in respect of security (“Often IT security is a bit backward in construction”).

This is, of course, hardly surprising. Within the living memory of many people still working in the sector, we mostly exchanged information by paper. But now, in the early years of the 21st century, we are increasingly sharing ‘electronic paper’ – emails instead of letters, Word documents instead of typed reports, PDFs or native files instead of drawings, etc. We already must be vigilant about security: guarding against software viruses, ‘phishing’, hacking, and theft or loss of devices, while also continuing to track, store and protect our communications and intellectual property. (And not always successfully: details of the internal layout of a Royal Palace were recently freely distributed to potential tenderers via an email attachment, Nathan said.)

However, the next stages in the digital transformation of the built environment sector are set to make information management more challenging from a security point of view.

 

From BIM to BASM

As firms begin to share and to combine or ‘federate’ data-rich 3D, 4D (time) and 5D (cost) models, project teams will need to heighten their cyber-security regimes.

A shared 3D model may expose intellectual property to competitors. Moreover, a walk-through visualisation of a new building might expose sensitive information about the building’s design – key structural components, locations of key building services, placement of CCTV or other security equipment, for example. Shared 4D models might reveal periods when assets might be susceptible to sabotage or sites could be vulnerable to theft, while a 5D model could reveal commercially sensitive pricing information to competitors.

Published by the British Standards Institute and the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), PAS1192-5 is intended to help teams identify and guard against risks including:

  • hostile reconnaissance
  • malicious acts
  • loss or disclosure of intellectual property
  • loss or disclosure of commercially sensitive information, and
  • release of personally identifiable information.

And our already abbreviation-heavy glossary of BIM terms now includes BASM – built asset security management – as a new discipline. Early engagement with a BAS manager will help a project team and the asset owner develop a strong built asset security strategy (BASS) and management plan (BASMP), said Nathan.

People can be our greatest asset, but also our weakest link

Such measures will become more important in an increasingly connected world of not just ‘smart buildings’ but ‘Smart Cities’. We will need to protect information created during delivery of a new built asset, and – just as importantly, and depending on the asset’s sensitivity – protect some or all of the data created by the people and systems in and around that asset, and in any connected assets or infrastructure.

At the people level, precautions might include procedures limiting information access to those with defined roles (I was encouraged that Nathan identified that some Software-as-a-Service collaboration platforms do this well: restricting access to certain files, models or data only to people with defined responsibilities), supported by systems of passes, logins, keys or other forms of authentication.

 

BASM – it’s about people

As with other aspects of BIM, this is certainly not just about technology, but people and process. Awareness raising and training will be important: working practices learned in the days of paper or “spray and pray” email will need to be amended, and data vulnerabilities addressed. Often the weak link will not be the software or hardware, but the people that use them (users noting passwords and PINs on Post-It notes next to their computers, for example), and, as risks cannot be entirely eliminated, Nathan also advised that organisations need plans and processes dictating how they will respond to security breaches.

In one of the roundtable sessions, John Lorimer asked Nathan if this heightened focus on security might counteract recent years’ efforts to get companies and people to share information more readily. “Security should not stop collaboration, so long as it is controlled and people are aware,” Nathan replied, “BIM is actually helping to trigger some security-minded conversations much earlier. We may soon be segmenting our construction supply chains according to those who are security-aware, and those who aren’t.”

 

Success Stories and Data Security – 7th December 2016

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Level 1 – the critical foundations to delivering on digital projects

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Here at thinkBIM we are very aware that there is still a great need to explain the fundamentals of working digitally to both new delegates as well as regular attendees. Despite surveys that suggest a huge and comprehensive uptake of BIM in the UK; the government mandate and numerous organisations proclaiming their ability to deliver Level 2 (or beyond – really??) we regularly meet lots of businesses still bewildered as to how and where they might need to start out on their ‘BIM journey’.

