Monday, September 17, 2012

USACE BIM Requirements update

In 2006, I had the opportunity to be a founding member of the USACE BIM Advisory committee...a group of like-minded individuals working with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to put together a set of BIM Deliverable requirements.

This group, with folks with various capabilities and differing softwares used in a BIM process put together a progressive set of requirements and Contract Language commonly known as :  Attachment F.    AttF was one of the first public versions of a tight set of contract requirements and deliverables.

One major item was that the requirements were in a Narrative format...that is, the Corps said "model walls (or doors, or AHU, or equipment, or utilities...or..or...or...)   with the necessary intelligence  to do..."  well, whatever you need to do...produce documentation, provide visualization, get ready for O&M,

A Section of the Attachment F with the old Narrative Requirements in Section 4

And all was got into use and human nature intervened.  While most did their best, and many did what was intended, many folks tried to get around the requirements, or not deliver in the software format required, or argued the requirements, or said they weren't specific enough, or what defined "necessary intelligence", or..or..or..or..

Well, times, they are a'changing...

As the group continued to evolve, as the private sector's capabilities evolve,  and the needs of the Corps and their clients evolve, it was time to update the requirements...and make it less 'narrative'....tie it down better so the Corps gets useful information above and beyond the 3% of design time and 4% of construction time in an asset's life cycle.

So here it is:  The Minimum Modeling Matrix - Otherwise known as the "M3"

The M3 is a tool in spreadsheet format that Project Teams can use to understand what the Corps wants in a Model deliverable, no matter the format.  The idea is that you match your scope against this PRE-FILLED sheet.  I say "Pre-Filled" in Caps because you don't have to fill it out...the Corps is LAYING OUT what it wants and how it wants it.

Oh, and it's organized according to standard Classification systems, such as OmniClass, UniFormat, and everyone along the life cycle (the designer, the contractor, and the owner) can play in the pool.

A snip from the Instructions that lays out what the Matrix looks like and how to use is the link to the headline is the direct link to the announcement. is a link to the M3 itself.

First, read ALL the instructions.  Yes, there are instructions.  There is information there about Level of Development AND Element Grade.  AND an FAQ.

Second, understand while there are other efforts going on in the industry to do something like this, this effort was for the Corps, by the Corps, with Corps specific needs in mind...

Thirdly, it's not meant to be a "template" that you can use on any project anywhere....  It's meant for you to follow on USACE projects, and for you to use and make a deliverable...AND as a communication tool on your project team...AND..AND..AND.

Is it authoritative?  Is it "militaristic?"    Sure it's the Army!  They know what they want, so do it.

Anyway, check it out (use the PDF link first, read the stuff behind the why)...and we go from there.


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