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How to survive adaptation to BIM successfully as Infrastructure Owner

Hands up, who has had troubles at their first BIM experiments? Oh, all of us. Question remains, how do we prepare for them?

BIM Implementation Infrastructures
Published: 13/12/2018

Hands up, who has had troubles at their first BIM experiments? Oh, all of us. Question remains, how do we prepare for them?

One Rule Over All Rules

Is BIM knocking on your doorstep? Is digitalization of infraconstruction pressured from above? What about the old good ways? Why we need to discard all good ways to do the work supervision, tender-periods and design?

Well simply, you make make much bigger results in savings and quality with BIM-supported tools and approaches. Adapting to BIM is the one of the best choices you have around.

Okay, well we just design BIM models and ask the builder to use machine guidance machines on the site right? Oh, I think we should call a consultant for this.


Not so hasty. We don’t want to jump on the ship whose destination we don’t know. I mean, what is the value we are trying to get? What is our measurement?

I am not sure. General efficiency?

No, let’s start again. What areas of infra project you want to measure the benefit in? If not any, then why are you adapting to BIM?

Because everyone is talking about all the huge benefits of the BIM and how much it can save.

Search from there. Did you find good ways to measure benefit? We don't want to aimlessly order a drink, wish to get Pepsi and get back half empty Sprite right?

Good. Let’s move on

When adapting to something new, always set measurable KPI’s to realize the value

The Design

Alright, we have started doing BIM models, viewing them in 3D, looking cross-sections and longitudial-sections, looking space reservations for pipes and so on.

Now comes crucial part what almost all first timers get wrong. Quality assurance. Yes you have purchased a design consultant to do the BIM models for you, but it is not guarantee of quality. Even if it comes from the big company. Do your part and look that all designs are well done, triangulation is up to par and that the designs fit well to the real world.

How should we do it?

Well, there are lot of many different tools to use and some offered by designer itself. I prefer using Infrakit or Trimble Connect, but 3DWin or Topcon Magnet might do the job as well.

Especially with Infrakit, having GNSS-receiver attached to Infrakit app, you can take pre-construction measurements to see the difference between real world and designed one.

All above takes only 30 minutes. Just do it.

The Tender-Period

Usually at this point, many of us have an urge to call construction consultant who has experience on BIM construction.

Well, you really don’t need them, if you are using good tools.

What I have written on article How to Get Best Quality at Best Cost as Project Owner in Infraconstruction Project, I truly recommend similar approach.

There are lot more into his model, but the one idea is this:

  • Designer gets last payment when builder confirms that designs are worksite usable

  • Builder during the tender-period, has to inform project owner about all mistakes and missing elements of the design.

This guarantees that designer really does his work and builder can’t do extra billing during construction “because designs were bad and we have to redo them”.

Clear? Let’s move on!

The Construction

We have survived this far?


In construction, we don’t have so much pdfs and papers as designs are 3D models. These models are sent to machine and machine can dig clearly based on quality-checked designs.

But how about the project owner? What’s your benefit in it?

Well, if you are using real time project management tools, you start to get quality analysis. You can see where the measurements are taken, in what quality and what actions need to be made from there.

Also with these tools you can set payment model based on them. Payments to contractor is based on degree of completion from logpoints. If extra mass exchanges or rock cutting happens, you can demand from builder to realize the amount using measurements from design and from where it has been cutted.

Basically, you get full visibility of worksite and you can better understand the real numbers behind the progress and extra billings.

Now, I want you to give back to the community,

Want to hear what people suggested to add to this?

How to supercharge your infraconstruction projects? Read more here


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