So cue thinkBIM’s November event; Level 1 – the critical foundations to delivering on digital projects. Hot on the heels of our fifth birthday party in September and our successful Government Mandate twilight event in October came a whole evening dedicated to a 40 page British Standard first published in 2007. But a geek-fest this was not, well not completely. BS1192:2007+A2:2016 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information – Code of practice to give the full title is absolutely fundamental to the concept of defining the rules of collaborative working and delivering projects digitally. You can download the standard here http://bim-level2.org/en/standards/

The scope of the standard is well considered, and when read in conjunction with the preceding Introduction makes it clear why the processes outlined in this document are fundamental to collaborative working practices. It really is worth reproducing these words here before we move on –

scope

 

So after all that what did we learn at the event. Well John Adams gave us a self-proclaimed wedge-free presentation. Three slides in we had the first obvious, but often over-looked requirement of Level 2 fundamentals – do Level 1 first! John walked us through the process of issuing documents around the process in the standard but reminded everyone of the following too

Buy CDE > Set Project Number > 4 Folders > WIP, Shared, Published, Archived does not equal a CDE!!

John’s final words about using the standard; don’t deviate – it ruins everything.

John’s slide deck: thinkbim-level-one-cde

After John’s presentation it was my turn to speak again at thinkBIM. In apparent wave of extreme geekiness I had decided to speak on Suitability Codes. Why – because in my opinion they are fundamental to the standard and the underlying collaborative working requirements that the standard advocates. Why you are issuing data, for what purpose, is as fundamental as actually issuing the data itself in my opinion and is important both contractually and practically. Even now I’m not sure that I’d got everything in my slides right, in fact the next presentation explained one specific part that I’d not grasped myself – a great example of where everyone learns at thinkBIM!

Duncan’s slide deck: suitability-codes

The third presentation of the evening came from Lee Chappelow from SES. After explaining how SES have set about creating and operating their own CDE Lee took us through 13 slides to explain how a document produced by the SES BIM team moves to published status. Now on the face of it this sounds horrendous; thirteen stages to just get a document approved but for me a lot of what Lee was saying is what good practice should look like and the thoroughness he was demonstrating is as much about an industry that has been so pressurised to deliver that corners are cut or risk just passed downstream rather than owned.

Lee showed us what good looks like, and what good as a digital workflow should be. Lots of food for thought and the feedback from the event certainly confirmed this too.

Lee’s slide deck: thinkbim-cde

Thanks to John and Lee for helping to deliver another great thinkBIM. In this case the slides seemed so important we have published them in full for you all to reference again as needed.

As a final post script I do accept that working in accordance with BS1192:2007 does look complicated and daunting but once you get to grips with the standard and start using it the processes do become easier. But it is still a bit of challenge – only a week after the event I had a 30 minute discussion with a contracting friend over the interpretation of just one of these suitability codes in the standard.

So as we said on the night – to use the standard effectively you must make sure the project team has a common understanding of the document – this may mean defining, explaining, agreeing and documenting how the standard is to be used in the BIM Execution Plan. But remember don’t alter it – otherwise then it’s not a standard.

thinkBIM –  2nd November 2016

#Duncan Reed, Chair thinkBIM

Delivering Digital Assets under the Level 2 Mandate

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October brought in the first event of our Autumn series and a return to The Rosebowl as the venue for our twilight seminar on how centrally procured departments are delivering Level 2 BIM Under the mandate.

The evening opened with a fantastic presentation from Cliff Jones, the Head of Construction Procurement, at the Department of Health. It was great to hear his measured, but equally challenging, view on how he see that BIM has – and more importantly should – be adopted in the NHS. Cliff made the very important point early on in his presentation that BIM isn’t an add-on; it has to be integral to the wider construction and business process of an organisation.

 

thinkbim-1He also noted that BIM = Lean but reminded the audience of what Lean really means – it’s not about cost cutting, it is about driving out waste.

