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FAC-1 and BIM

Successful use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is closely linked to the interfaces and systems established in the procurement model and contract terms. Case studies are set out in this guidance note and are taken from the July 2016 research report Enabling BIM Through Procurement and Contracts, which was produced by a multi-disciplinary team led by King’s College London.

The research methodology for Enabling BIM Through Procurement and Contracts comprised reviews of 12 leading BIM projects and confidential interviews with 40 leading practitioners. To quote Mark Bew MBE, chair of the UK Government BIM Working Group: “The work by the King’s College London team has presented us with a fascinating cross-sectional view of the current market state” which shows how BIM “places a sharp focus on the performance of traditional working methods that should have been addressed many years ago”.

The research report identified how BIM highlights the need for all consultant appointments, construction contracts and sub-contracts to address:

  • “agreement of deadlines and interfaces in respect of submission and approval of design information and other data
  • clash detection, early warning and risk management
  • mutual agreement of intellectual property rights”.
  • “the need for clarity as to the status of documents that enable BIM
  • the need for reliance on BIM software
  • the need for clarity as to the responsibilities of the BIM Information Manager
  • the benefits of a procurement model under which contracts achieve early contractor, sub-contractor and manufacturer involvement
  • the potential for greater integration of capital contracts with repair and maintenance contracts”.

The King’s research team included leading lawyers and representatives from the BIM Working Group and Central Government. Their recommendations included following:

Multi-party BIM protocols

 “Interviewees adopted a range of contract forms and it is unlikely that clients and team members will change to a multi-party contracting model solely in order to implement BIM “…”It may be appropriate to develop and make available the option of a multi-party BIM protocol that leaves two party contracts in place while:

  • creating direct relationships between project team members in relation to BIM and not depending on the client and the main contractor acting as intermediaries;
  • enabling mutual reliance on agreed deadlines in respect of BIM contributions and approvals;
  • creating an agreed forum for resolution of clashes between BIM models;
  • creating direct mutual intellectual property rights;
  • establishing clarity as to the reliance on data and on BIM software;
  • spelling out links in relation to the repair, maintenance and operation of the completed capital project;
  • providing for joining agreements to bring in additional members as they join the team.”

In developing the FAC-1 Framework Alliance Contract, King’s College London consulted widely on its potential to help obtain improved value through BIM.

FAC-1 and BIM

FAC-1 acts as a multi-party BIM protocol linking any number of two party contracts and creating clarity as to interfaces and joint activities. It provides the option for BIM to underpin the agreed approaches to design, supply chain engagement, costing, Risk Management and programming:

  • in relation to the Framework Programme in the Framework Documents
  • in relation to each Project in the Template Project Documents.

FAC-1 provides the means for Alliance Members to obtain Improved Value through BIM including:

  • data transparency and team integration (through the multi-party structure and Schedule 1 Objectives)
  • agreed software (in the clause 1.9.3 communication systems and Schedule 5 Template Project Documents)
  • integration of documents enabling and supporting BIM (in the Framework Documents and Template Project Documents)
  • agreed BIM deadlines, gateways and interfaces ( in the Schedule 2 Timetable and the clause 6 Alliance Activities)
  • flexibility to agree any combination of BIM contributions (through the multi-party structure and under the clause 1.11 and Appendix 2 Joining Agreements)
  • flexibility to bring in BIM contributions from specialist sub-contractors and manufacturers (through clause 6.3 Supply Chain Collaboration and clause 7 Orders)
  • direct mutual licences of Intellectual Property Rights (in clause 11)
  • integration of BIM management with governance and clash resolution (in the clause 1 Core Group and Early Warningprovisions and the clause 5 Alliance Manager role)
  • flexibility to obtain BIM contributions from additional Alliance Members involved in the occupation, operation, repair, alteration and demolition of a completed Project (under the clause 1.11 and Appendix 2 Joining Agreements and the definition of Operation as a feature of Improved Value )
  • potential for the BIM team to learn and improve from Project to Project (under the Schedule 1 Success Measures andTargets and under the clause 5 and Schedule 4 Direct Award Procedure and Competitive Award Procedure).

Case Studies

FAC-1 incorporates features taken from the successful Ministry of Justice multi-party national and regional framework alliances ( government-construction-task-groups ) . These framework alliances  provided for the use of BIM and enabled “reduced operating costs estimated at £10m, reduced burden on industry tendering of around £30m and procurement risk mitigation of about £2m” by means that included “Early engagement of the supply chain … encouraged by the two stage approach” using the PPC2000 Form of Project Partnering Contract.

Combining BIM with early contractor/sub-contractor involvement, under the Ministry of Justice framework alliance and PPC2000 , supported the Cookham Wood team in “design coordination and change management at an early stage prior to construction, including liaison with the governor of HMYOI Cookham Wood”. This combination contributed to the following cost savings and other Improved Value:

  • “taking into account value indicators of similar projects, cost savings achieved (as analysed by the Client and cost consultant Swett Group) show cost savings of 20% from the rate of £2,910 per square metre anticipated for a comparable project and the rate of £2,332 per square metre achieved in relation to Cookham Wood by the time of establishing the agreed maximum price.”
  • collaboration between Interserve and its specialist SSC resulted in a pre-cast volumetric cell proposal for the construction of the project. As a result, the construction programme was reduced from 50 to 44 weeks with a saving of £85,000 in time-related site overheads.
  • to address the need for lighting to be indestructible in the Education block, EMCOR provided a bespoke alternative lighting proposal. This solution reduced the amount of trunking and ensured that lighting was located in the centre of the rooms, achieving a significant cost saving and a better lighting solution.” (

North Wales Prison used the same framework alliance, combined with PPC2000 and BIM , to deliver 26% agreed post-tender cost savings and other improved value including:

  • “a more efficient way to achieving BREEAM excellence which resulted in a saving of more than £1 million,
  • a reduced footprint for the Entry Building/Energy Centre, using lessons learned from the Oakwood prison project and consultation with operational colleagues,
  • re-location of the multi-faith building to provide a more operationally efficient layout of the site and a reduction in construction costs,
  • challenging the original costed design to incorporate an open “swale” in place of an attenuation tank, thereby also creating a new environment for wildlife while reducing construction costs
  • applying Value Engineering to the mechanical and electrical solution which resulted in an alternative
  • lighting solution used in Scotland being applied to Wrexham. This solution complied with MoJ standards and brought savings to the MoJ. The Value Engineering has identified a cost saving solution which the MoJ can now use throughout the estate.” (