Building Information Modelling standard moves to asset operation

The third part in the BSI’s ground breaking PAS 1192 series of standards for the use and application of Building Information Management was published last week. Antony Oliver explains the significance. 

BIM model

According to those who really know about Building Information Management (BIM), the significance of the latest British Standard on the subject published last month cannot be under-estimated.

Put simply, PAS 1192 part 3, covering BIM in the operational phase of an asset’s life, is the document that draws ideas together, converts them into long lasting efficiencies and so delivers genuine cost savings.

The first two PAS 1192 standards for BIM covered the design phase and the construction process. These effectively set down the rules, processes and procedures for managing data and ensuring that the vast amounts gathered throughout the project were not only useable but also interoperable across different platforms and disciplines. 

“Even before a project reaches the construction phase, all eventualities will have been considered pre-emptively resulting in clear coordinated thinking and potentially huge cost-savings.”

All of which is critically important in terms of setting the consistent framework required for the industry to be able to embrace this powerful tool, not least as it presses forward towards the 2016 mandate by the UK government for all public projects to utilise BIM technology to the so-called “level 2”.

However, it is this latest part 3 which, according to BIM experts, effectively “knits together” the work to date enabling a true link to be made between the capital and operational activities and costs of infrastructure assets. 

And according to BSI’s head of market development for construction Anthony Burd the result will see the use of BIM translate much greater efficiencies and so more visible cost savings across the life span of assets.

“Using PAS 1192-3 alongside PAS 1192-2 will allow asset and facilities managers to keep track of information that is being used across a project’s life cycle,” he explained. “Even before a project reaches the construction phase, all eventualities will have been considered pre-emptively resulting in clear coordinated thinking and potentially huge cost-savings.” 

The new document was developed alongside its sister publications by industry via the Construction Industry Council and the government’s BIM Task Group and saw input from, amongst others, the Facilities Society, Institute of Asset Management, National Grid, Network Rail and the University of Greenwich.

Its aim is to look beyond the design and construction process and focus the digital asset information effort towards the critical operation and maintenance activities of infrastructure which, BSI estimates, can represent up to 85% of the whole-life cost.

By helping asset managers to utilise the new digital technology effectively and integrate the management of information, the new standard, explains BSI, intends to deliver savings through: 

  • Reduced costs as a result of the automated transfer of accurate, complete and unambiguous information at asset handover and during transfer of operation from one service provider to another
  • Better awareness of the operational and maintenance needs of assets
  • Better decisions regarding operation and maintenance expenditure based on actual asset performance and status
  • Better organisational and strategic planning from more complete and accurate asset information, for example in the development of the health and safety file required by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations
  • Reduced management process costs arising from incomplete data

All of which is critical to the future success of the construction industry, according to Peter Hansford, Government Chief Construction Adviser, if the industry is to hit the goals of the government’s 2011 Construction Strategy and reduce the cost of public sector assets by up to 20% by 2016. 

“I believe that collaborative BIM working processes and the data rich technologies that support them are fundamental for economic growth in both our domestic and international construction markets,” he explained. ”It is therefore essential that we are adequately equipped to ensure the UK is at the frontline of this global shift in how we create, operate, maintain and de-commission our built environment.”

For further details of BSI’s PAS 1192 part 3 visit BSI’s website at

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