 

BIM = Lean (NOT Cost Cutting – Improved Efficiency and Productivity)

 

  • The most efficient, effective and successful companies in other industries (and countries) have applied “lean” for decades;
    • Add value and remove waste;
    • Extensive use of developments in Technology supported by Digital Data.
    • Waste =  
  • Processes/procedures that do not add value;
  • Use of resources (labour/plant/materials in a non-productive and therefore non value adding way;
  • Defects;
  • Unnecessary transportation;

 

 

Whilst the benefits of the P21+ and P22 Frameworks provided ample evidence of how collaborative working can improve outcomes it was some of the more nuanced comments that caught my attention. The DoH hasn’t mandated the use of BIM by the NHS as such as it understands that forcing something on Trusts won’t work – from the very start they have to want to do it. This was a very powerful point for me.

Cliff rounded up his presentation with some very real and useful points on how to adopt BIM on projects.

thinkbim2thinkbim3

 


 

Due to a last minute cancellation by our other speaker thinkBIM showed its agile credentials by organising Steering Group member Tom Oulton to review the recently published Ministry of Justice (MOJ) BIM documentation. These documents can be found here http://bit.ly/29b13Kq

The MoJ launched their Client Best Practice Guides in June this year but like many other things associated with BIM development not everyone in the audience was aware of their existence. They were developed by the client led BIM2AIM Special Interest Group, in a process led by Matthew Watchorn, MoJ Head of BIM. In an article in BIM+ recording the launch event of the documents Matthew is quoted saying –

“Dismantling, examining and jointly rebuilding the EIR suite of standards from the bottom up was a fundamental moment in the MoJ BIM story and will stand us and other government departments in good stead in making the next phase of BIM a reality for projects going forward”

It always strikes me as a bit strange that the industry seems to clamber for examples or Case Studies about BIM only to then complain about anything that is produced. Personally I feel that the industry shouldn’t keep shooting at those people or organisations that do stick their heads over the battlements. It might not be perfect but at least they have published something. But Tom is a good judge of BIM character and led a spirited, yet balanced, discussion over the merits of these documents.

With just a few days to review the SES, OIRs, PLQs, EIRs, and BEP template Tom chose to rate the documents overall using that tried and tested metric of the spaghetti western standard. So – were these documents Good, Bad or Ugly?

thinkbim4

Tom gave his views of the following documents that have been publically shared by the MoJ;

    • Shared Estates Service (SES)
    • Organisational Information Requirements (OIR)
    • Plain Language Questions (PLQs)
    • Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR)
    • BIM Execution Plan (BEP) Verdict – GOOD.  Verdict – Good…but…Would like to see the Common Data Environment (CDE) addressedOIRs The OIR lays out the context but falls short of stating specific requirements. Verdict – BADThree fully populated EIRs should be provided, preferably with real examples for eachBEP The document is easy to follow
    • But Tom felt that the CDE should be owned by MoJ (and I agree)
    • Verdict – Good
    • The Shared Estates Services introduces the Gold, Silver and Bronze projects – but only one EIR
    • EIRs
    • Reads like a guidance document, not the actual document.
    • Verdict – good & bad…
    • Would like to see COST addressed prior to Stage 2 PLQ
    • PLQs
    • The guide nicely sets the scene for BIM
    • Shared Estates Services;
    • And the results from Tom’s review?

It was great to see the audience engage with the speakers in the Q and A sessions and reminded me of the importance of letting our delegates find out what is important to them around the themes discussed.

This format will be extended even further in our Autumn series conference, on December 7th, when we will be offering even more roundtable sessions all focussed around Case Studies – so just what the industry still seems to need.

But before then we are pleased to be hosting a Level 1 BIM event on November 2nd. We all (should) know of the importance of working in accordance with BS1192:2007+A2:2016 but how many of us really apply the standard correctly? Check out your knowledge at this great opportunity to understand one of the bedrock standards for UK BIM that is now expected to be rolled out across Europe and beyond.

thinkBIM blog, October 2016.

