Legal and risk aspects of BIM Execution Plans (BxPs) can be complex. Best practices for addressing legal concerns, risk, and insurance liabilities in a BxP are highly dependent upon the scope of BIM services to be utilized on the project and the project delivery method. There are some trends the BIMForum BxP Guide that will help owners and their teams in their discussions with legal counsel and insurance agents and carriers. However, variables such as team make-up, project types, design and construction budget, and other extenuating factors also impact BxP best practices. As such, the rigorous treatment of this topic is beyond the scope of the introductory BxP Guide.
There are several available model contract forms that provide templates for both general contract terms and terms specific to BIM, some of which are included on this page. The major families of contracts currently available are those published by the American Institute of Architects, the Design Build Institute of America, the Counsel of American Consulting Engineers, and ConsensusDocs. This page provides reference links to these referenced model contracts, recognizing that many model contracts tie in to project delivery through reference to the BIM Execution Plan. The BxP needs to be treated consistent with other documents having legal implications. This page also includes excerpts from BIMForum presentations on these topics and information on cybersecurity and appropriate insurance coverages on BIM-related projects.
Implementing BIM as a lifecycle tool on a construction project can be enhanced by the careful consideration of legal rights and obligations specific to each project, including, for example, legal issues related to BIM software use, BxP development, interactive implementation, and O&M use of completed models. Like any other tool, there are also risks associated with modeling processes that can be prudently reduced or appropriately shifted to those having the greatest ability to properly manage them. To maximize these rewards and minimize exposure to potential losses, a prudent BIM Champion will consider the legal and insurance needs arising out of use of BIM on their project and use this analysis to shape best return on investment in BIM technology and processes.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of legal topics that can be addressed in a BxP.
Talk with BIM team members within and outside your organization who have experience preparing BxPs, particularly those with full lifecycle goals, and seen what does and doesn’t work in implementing them throughout a project.
Check for industry resources that have analyzed legal issues and are developing best practices, such as Penn State’s BIM Execution Planning Guide and the National Institute of Building Sciences’ buildingSMART alliance®
Ask legal counsel about available insurance products and analyze existing company coverages for sufficiency. Have legal counsel review BIM provisions in the prime contract, the BIM Addendum, the BxP and BIM provisions of consultant contracts before they are finalized and executed. Where proprietary software and analysis tools will be used, have legal counsel assist in securing appropriate licenses.
Will BIM be used solely as a design tool, whether for design visualization or clash analysis? Or will BIM be used as an integrated, lifecycle tool – including conceptualization, design development, construction shop modeling and 4D/5D analyses, commissioning, O&M and decommissioning activities — or something in between? What are the client’s expectations and what is the client willing to pay for? Make sure that the anticipated BIM use is consistent with client’s expectations and willingness to pay.
There are a wide range of end products, but certain ones may be mission critical for a particular project. These could include, for example, design models (memorializing at various points in design development), clash analyses, sustainability analyses, cost/schedule analyses, field training and QC communications, facility operation and maintenance, and recycling planning to decommission the structure at the end of its useful life. Articulate this list and it will help shape risk analysis.
Consider how best to address these issues in project delivery structures such as design-bid-build where all parties may not be identified at project start.
#501 Standard Form of Contract for Design-Build Consultant Services
#520 Standard Form of Preliminary Agreement between Owner and Design-Builder
#580 Standard Form of Teaming Agreement between Design-Builder and Teaming Party
#400 RFQ/RFP Guide
#405 Sample Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
#410 Sample Request for Proposals (RFP)
C106–2013, Digital Data Licensing Agreement
E203-2013 and G201-2013, Digital Data Protocol Exhibit
E203-2013 and G202-2013, Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit
E203–2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit
G201–2013, Project Digital Data Protocol Form
G202–2013, Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form
Owners and contractors are awakening to the cold reality that sharing information and conducting transactions over the Internet or any other accessible network means exposure to the possibility of cyber attacks. Is your firm prepared? With emphasis on a shared BIM environment, this session provides an overview of the threats that exist today, steps the companies can take to protect themselves, and explains insurance coverage that is necessary to protect all parties in a construction project.
Mike Hastings (MD Hastings Risk Consulting)
Carl Roberts (Law Offices of Carl G. Roberts)
Patrick O’Connor, Brian P. Clifford, & Michael Hastings