Although the use of BIM is increasing there is still a long way to go before its fully adopted in the AEC sector. Various surveys put BIM awareness and usage as high as 70% in the UK, although that’s certainly not what we are finding as a software company providing solutions to the industry.

Survey information on the kind of BIM is less easy to find, and our experience is that a high proportion of projects using BIM have architectural models but no MEP. Maybe we are talking to the wrong clients, but the market feedback we are getting is that federated BIMs account for roughly 30% of the total.

At eRDS we are focused on providing building asset databases and so the type of BIM being used has a significant impact on what assets can be populated into our database from Revit models. Again, based on our experience, we estimate that architectural-only BIMs are accounting for less than 10% of the total assets in a building. The situation is improved with federated modes but is still somewhere between 40% – 50% of the total. There are always exceptions to the rule with some projects producing ‘exemplar’ BIMs whereby the asset count can be as high as 80% of the total

There is a trend towards using information rich content and 3D objects produced by the supply chain, that lets designers ‘drop’ assets into design models. This relies on the designer knowing beforehand what products the construction team and owner are going to use, and still leaves us with the issue that at least 50% of the assets are overlooked.

The BIM software industry would say they have provided all the tools and workflows necessary to make it possible to model 100% of building assets. But in practice few projects have the time, resources or budget to make this happen. Over time this will surely change, and we really will see ‘digital twins’, but who is to say when this will happen, within the next decade?

eRDS Cloud is a solution for defining all building assets including FFE in an on-line SQL database. Its part populated by whatever assets happen to be in a Revit model using eRDS plugins for Revit. Depending on the type of BIM, the database will contain somewhere between 5% and 50% of the total assets required for the building.

The remaining assets are defined as information in the eRDS library before being allocated to the relevant rooms using batch processes and room types. This can be done as quantities or individually if the end objective is to create a COBie file or populate a CMMS system.

Both types of assets are enriched with as-built information expected by CMMS systems and COBie such as manufacturer, supplier, model number and warranty details. The information is then written back to Revit to update the originating objects. Assets defined as information in eRDS are written as parameters