#Duncan Reed, Chair thinkBIM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need to talk about Level 1 – the critical foundations to delivering on digital projects #tbim2016

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ThinkBIM Design and Pre Construction 2016

Level 1 – the critical foundations to delivering on digital projects

Wednesday 2nd November, Leeds

17:30 for registration, 18:00 to 20:00

We all know that in order to ‘do’ BIM you need to work in accordance with BS1192:2007 + A2:2016 but how well do we all really know how to use this standard? This event is focussed around getting to grips with the apparently complex container numbering, understanding the purpose of issue and suitability codes as well as explaining who/who/how is a Common Data Environment.

We are pleased to announce our first two speakers; John Adams, Head of BIM Services at BIM Strategy Ltd and Lee Chappelow, BIM Operations Manager at SES Engineering Services.

A back-to-basics event to explain/remind/help our network understand how to work collaboratively.

Remember – if your business can do Level 1 then you can work on a Level 2 project.

We need to talk about Level 1. Are you getting the BIM basics right? Find out at #tbim2016 on 2nd Nov!

Room 538, Lecture Theatre D, 5th Floor, The Rose Bowl, Leeds, LS1 3HB

Click here to book your place! 

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#BIMOpenMic is coming up North!

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BIM North West & Yorkshire Regions in collaboration with Graitec, BDP, Digitalgreen and thinkBIM present… #BIMOpenMic – Manchester

Thursday 24th November 2016

BDP Offices, 11 Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2JB, 

18:00 to 21:00

We are delighted to announce that following the success of the London sessions, #BIMOpenMic is coming up North! #BIMOpenMic nights are about starting conversations and generating discussion about all things BIM and helping address the day to day issues it presents in our work.

So join us on 24th November at BDP Offices in Manchester and give us your observations, opinions, rants, tips and tricks at our “anything goes” session. Be there and be vocal!

Many thanks to our hosts BDP and event sponsors Graitec for helping us to put this session together.

 

thinkBIM is five!

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The year is 2011, 2 billion people around the world have watched Will and Kate say ‘I do’, Azerbaijan have just won Eurovision, Little Mix were about to be unleashed into the world and in a quiet corner of Leeds thinkBIM was being born…

This September, thinkBIM is 5 years old and to mark the occasion we have decided to host a networking birthday bash to say thank you to all our friends and supporters who have joined us on our journey. As well as a chance to network with #UKBIMcrew there will be great food, cake, drink and hospitality with a few surprises thrown in too!

And of course no thinkBIM party would be complete without#BIMbeers and #BIMbubbles!

Completely free to attend – please click here to register your attendance for catering purposes

Many thanks to our good friends at Cubicle Centre for very kindly sponsoring our birthday party!

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#tbim2016 returns in Autumn -> featuring BIM & Health, Getting Level 1 right & our half day “roundtable special” conference

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thinkBIM Autumn Series

Design and Pre Construction

****EXTRA EVENT  JUST ADDED****

7th September 2016, Squire Patton Boggs, Leeds, 17:30 onwards 

The UK Level 2 BIM strategy is 5 years old – thinkBIM is 5 years old too. Come along to celebrate this landmark with the original and best BIM knowledge exchange network. With networking, cake and #BIMbeers #BIMbubbles it’s the hottest ticket in town!

 

5th October 2016, The Rosebowl, Leeds, 17:30 onwards

Delivering on the Level 2 mandate – digital healthcare

With the Level 2 BIM Mandate stretch target expected to be announced two days before this twilight seminar we are pleased to have a set of speakers sharing the benefits of doing Level 2 BIM for a centrally procured department.

We are pleased to announce Cliff Jones, P21+ Programme Manager at the Department of Health and David Kershaw, P21+ Programme Director at Balfour Beatty Regional will be sharing the benefits and lessons learnt of moving the P21+ programme into an age of procuring digital and physical assets.

