Revised CIC BIM Protocol meets industry demands

The second edition of the CIC BIM protocol is more closely aligned with current BIM standards and is more flexible and easier to use, its author claimed at its launch yesterday.

Speaking at an event at the ICE in London, Andrew Croft, an associate at Beale & Co, said that the new document would clarify the contractual approach to BIM.

It has been widely welcomed.

The original BIM Protocol was first commissioned by CIC in 2013 as a response to the UK government’s BIM Strategy.

The updated version comes as a new survey into contractual trends produced by NBS found that a majority of respondents (57%) agree that their organisation sees BIM as contractually binding in the same way as specifications or drawings. As BIM usage increases, so too does the need for BIM to be contractually described.

A total of 40% reference BIM within their contracts, up from 33% two years ago, while 30% reference specific outputs of BIM in their contracts, up from 23%. An increasing minority (21%, up from 14%) said that BIM was fully integrated in their contracts.

For some, this has meant amending or creating bespoke contracts, although increasingly standard forms of contracts (or the CIC BIM Protocol) mean that ad hoc solutions are less often required.

The second edition of the Protocol is closely aligned with PAS 1192-2 and therefore applies to information, not just models, said Croft. It is also a more flexible document, which can be used alongside a range of different contractual arrangements.

The Protocol now includes additional provisions in relation to security, an increasingly important issue, which reflects PAS 1192-5.

Key changes include:

Responsibility Matrix replaces Model Production and Delivery Table (MPDT) and sets out responsibility for model and information production

The Protocol “piggy backs” on underlying agreement and no longer takes precedence over the agreement to which it is attached.

Dale Sinclair, director of technical practice at Aecom and chair of the CIC BIM Forum, said: “The CIC BIM Protocol is a crucial component of the UK’s BIM Level 2 suite of documents. We are delighted that this latest version updates the protocol in line with comments made since its inception. This is an important step forward as we move towards a collaborative digital future.”

Francis Ho, partner, construction and infrastructure at Pennington Manches, said: “Had this simply been an iterative update, I don’t think anyone would have been particularly surprised. The CIC’s BIM Protocol remains the only model legal document of its kind in the UK market, it doesn’t have any obvious competition.

“However, the authors have clearly taken on board feedback from the first edition, including the recent Winfield Rock Report. This second edition is practically a total rewrite. That’s rare for a standard form but, on balance, the right thing to do. Market practice has moved on too rapidly.

“Despite emerging at the same time as PAS 1192-2: 2013, which provided a specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase for a project, the first edition didn’t align with the BSI standard.

“This meant that users had to grapple with different terminology, such as levels of detail as opposed to levels of definition. That’s now fixed. There’s also a focus on information rather than simply models. Other changes in practice are recognised.

“For instance, it complies with PAS 1192-5: 2015 which covers security threats to information. In addition, it’s been structured to be more compatible with a range of procurement methods, including alliancing and traditional procurement.”

Ho said the relationship between the Protocol and the underlying construction agreement had been reconsidered. One criticism of the previous version was that the Protocol took priority in most cases where the two conflicted, including in relation to copyright.

“That’s largely been relaxed here. There are also practical changes. The appendices will be made available in electronic versions which are editable.

“Given the substantial differences, it will take time for those familiar with the earlier form to acquaint themselves with the update. Whereas the earlier version was tentative, its successor reflects the CIC’s growing comfort with, and awareness of, its target audience’s needs.”

At the launch Peter Higgins, chair of the NEC4 Contract Board, described the new guidance for using the BIM Protocol with the NEC contract.

The CIC BIM Protocol is a crucial component of the UK’s BIM Level 2 suite of documents. We are delighted that this latest version updates the protocol in line with comments made since its inception.– Dale Sinclair, chair, CIC BIM Forum

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