Despite my recent ranting (aka constructive crticism) about the AIA's communication practices, I would like to discuss one of their newest contract documents - AIA E202-2008: Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit. As recently discussed by Jim Bedrick (Webcor Builders) in a featured article on AECBytes.com titled "Organizing the Development of a Building Information Model," the BIM Protocol has evolved from work initiated by Vico Software and Mr. Bedrick which was subsequently presented to the AIA's Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Task Force. This document takes an important step towards the effective downstream use of BIM data by a project team. A free sample can be obtained from the AIA at www.aiacontractdocuments.org.
In a previous post, I had discussed the use of disclaimers for added protection from liability when sharing native design data with team members outside of the Design Team. To make the next logical step - from "little BIM" to "BIG BIM" - I have been conducting discussions with my colleagues, peers and our firm's legal counsel about ways to start "chipping away" at the shield (disclaimer) in an effort to establish usable and controllable channels of BIM data. To that end, the AIA has released E202 to address the issue of integrating BIM data into the contractual environment. It begins with the general "protocol" in which project teams can define procedural details such as Model Management, Model Ownership and Coordination & Conflicts. While these areas are important to define, the key part of E202 is the definition of two fundamental concepts: Level of Development (LOD) and the Model Element Author (MEA). These two categories are then combined in a matrix for each phase of the project, corresponding to model element assemblies in the Model Element Table described in greater detail below.
Level of Development
There are 5 basic levels of development which do not reflect specific modeling guidelines for any particular software, rather a generic definition of model content and, more importantly, authorized uses of the model for the respective LOD:
Note that the above descriptions are merely excerpts from the original AIA E202 document. Refer to the free sample available from AIA's Contract Documents website for complete details.
MEA's and the Model Element Table
Quite simply, the Model Element Authors (MEA's) are the parties responsible for developing the model content as specified in the Model Element Table. The Levels of Development are paired with an assigned MEA for each major building assembly as shown in a filled-out sample below:
The AIA E202 Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit is a compelling tool for use in the evolving world of virtual design and construction teams. I have had many conversations with my BIM Specialists as well as project team leaders using it as a basis for development of BIM Management Plans; however, it has not yet become a formal addendum to any of our project contracts. That will likely change very soon.
The AIA Document E202 is a copyright of The American Institute of Architects and is protected by U.S. Copyright Law and International Treaties.