 

2nd November 2016, The Rosebowl, Leeds, 17:30 onwards

Level 1 – the critical foundations to delivering on digital projects

A back-to-basics event to explain/remind/help our network understand how to work collaboratively.

We all know that in order to ‘do’ BIM you need to work in accordance with BS1192:2007 + A2:2016 but how well do we all really know how to use this standard. This event is focussed around getting to grips with the apparently complex container numbering, understanding the purpose of issue and suitability codes as well as explaining who/how/what is a Common Data Environment. Remember – if your business can do Level 1 then you can work on a Level 2 project.

 

7th December 2016, Squire Patton Boggs, Leeds, 12:30 onwards

Our case study focussed half day conference

We know from your feedback that the round table sessions are what make thinkBIM such a unique and great event so we are looking to amend our format to give you more opportunities at this conference to participate in round table sessions.

The focus will be on real projects working digitally and the teams working on them hosting the sessions.

This will be a great opportunity to find out how the industry is really doing BIM, see how your peers are responding to the challenges and understand what your customers want from you too.

A not to be missed opportunity to upskill your digital knowledge.

 

Only £110 for all four events – click here to book!

Tickets for individual events can also be booked at the link above EXCEPT for our 7th Sept event which should be booked via the link on our website here

 

 

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BIM for FM – still not quite there….

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Paul Wilkinson

Guest post by Paul Wilkinson, thinkBIM ambassador and Director, pwcom.co.uk Ltd

ThinkBIM focused on FM, and provided detailed pointers to FM professionals on both how to get involved with BIM, and why it makes commercial sense.

The latest ThinkBIM half-day conference (on 6 July at Squire Patton Boggs new offices in Leeds, and sponsored by Trimble and GroupBC) looked, once again, at the use of building information modelling by those working in facilities management, operations and maintenance for owner-operator organisations, and yet – on a show of hands – only a small handful of attendees were actually employed in FM. The day therefore repeatedly returned to what government and industry needs to do to get more FM professionals engaged with BIM.

Keynotes

The business case for BIM has been well made by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group since 2011, and regular ThinkBIM keynote speaker Deborah Rowland (currently director of FM at the Ministry of Justice) has been at the forefront in pushing the BIM for FM message in the public sector, citing Government Soft Landings (GSL). She underlined how asset management is fundamental to BIM-enabled project delivery, with client facilities managers involved from a project’s inception in helping to define the employer’s information requirements (EIR) and asset information management (AIM) needs.

PAS 1192-3 covering information management in the operational phase was published in March 2014, and since then advice, standards and protocols covering FM inputs to BIM and beyond have expanded. Deborah highlighted recent useful additions, notably a RICS-developed NRM3 dLCC (digital lifeycle cost) toolkit which aligns BIM with SFG20 maintenance information needs (more about SFG20 here). The MoJ’s BIM2AIM group also recently launched a suite of documents providing clear and concise instruction and guidance on how to define, procure and deliver Level 2 BIM projects (read BIM+ news).

The MoJ’s strategy envisages such tools providing, among other things, much-needed transparency and evidence of value for money to taxpayers, while providing the MoJ with key information to make strategic decisions on its asset portfolio, to innovate, and to continually improve. Surely, many other client organisations will want to reap similar benefits?

FM

 Jacqueline Walpole, Company Product Manager at FSI (FM Solutions)

The second keynote came from FSI’s Jacqueline Walpole. She recalled how many FMs were once a paper-based afterthought: typically, for the client or owner-operator, the completion of a built asset was followed, nine months later, by the handover of a large paper-based archive of information, much of it in paper-based form, some of it already out-of-date. Computer-aided FM (CAFM), therefore, often tended to start from scratch. Digitising design, construction, commissioning and handover processes, she said, opens up the prospect of a digital flow of information into FM (“keeping the BIM live”), achieving operational readiness almost instantly, and Jacqueline highlighted the publication of a new BIFM guide (available here) to achieving such readiness, which includes an EIR template.

