Company Information


  History


2013

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Roofscape Ltd. & South West College is established with aim of implementing BIM processes within Roofscape Ltd. [roofing and cladding contractor] ahead of the 2016 UK Public Sector Mandate. The KTP project is soon adapted to cultivate a subsidiary service to initially support & advance Roofscape and later develop into a standalone entity – code name, PIM Smart!
  • First major 2D BIM Level 1 project is undertaken coordinating construction information and details across the entire external works project team for South Tyrone Hospital.

2014

  • First major 3D BIM Level 1 project undertaken at Newry Swimming Pool coordinating roof and cladding works with the architectural design and structural frame.
  • First Scan to BIM application undertaken for live estimating job utilising 3D scanning and modelling for rapid acceleration & accuracy of the pricing process for Roofscape.

2015

  • First major BIM Level 2 project undertaken at Lagan Weir Bridge utilising Information Modelling processes to lead the accurate generation of technical detailing, quantities & installation and manufacturing documentation.
  • Build Newcastle Live – PIM Smart are BIM author and co-project manager on a BIM competition project as part of a multi-disciplinary Northern Ireland team. Our team was delighted to take away the award for ‘Best use of BIM for Design, Drama & Excitement.’
  • CITA BIM Gathering – PIM Smart are co-author on a research paper and presentation to the CITA BIM Gathering in Dublin on our team experiences and learnings from the Build Newcastle Live competition.

2016

  • PIM Smart is established as a Limited Company & Registered Practice.

  NI Registered Business Information


Company Name

PIM Smart LTD

Company Type

Private Limited Company

Company Number

NI636515

Registered Address

3 Black Stick Road, Killyhevlin Industrial Estate, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, United Kingdom, BT74 4EB


 Awards 


Build Newcastle Live 2015

PIM Smart was delighted to be part of an award winning regional team submission for the Build Newcastle Live competition in 2015 where our BIM Region NI [formerly NI BIM Hub] team took away the award for BEST USE OF BIM FOR DESIGN, DRAMA & EXCITEMENT. You can read all about it in our portfolio article!

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 Accreditations & Memberships


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  Building Information Modelling [BIM] 


What BIM is & what it entails!

The 3 letters in the acronym BIM are subject to much confusion and debate within the construction industry. Depending on the context in which it is used, BIM can potentially mean:

  • Building Information Model [thing]
  • Building Information Modelling [process]
  • Building an Information Model [activity]
  • Building Information Management
  • Building Information Modelling & Management
  • Better Information Management
  • All of the above!

BIM-Boozled? Amidst all the technical jargon and acronyms involved in BIM, it is important to bear in mind that BIM is a value creating process involving implementation of more efficient working practices – better work, not more work!

The basic underlying principle is that on construction and infrastructure projects, we should have access to the information we need, when we need it – irrespective of what you label this as! BIM is a way of working so our advice so ignore the subjective acronym BIM and instead focus on the objective processes that a Building Information Modelling [or whatever you want to call it] process entails!

In the UK [and accepted generally in Europe] the objective BIM process is laid out in a suite of 8 interlinked documents, standards & protocols [often referred to as the ‘8 Pillars of BIM’] – known as UK BIM Level 2 – which are in turn built on a foundation standard for collaborative working.

Beware of BIM-Wash!

BIM is the hot topic in the industry right now and is subject to a lot of misunderstanding and inflated [sometimes deceptive] claims – or BIM-Wash.

At PIM Smart we have realistic expectations about what we can actually deliver in-house and we don’t wish to put ourselves or our clients at risk by inflating our capabilities beyond same. At base level, we produce and manage all our information at PIM Smart in accordance with the principles of the BS & PAS 1192 standards and we work collaboratively with our clients/contractors and other partners in the industry to develop on this base, as required, to develop BIM Level 2 compliant workflows on projects we support.

BIM Levels Explained

As with BIM-Wash, there are lots of descriptive labels knocking around in the industry such as ‘BIM Ready’, ‘BIM Compliant’ and ‘BIM Specialists’ however what does this actually mean in practice? In reality, as mentioned above, there are lots of different things the acronym BIM can actually mean and there are 4 distinct levels of BIM maturity against which ‘Readiness’ can refer to:

  • BIM Level 0 is the utilisation of 2D CAD information to develop drawings that are not managed or coordinated with other disciplines. Practitioners in the industry should now be beyond this level of working.
  • BIM Level 1 is the utilisation of managed 2D and 3D CAD information across the project team using a Common Data Environment [shared workspace]. Whilst the information is managed at Level 1, there is no cross-discipline collaboration thus each discipline within the project independently produces and maintains their own data. The majority of the industry is [or should be] working at least at this level.
  • BIM Level 2 is the utilisation of managed 2D and 3D CAD information along with attached & structured data which is produced in a collaborative Common Data Environment [CDE]. Marking this as an advancement beyond BIM Level 1, information across the project team is produced and exchanged using a common delivery plan [BIM Execution Plan (BEP)] and common file formats [e.g. IFC] which allow different disciplines to use each other’s information as reference whilst developing theirs. Facilitating collaboration across the team, BIM Level 2 [where implemented effectively] ensures individual designs are complimentary [clash-free] and enables enhanced analysis, management and efficiency throughout the activities involved in the design, construction and use of built assets.
    • When you hear an individual or organisation refer to themselves as BIM Ready or BIM Compliant, BIM Level 2 is generally accepted as the standard to be measured against to be determined as such. BIM Level 2 is the mandatory level of project collaboration required for public sector works in the UK from April 4th 2016 and is also a steadily growing deliverable target within the private sector. As outlined above, there are a number of standards and protocols [often referred to as the ‘8 Pillars of BIM’] required to achieve a full BIM Level 2 workflow.
  • BIM Level 3 is the holy grail for information management in the construction industry. Notionally this involves the use of a single all-inclusive model [shared simultaneously between all the project disciplines] to coordinate design and construction processes. BIM Level 3 is still very much a work in progress however the UK has put in place a Strategic Plan for development.

BIM Standards & Guides

BIM Foundation Standard

BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 – Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. Code of practice
  • This standard establishes a common, collaborative approach for production, naming and management of construction information. This is the foundation standard upon which the BIM Level 2 workflow is developed and is integrated into our core way of working at PIM Smart.

UK BIM Level 2 ‘8 Pillars’

PAS 1192-2:2013 – Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling
  • This standard establishes a common, collaborative approach for co-ordinating & managing design & construction information during the capital (CAPEX) phase of a built asset. PAS 1192-2 describes how information is developed, managed and delivered between project stakeholders and project team personnel during design and construction of the asset.
PAS 1192-3:2014 – Specification for information management for the operational phase of assets using building information modelling
  • This standard establishes a common, collaborative approach for Management of Asset Information during the operational (OPEX) phase of a built asset. Whilst this standard covers management of the asset and information post-construction, this standard also acts as a precursor to design and construction activities under PAS 1192-2 ensuring that the information the client needs to operate the asset is requested and delivered during the design and construction phases.
BS 1192-4:2014 – Collaborative production of information. Fulfilling employer’s information exchange requirements using COBie. Code of practice
  • This standard establishes a common structure for Construction Operations Building information exchange [COBie]. COBie is a structured set of data about the built asset in a non-graphical format which is essential for Facilities Management. COBie is often delivered along with an IFC model which is an open graphical exchange format – COBie is essentially a non-graphical descriptive sub-set of modelled data. COBie is an open exchange format independent of any proprietary software and is commonly accessed as a spreadsheet.
PAS 1192-5:2015 – Specification for security-minded building information modelling, digital built environments and smart asset management
  • This standard establishes principles for the integrity and secure access, development, management and storage of built asset information. It also describes how information pertaining to projects involving sensitive data should be managed.
BIM Protocol
  • This is a supplementary and addendum protocol to standard construction contracts which forms a legal agreement between parties on projects using BIM. Effectively, this protocol adds an obligation to the main contract for each party to supply information which allows for the production of Building Information Models and sets in place BIM deliverable requirements and dates.
Government Soft Landings [GSL]
  • Government Soft Landings is a framework which ensures value is achieved in the operational phase of a built asset after construction. Soft Landings puts in place a smooth transition process from construction phase to use of a built asset to ensure the building performs to the standard it was designed and intended. This is particularly important process for handover and fine-tuning of MEP equipment and plant to ensure optimal performance of the building services. Essentially, Soft Landings facilitates an enhanced ‘after-sales service’ alongside traditional defects liability and warranty periods. Check out this article on NBS for a succinct overview of Government Soft Landings.
Classification
  • Classification is a standardised system allowing construction information to be indexed & structured in a common format across sectors and disciplines within the industry. Standardised classification of items within built assets facilitates quick, consistent & accurate searching, referencing and auditing of information for activities such as costing, CAD layering and specifications.
BIM Toolkit [Digital Plan of Works]
  • The NBS BIM Toolkit is a free resource which functions as a Digital Plan of Works management platform for public and private sector projects using BIM. It provides step-by-step help to define, manage and validate responsibility for information development and delivery at each stage of the asset lifecycle.

BIM Enablers

Alongside the UK BIM Level 2 standards, there are also a number of BIM enablers available which help to understand and implement BIM into working practices:

BIM Level 2 Websites
  • From 4th April 2016, a BIM Level 2 website will be available at www.level2bim.org providing guidance and documentation to support the industry.
  • The BIM Task Group and BIM Regions websites are also invaluable resources for BIM advice and guidance.
  • PIM Smart have also developed a community forum website for on and behalf of BIM Region NI. Join our community at BIMregNI.co.uk!
BIM Delivery Cube

The BIM Delivery cube is an innovative communication matrix that links Work Stages, Stakeholders and Delivery Components together to offer BIM guidance and understanding to project stakeholders throughout the various stages of a project.

