Opinion

ISO 19650: What you need to know about the new BIM standard

2 February 2019 | By John Ford

Image: Dreamstime/Kanawat Thongrod

You don’t need to panic about the introduction of the new international BIM standards, says John Ford, BIM & digital information technical development lead at Galliford Try.

The long-awaited first two parts of a new international BIM standard ISO 19650 have been published. The move marks the transition from the PAS 1192 series of standards to international standards.

The first and most important thing you need to know about BS EN ISO 19650-1 and 2 is that the processes are practically identical to those defined in BS 1192:2007 and PAS 1192-2:2013 suite of documents. The reason that this is important to recognise is if the process is the same, and you already have good compliance with the 1192 suite, then believe it or not, you are good to go already.

John Ford

Those responsible for implementing information standards like PAS 1192 & BS EN 19650 into their organisational policies and processes need to recognise that the surface visible changes in BS EN 19650 like terminology changes do not impact the process. As long as the process is compliant, the terminology does not have to be.

Many may disagree with my next statement, but you do not need a document called “Exchange Information Requirements” to be compliant. What you need is something that satisfies the expectations of the EIR within BS EN ISO 19650-2, clauses 5.2.1 and 5.4.

If you already have a single document/tool or even a suite of documents/tools that fulfils this, but are called something else, that is fine as long as they satisfy the requirements. You should insert a phrase somewhere saying “Document x, y and z define our Exchange Information Requirements in compliance with BS EN ISO 19650-2” etc.

Now, you may of course still want to have a single document with acronyms such as EIR as it makes compiling and reviewing easier. That is fine, but what I am trying to point out is that you don’t need to rename or amend everything you have produced, including the potential dozens of procedures you have already compiled for PAS 1192 compliance.

You should simply insert statements here and there like “The EIR or Employer’s Information Requirements referred to in this document/plan/tool are identical and align to the Exchange Information Requirements as defined in BS EN ISO 19650”. This can work for both short term and long term adoption. The key message here is to ensure that the process is compliant.

My recommended next step, and depending on your organisational role, is to highlight all the aspects of the ISO 19650 that applies to you. This in some cases may be most of it, if you’re an asset owner, PM or main contractor as you may be both an employer/appointing party, a Lead Appointed Party, as well as an appointed party.

You may have a lot of roles, tasks and functions to perform. If your role is relatively simple in the chain, like a manufacturer or supplier, then you may only be classed as an “Appointed Party” and therefore you have far less to consider.

My last point to help you on your first steps of BS EN ISO 19650 adoption is ensure that your organisation has processes in place for what the ISO is asking you to do. If 19650 tells you to jump, your organisational standards, especially if they are champions of ISO 9001, should then tell you how high.

You must be compliant with your organisation’s protocols first. If none are present, then you must work with them to develop something, as an organisation can’t obtain maximum value from reinventing the wheel on every new project based on individual interpretations.

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