Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New AIA Digital Practice Documents open for public comment

The AIA has released a draft guide and copy of the new Digital Practice Documents that have been developed by the AIA to address the ever growing impact of digital data and BIM in the AEC industry.  The documents are open for public comment until September 24th, 2012.  After the comment period the AIA will review suggestions and incorporate any changes, if appropriate, into the final versions of these documents.

The three new documents consist of:
  • E203-2012, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit - This document is the anchor for the new digital practice documents, and is designed to replace the older E201-2007 and E202-2008 documents.  The major change that this document provides is that all of the details of how and when digital data and BIM will be used on a project do not have to be defined when the agreement is executed.  This information is reserved to be developed in the other two new documents.(G201-2012 and G202-2012)  The E203-2012 would simply define, contractually, the scope of how digital data and BIM will be used on the project and what the authorized uses of this data will be, and then requires the project team to follow the protocols developed in the G201 and G202 documents. The E203-2012 is intended to be a flow-down/flow-through document, which means that if the owner and architect negotiate and attach an E203-2012 to a typical AIA B101-2007 “Standard Form Agreement between Owner and Architect”, than the architect would be required to incorporate the same E203-2012 into each of the agreements with its consultants. Similarly, the owner would be required to incorporate the same E203-2012 into its agreement with the contractor, who would also be required to attach the E203-2012 into its subcontractor agreements.  This is very important to be able to legally enforce the provisions provided for in the E203-2012 as well as the protocols established in G201-2012 and G202-2012.
  • G201-2012, Project Digital Data Protocol Form - This document defines the scope and authorized uses of digital data on a project, including any Electronic Document Management System, storage and archiving requirements and transmission methods.  The document defines the format, transmission method and authorized use of data ranging from Project Agreements to Closeout documents, and everything in between.
  • G202-2012, Building Information Modeling Protocol Form - This document is meant to define the requirements, participants, authorized uses, standards and model management and collaboration processes and procedures with regards to Building Information Modeling on a project.  This form includes a matrix that defines the LOD requirements of each model element at a certain phase or project milestone, and can be customized to fit the needs of the project. The form also defines a Model Element Author (MEA) for all model elements in the project. The MEA is the party responsible for modeling and coordinating that particular model element.  The MEA can be defined as a firm, or an individual within a firm to develop points of contact with regards to those elements. The form also identifies any standards (Omniclass, Uniformat, NBIMS) that must be followed with regards to the model, as well as the accepted software platforms and versions required to be used on the project.  The form allows for the definition of other requirements with regard to the model including model origin point, model exchange procedures, naming conventions, clash detection and resolution procedures, and any model security requirements.
The documents can be viewed here:
Draft Guide and Commentary
Draft Documents Only

After reviewing these documents I believe this is a huge step taken by the AIA in an effort to help the design professionals educate and identify the owners needs and requirements for the use of Digital Data and BIM on their projects.  These documents will not only facilitate the discussions but also define the requirements and protocols to accomplish the tasks required to provide better, more coordinated projects to the owner.  These documents, when leveraged correctly, can also serve to protect the design professional and its use of BIM technology, from being used in a manner inconsistent of its intended use. These documents, while not designed to take the place of a Project Execution Plan (PxP), mirror a lot of the data that is included in a well developed PxP, and are included as part of the agreements between all of the stakeholders of the project.  I believe these documents together with a well developed PxP are great vehicles to achieve a successful BIM project where owner expectations are identified and all project stakeholders are aware of the requirements and expectations for the use of BIM and digital data on a project.

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