FACTS ABOUT BIM-MEPAUS:
- BIM - Building Information Modelling
- MEP - Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing
- Aus - Australia
Frustration with BIM
Many Australian Mechanical Contractors had grown frustrated with BIM (Building Information Modeling) and the additional costs that implementing BIM often led to. BIM was intended to be an integrated process for sharing key physical and functional characteristics digitally that was going to allow professionals to deliver projects faster and more economically. Integration was the keyword, with BIM helping to enable supply chain integration as part of an integrated project delivery (IPD) approach that leveraged technological advances. But in the experience of many industry professionals that was not happening.
Their experience was that even though the same consultant produced BIM models with very basic parameters, as soon as these models were introduced to the BIM architecture from contractors and suppliers, things went wrong. The consultant’s models and the contractors’ models could not integrate with one other. The result was that the whole BIM model had to be reworked, with extra expense to follow. There was no common standard for the creation of BIM models.
"It was like 5 people designing the different parts of a car’s bodywork using different parameters, without talking to each other, then expecting the production line to fit all the parts together."
Ben Leigh, CBS Regional Business Development Manager, Grundfos Asia Pacific Region
Enter BIM-MEP Aus
This is where BIM-MEPAUS comes into the picture. BIM-MEPAUS is a collaboration between many of the major players in the Australian construction market. With the AMCA (Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association of Australia) behind the project, major contractors, design consultancies, other associations, standards committees and larger suppliers to the industry such as Grundfos also came on board.
BIM Pump Model Standard
Grundfos Australia was invited to become involved in a pump working group with other manufacturers. The aim was to develop one of the first model types for BIM MEP Aus. This involved drawing-up and adopting common specifications, standards, models and workflows.
The pump working group would also draw up a blueprint and workflow for how other industries could be brought together to develop common standards for BIM. Supply chain integration is seen as a key factor in moving towards better IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) practices.
Investment in the world of BIM
Grundfos has already created a number of models which will now be hosted and maintained on the BIM-MEPAUS website. For Grundfos, supporting the BIM-MEPAUS project is an important element in making doing business with Grundfos easier for customers – and doing business in the world of BIM will be easier once common standards are in place.
How to develop a pump standard
The working group that Grundfos Australia was part of begun the process by selecting a suitable pump. They choose the ISO 2858 and DIN EN733 end-suction centrifugal pump as the best place to start. This pump was selected mainly due to generic dimensions between all manufacturers and as the basic pump had been used in Australia for the last 25 years. A limited generic range of BIM models would therefore be required to cover the range of manufacturers, making it an ideal candidate for creating workflow processes and content development.
Having decided on a pump model, the next step was to agree on the required model attributes. These had to include fixed and manufacturer variable dimensions, as well as agreement on the level of model detail to be included. Making use of industry best practice input, the variables that needed to be attached to the model in BIM-MEPAUS were also determined. These included the design schedule; performance schedule; installed pump data; and commissioning schedule. With these schedules in place there would be complete life traceability of the project from design to completion attached to the building documentation.
In a BIM-MEPAUS project the design engineer will fill out the design schedule with the required information for flow, pressure, speed and electrical data. The next step is that the mechanical engineer completes this data by entering manufacturer specific data once the pumps are actually installed. The final stage is the loading of commissioning data so that this can be referenced at any point in the future to ensure that the buildings facility managers can ensure the building is still running according to design specifications.
Delivery of the BIM-MEPAUS project will benefit consultants and contractors in the Australian construction industry. A BIM solution that works across the board will reduce drafting and modelling costs and reduce waste, duplication and reworking, while securing the quality of information and documentation. It will also improve co-ordination, saving time and money on new construction and retrofit projects alike. Finally, improved commissioning and maintenance data will help optimise building operation and also lower costs here, making life easier for Grundfos Australia’s customers.