Building information modelling: protocols for collaborative design processes

Mohamad Kassem, Nahim Iqbal, Graham Kelly, Stephen Lockley, Nashwan Dawood

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    Numerous frameworks and protocols are being developed to facilitate BIM understanding and implementation. A BIM framework is a structured theoretical construct that can assist in organizing BIM domains of knowledge and facilitate the creation of new knowledge. BIM Protocols explain or simplify aspects of the BIM implementation by providing detailed steps or conditions (e.g. workflows, plans, manuals, etc.) to reach a measurable outcome. Currently available BIM protocols lack the level of details and the inclusion of implementation variables and complexities present at project levels. This research aims to propose protocols for BIM collaborative design that can be utilized at project level by an entire supply chain to increase the efficiency and consistency of information flow and BIM deliverables. A grounded theory approach was adopted due to its particular emphasis on providing explicit strategies for defining and studying processes. The proposed protocols consist of flowcharts, diagrams and matrices that guide the processes of BIM implementation for collaborative design among lead architects, engineering consultants, clients and contractors. A top-level model of the protocols, representing the main elements of the protocols, the relations between elements, the underpinning methodology and a gate decision for technology, process and policy approval, is presented as an abstraction of the content of the protocols. The testing of the protocols in two international design competitions, using a mixed quantitative-qualitative, demonstrated their potential in improving the quality and quantity of information delivered to stakeholders involved in the design process. There are primary and secondary contributions that stemmed from this research. The primary contribution is represented by both the methodology for development and testing and the proposed protocols for BIM collaborative design. The secondary contribution derives from the classification and review of BIM frameworks and the demonstration of the influence of the BIM project physical environment on the performance of teams.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)126-149
    JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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