Released on 10th April 2018, the CIC BIM Protocol is updated and now “is closely aligned with PAS1192-2”. It is presumed that this extends beyond just PAS1192-2 to include the newer additions to the 1192 suite…

The changes and their implications can be summarised as:

  1. Models are no longer the focus: The 1st Edition required the definition of “Specified Models”, listed as part of the deliverables which would be included under the scope of the protocol. The new edition refers to “Specified Information” which includes any and all information required by the EIR and defined in the BEP (or other documents).
  1. Models no longer govern: The clauses relating to models taking precedence over drawings is removed, as this is deemed not always appropriate. Taken into consideration with the changes made to Permitted Purpose, this allows for the common situation where output from a model is used as a reference for further-enhanced detailing work – and the drawings being further developed than an instance of the model at a point in time.
  1. The MPDT is retitled Responsibility Matrix to match the (very brief) definition in PAS1192-2: In simple terms this is the definition of what model and information is produced by whom in relation to project stages. This doesn’t change the commonly accepted form of an MPDT (or Model Element Table, or whatever you previously called it) but it does make clear that this matrix should include Level of Definition, that is LOD (Level of Detail) and LOI (Level of Information).
  1. The EIR and BEP are linked together as the unified project “Information Particulars”: What this means is going to remain open for debate, but a new clause (2.2) now requires any ambiguity, conflict or inconsistency between the EIR & the BEP to be resolved officially. Hopefully as it is now clear the CIC BIM Protocol aligns with PAS1192-2, the BEP is now to be taken as a contractual document along with the EIR as part of the Information Particulars specified in Appendix 2. In particular, as per clause 6.1.2 of PAS1192-2, to “determine if the requirements within the EIR are achievable”.
  1. Permitted Purpose is aligned with PAS1192-2’s definitions of Level of Definition, the status code and the “functional state” (WIP, Shared, Published or Archived).
  2. The Protocol takes precedence over the Agreement (i.e. the contract or appointment) only where there is a discrepancy: This should again be dealt with through the ambiguity process in clause 2.2 but will in practice probably begin a vicious circle of “in the case of a discrepancy, this document governs”. In literal terms though, that in itself would be a discrepancy, so the Protocol takes precedence.
  1. There is more emphasis on the obligations: On the Employer’s side, references to the Standards Methods and Procedures, provision of and access to the Common Data Environment and much more detailed Security. Requirements, aligning with PAS1192-5, are all included now ensuring that if a BIM Level 2 project is required, those expectations need to be met. For the Project Team Member, compliance with Specified Information, Information Particulars, Asset Information Models (why models when a key change has been to remove the focus on models?) and Security Requirements is explicitly defined.
  1. Copyright is “relaxed”: The previous version stated that ownership remained with the Project Team Member (clause 6.3). The new edition (clause 6.2 confusingly) only applies if there are no provisions with regard to copyright in the Agreement. There is now no clause that a license can be revoked for non-payment. Take care with these clauses and check everything through with a qualified legal team!
  1. Clearer guidance has been included with regard to the appendices: A complete section (guidance section 4) has been added to clarify what information needs to be included in the appendices. This appendix is now closer aligned to the terms used in 1192, referring for example to Standards, Methods and Procedures (rather than Standards and Project Procedures separately). Certain specific items are removed but would still be required through other requirements. An example of this is the Spatial Coordination protocol listed in the 1st edition; no longer identified explicitly, it would need to be defined in the BEP as part of the volume strategy. And this is one of the more significant additions in appendix 2: no longer limited to only the EIR, the BEP is included as part of the contractual Information Particulars. Not only that, it is clearly stated that the BEP may only be “amended following agreement by the Parties.”
  1. A third appendix has been added to cover how the provision of security-minded provisions (PAS1192-5) is considered.

In all, an important new release of the BIM Protocol and one which takes a major step in clarify the importance of the BEP. There will no doubt be as many sighs of relief as there are frowns of concern over some of the changes to clauses, but the BIM Protocol should be seen as highlighting possible points of contention that need to be addressed and agreed “by the Parties” (that’s both “sides”) prior to signing on the dotted line. And that can only be a good thing, surely?

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