BIM & PLM workshop

BIM PLM workshop - panoramic photoThis workshop, held at ÉTS (École de Technologie Supérieure) in June 2014, was focused on the interaction between Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Product Lifecycle management (PLM). The Pomerleau Industrial Research Chair was tasked by Hydro-Québec to organize this collaborative event with over 35 participants from Hydro-Québec, the GRIDD, Canam, Pomerleau, the SQI (Société québécoise des infrastructures) and from various universities (University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, Concordia University, University of Technology Sydney and University of Technology Eindhoven).

Under the direction of ÉTS professor Louis Rivest, the goal of the workshop was to set a desired state to optimize the deployment of BIM-PLM in Hydro-Quebec’s current project delivery process. The secondary objectives of the workshop were to:

  1. Converge on a vision for the future of BIM-PLM throughout the construction supply chain,
  2. Identify the challenges to achieve this vision,
  3. Identify solutions to these challenges, and
  4. Converge towards a feasible action plan.

Participants established a shared vision based mainly on the idea of “the collaborative development and management of a project’s data and information throughout its life-cycle.” Putting this vision into action would imply the “co-creation and co-development of a parametric digital model containing product data and information situated at both the physical and meta- level to maximize value through total supply chain and life-cycle optimization.”

The main challenges which were identified as hindering the transition to BIM-PLM were:

  1. The general inertia with regards to change in the construction industry
  2. The lack of a clear business case to foster the buy-in from general industry practitioners
  3. The lack of a conducive procurement and contractual landscape which hinders innovation
  4. The absence of clearly defined requirements (modeling and project based) across all domains
  5. Issues around technical interoperability and data exchange and reuse
  6. A misalignment of processes which hinders value creation

In response to these challenges several action items were proposed across two tiers: first, breaking the industry’s inertia and resistance to change and second, sustaining the transition to BIM-PLM.

The workshop concluded with a discussion on key findings of the day. The overall sense from the workshop participants was that BIM-PLM was the right way to go (and has been for the past 10 years for HQ) and that the time had now come to gain momentum and reach critical mass within the Quebec construction industry. By broadcasting the success stories and learning from industry leaders such as HQ, it is believed that a shift in momentum can be provoked and BIM-PLM become part of the contemporary landscape.

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