CPIx Protocol

The CPIx Protocol is a suite of assessment forms along with a template BIM Execution Plan. The assessment forms are an invaluable basis for assessing BIM capabilities across the supply-chain when forming a team to tender for the supply of Building Information Modelling. The BIM Execution Plan describes how the chosen team intends to deliver Building Information Modelling as part of the tender documentation to the client.

CIC Best-Practice Guides

The Construction Industry Council have published a number of useful guides and reports to help assist implementation of BIM within the industry including:

  • Best Practice Guide for Professional Indemnity Insurance when using BIM
  • Outline Scope of Services for the role of Information Management

BIM Implementation

PIM Smart started its journey as a project to implement BIM for a subcontractor, eventually evolving into its own architectural technology and information modelling practice.

At first glance, implementing BIM can seem like a daunting and overwhelming challenge. However, through internal focus, BIM becomes much more valuable to your business when approached as a standard way of working, not a one-off solution to a particular project.

Our history section outlines some landmark moments in our BIM implementation progression and our blog contains some advice and guidance regarding BIM implementation we have learned and picked up during our journey.

Present Approach

Whilst a standard workflow approach for BIM has been realised in the UK BIM Level 2 suite of standards, how the standards are actually applied is highly malleable to particular project objectives, needs, requirements & procurement routes. At PIM Smart we utilise BS 1192 and PAS 1192 processes on all our works, however we are sometimes required to adopt a Practical Innovation approach when considering to what extent we implement the full Level 2 workflow on particular projects.

BIM Level 2 is essential to public sector works and large complicated projects however for smaller projects, a full BIM Level 2 approach may not always be practical or feasible across the whole project team. On such projects, whilst utilising the same underlying processes, we tailor our approach on each project we undertake to offer a flexible solution which still promotes and maximises the benefits of BIM Level 2 whilst also being practical, scalable and approachable to the wider project team and needs.

We maintain a pre-prepared a BIM Assessment for PIM Smart based on the CPIx Protocol which can be provided on request for consideration of how our services can assist you and your project requirements.

Future Development

Eóin has completed the BRE Level 2 training for Stage 1 [BIM Fundamentals] and Stage 2 [Project/Task Information Manager] and is hoping to complete Stage 3 [Project Delivery Manager] in the near future.

He is also currently working towards membership of the BRE BIM Level 2 Certified Practitioner Scheme.

We are committed to promoting change within the construction industry towards a culture which enables more open and collaborative workflows. We have experienced some of the benefits of BIM first hand however the full potential of BIM is only realised when all project stakeholders – clients, designers, contractors & end-users – are fully engaged in the process from start to finish.

At PIM Smart, we like to share our experiences in the hope it will help inspire others to implement and use BIM so that we in turn can work more effectively and collaboratively with and within the industry. Having first established itself as a design service to underpin Roofscape’s sub-contractor roofing and cladding services and now established as an architectural technology practice, we have navigated our own unique journey on the way to implementing BIM processes.

Over the years we have presented at a number of academic institutions and BIM events and you can check out some of our content in our blog.

Alongside the development of BIM and IT generally within construction – and indeed other industries – so does the increase in information security risk. At PIM Smart we have established a number of measures to ensure the security and integrity of the information we author and store for the projects we support.

SSL Certificates & Encryption

All online access to PIM Smart held information [including this website!] is secured using SSL encryption ensuring secure and private transmission of information between us and our clients.

All local copies of PIM Smart held information are stored on encrypted hard-drives on password protected PCs ensuring it cannot be accessed by unauthorised parties in event of theft.

Data Redundancy

We utilise a 3-2-1 Back-Up Strategy at PIM Smart to ensure we have a number of measures in place to provide data redundancy and back-up of project information in the event of corruption or system failure.

  • 3 copies of all our files are maintained in 3 separate locations allowing us to recover data from one location in event of the failure of another.
  • 2 copies of the 3 are located on 2 separate local locations for quick access to data in the event the other local drive fails.
  • 1 copy of the 3 is located offsite utilising an online backup service allowing us to remotely recover data in the event of total failure or a force of nature damages both local copies.

Each storage system we utilise also has history and version control capabilities allowing us to roll-back files to a previous point in time and allows for auditing of information throughout the project life-span.

PAS 1192-5 at PIM Smart

PAS 1192-5:2015 is the Publically Accessible Standard regarding security of Building Information Modelling [BIM] data.

Our work PCs & mobile devices are protected with business level security software and all our internally authored information is accessed, managed, stored and backed-up [as outlined above] in line with PAS 1192-5 principles.

For larger, and data sensitive, project Common Data Environments hosting information across multi-discipline personnel, we recommend the use of specialist third party information hosting service providers as required.