Los Angeles college district sets BIM mandate for $9.5B construction program
BIM mandate will help you to save money and manage your facilities
- The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has set a building information modeling (BIM) mandate for its $9.5 billion, bond-backed facility construction and modernization program, according to Cadalyst.
- In order to win contracts, according to Building Design + Construction, design-build teams for new construction and renovation work must name a BIM facilitator that will coordinate the project's BIM workflow, follow the requirements for shared data servers, track projects on the LACCD's BIM website, and submit BIM models to the district for use in post-construction facility management. The designer must also provide a "virtual theater" in which the entire team can view the 3D BIM models.
- LACCD is currently undergoing a $6 billion construction program on all nine of its campuses throughout Los Angeles County. By using BIM, the LACCD already has saved $12 million in construction costs.
The LACCD is following the same path as the United Kingdom and other countries that have mandated the use of BIM on taxpayer-funded construction projects, including a focus on the savings that come after construction is complete.
In 2016, the UK implemented a Level 2 BIM mandate, which required all parties on construction projects – architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers – to communicate via common file formats like Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) or Industry Foundation Class (IFC). This pales in comparison to what the LACCD is requiring of its project teams, but it's steering the public construction sector in a direction that will help owners of public assets save money and better manage their facilities.
In fact, Peter Trebilcock, former design and BIM program director at the U.K. division of Balfour Beatty and now head of architecture at CAPITA ESA headquartered in London, told Construction Dive in April 2016 that getting a better handle on maintenance and operations was at the core of the government's decision to mandate BIM.
Since then, Russia and Australia have announced plans to implement BIM mandates, or at least nationwide standards.
Even though there is potential for significant savings, the likelihood of U.S. implementing a BIM mandate is doubtful. In the U.K., firms saved 15% to 20% of construction costs from 2009 to 2015 using BIM, but, according to Roger Grant, program director at the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), the U.S. doesn't have a single agency that handles public construction work like the U.K. has.