In all the years that I’ve been going to BIM Conferences, legal issues were always presented as being a complete block on doing BIM – intellectual property rights, licensing of the use of information, professional indemnity insurance and what contracts should be used on BIM jobs were all highlighted as obstacles which would prevent an effective roll out of BIM.

The legal and commercial sub-committee to the BIM steering group has put a lot of work into defining how you work with contracts and have produced some key documents – the CIC BIM Protocol document being the key one – which has helped to smooth out some of these issues.

What I find fascinating now as we actually head towards BIM Level 2 is the amount of people who are doing BIM contracts and very few of them are making use of any of this work. In fact, most people are not making any provision for BIM in contracts at all – and they really need to!

The guidance notes for professional indemnity insurance state that BIM is a good thing and lessens the liabilities that an insurer is likely to get – and also refers to the CIC protocol and suggests that it ought to be used. The CIC BIM Protocol is a contract document and it sits alongside any standard building contract, appointment document or sub-contract – it deals with the BIM issues and places obligations on both the employer and the supplier.

The three key issues that the CIC BIM protocol deals with are:

  • Model Ownership
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insurance Liabilities

The below graphic shows you the contractual arrangements for Level 2 BIM (in red):

This graphic shows you the contractual arrangements for Level 2 BIM (in red)

You can see that the CIC BIM Protocol sits as a contract document alongside any standard form of building contract – effectively it’s an addendum to a standard building contract – it states that if there is any discrepancy between the two documents that it is the CIC BIM Protocol which takes precedence. The protocol applies additional rights, obligations and liabilities to the models produced as defined in the protocol – the models to be produced having been identified by the supply chain in the MPDT (Model Production Delivery Table).

On the following graphic you will see that all of the above applies to models only – so there will also be data which sits outside of the data referred to by the CIC BIM Protocol.

This graphic shows you that all of the above applies to models only – so there will also be data which sits outside of the data referred to by the CIC BIM Protocol.

In the coming weeks we will look more closely and set out each of the various parts of the CIC BIM Protocol – but for now, what I would say is ‘use it’. Even if your lawyers think that certain clauses ought to be amended it’s still a good place to start – and it’s certainly better than nothing at all.

At Viewpoint, we’re here to help you on your journey to achieving BIM Level 2. Find out more at en-gb.viewpoint.com.

Posted by Ben Wallbank

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