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Industrial BIM Electrical Model (IBE Model) – A Customized Approach

Industrial BIM Electrical Model (IBE Model) – A Customized Approach

Από τον Γιάννη Σάνδη, MSc, PMP

The well-known BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the new digital method for managing construction projects, combining detailed construction 3D Design and Simulation with Project Management features and utilities.

BIM is mainly widely spread at the residential construction projects and now it starts being an integral part of industrial construction projects as well. However, concerning the electrical part of the industrial projects, BIM application is still quite immature. The scope of this article is a brief description* of a customized technical approach developed by the author, regarding BIM methodology application on the industrial electrical infrastructures, the so-called “Industrial BIM Electrical Model” (IBE Model). This Model serves as a general guideline for the electrical contractors in the industrial sector, for efficient and innovating application of BIM methodology at the industrial construction projects.

The IBE Model is applicable to every kind of electrical equipment or material and targets to outline them in a 3D dimension level and to assign to them the correct and efficient information for construction project management. More precisely, the IBE Model renders each electrical equipment or material suitable for a) integration in the entire 3D model, b) evaluation and conflicts identifications during the design phase, c) the precise calculation of the Bill of Quantities (BoQs) for budgeting during the Procurement phase and d) construction and supervision during the erection phase. Additionally, the IBE Model contains key structure requirements and restrictions in order to perform precise interim and final certifications during intermediate payments and financial closure respectively. Finally, the IBE Model provides the base for Project Time and Cost Management during the Planning, Execution and Control & Monitoring phases of the project.

The IBE Model sets the foundations based on which, we assign special features to every kind of electrical equipment, that render it a suitable entity, enhanced with all the information necessary for integration into the project. The two main parts IBE Model consists of are a) the Industrial BIM Electrical Properties Sub-Model (IBE-P Sub-Model) and b) the Industrial BIM Electrical Design Rules Sub-Model (IBE-DR Sub-Model).

The IBE-P Sub-Model provides guidance for the definition and setting of the necessary features of the electrical equipment, in order to enable it as comprehensive BIM entity. More precisely, it imparts to the electrical equipment specific BIM oriented attributes and creates the preconditions necessary for complete project management through BIM methodology. The deliverable of the IBE-P Sub-Model is the transformation of the electrical equipment into a “BIM Industrial Electrical Object”; ready for integration into the “BIM Industrial Construction Project” with embedded all the characteristics for 3D Design, Procurement, Execution of Erection, Control & Monitoring, Time Management & Cost Management. Consequently, the IBE-P Sub-Model creates the foundations for efficient usage of any BIM software package (design software and simulation interface) for Project Management, by taking advantage of its specific features, additional to the designing tools, such as “Quantification” tools, Cost & Time Management tools etc.

The IBE-DR Sub-Model includes the set of directives upon which the BIM designer shall proper design the BIM Industrial Electrical Object. The BIM designer shall keep the balance between the 3D Design and the amount of information for assignment into the BIM Industrial Electrical Object, in sense of insertion of “Properties” in the “Properties Field” of the BIM Object. The balance reassures the most efficient and in the same time, the simplest possible 3D Design of the electrical equipment, by assigning and adjusting the correct amount and type of information as properties, to consist a complete “BIM Industrial Electrical Entity”. The simpler 3D Design the designer performs to outline the physical entity of the electrical equipment, the more detailed Properties information he shall impart into the electrical equipment in order to render it a BIM Industrial Electrical Entity, thus to convert it to a BIM Industrial Electrical Object suitable for integration into the entire BIM Industrial Construction Project. The IBE-DR Sub-Model defines the balance between the 3D Design and Properties Information, with reference the Level of Development (LOD) Specification developed by AIA (American Institute of Architects).

Ioannis Sandis

* For detailed discussion on the IBE Model and opinions exchange, please do not hesitate to contact the author (LinkedIn:

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