The two short keynotes, therefore, promoted readily available toolkits, guides and templates showing how BIM can be applied to support FM, and, in so doing, to enhance the roles of facilities managers. Two of the afternoon’s roundtable workshop sessions also underlined the potential value of data to help managers improve the performance of their assets and to connect their built asset’s data with valuable data held in other systems, but recurring themes about people and silo cultures also surfaced.

Roundtable discussion

Jacqueline Walpole chaired one of the roundtables I attended, getting delegates to consider, first, consider what data might be needed to support asset operations (with a nod to ‘lean’ thinking: “if in doubt, ask the caretaker – what are their ‘must haves’?”), and how some data schemas manage simple issues such as floor-numbering. Secondly, we talked about how in-service performance data might be used to support asset management. Applying analogies including cars and jet engines, we talking about creating and maintaining a built asset’s “service history,” and using the data generated by different building systems’ sensors to improve reliability and energy efficiency. Just as Rolls-Royce routinely collates huge volumes of data from every engine and flight as a basis for meeting its customers’ service level agreements, so facilities managers could collate and analyse built environment data (energy use, temperature, humidity, heating, lighting, equipment use, etc, over time) to support post-occupancy evaluation, optimize lifecycle cost efficiency, and – for ‘repeat clients’ – provide data to help them collaborate with design teams to improve the planning, design, construction and operation of future built assets.

GroupBC’s Steve Crompton led a roundtable pondering trust issues and other reasons why construction project teams have tended to re-key rather than re-use data. Conflicting standards, industry inertia and resistance to major people and process-related changes quickly cropped up. Old attitudes of ‘knowledge is power’ need to be overcome, as does distrust of ‘other people’s data’ (“We don’t trust digital data yet, because we haven’t moved on from distrusting paper information, or stuff off the web”). This workshop also highlighted some of the messages from the 1 June ThinkBIM ‘twilight’ event (link here) – semantic web technologies can help connect data about built assets to other data about the environment and about social aspects of the areas around those built assets. However, security, commercial confidentiality and personal privacy concerns all need to be addressed in selecting what data might be shared and used.

Feedback from all the workshops was shared, after which delegates heard a ‘RetroBIM’ case study from BIM Academy’s Graham Kelly, relating to the compilation of data to support improvement works undertaken at Sydney Opera House in Australia. That a UK-based firm led this project is another indication of how UK BIM experience is prized by clients worldwide, and there is clearly potential for UK FM businesses to similarly become world leaders in applying BIM to FM.

The conference, well chaired by NBS’s Stephen Hamil, showcased some of the standards and guidance now available, talked about the return on investment (ROI), but also – unlike some software vendors mentioned by Graham (“BIM software companies have raised uninformed expectations”) – highlighted it is not a simple technological change. ‘Silo cultures’ and ‘change management’ were two of the key risks on Graham’s project, and they apply equally to the wider adoption of BIM, and not just by the FM community.

Report Released: Enabling BIM through Construction Contracts

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Report released by King’s College London

The Centre of Construction Law and Dispute Resolution is proud to release its research report ‘Enabling BIM through Procurement and Contracts’. This report is the culmination of a two-year project working in collaboration with leading individuals and organisations from across the construction industry.

The research was partly grant funded by the Society of Construction Law and the Association of Consultant Architects. The research methodology was agreed by a multi-disciplinary Research Group and comprised reviews of 12 leading BIM projects and confidential interviews with 40 leading practitioners. The research report was also informed by a full day workshop (20 attendees) and a full day conference (115 attendees), following which all those present were issued with a draft of the report and were invited to comment.

You can download the pdf of this research report for free by completing their online form here.  Please note that you will be required to provide your email address as part of this process.

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