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Trends: A Member Discusses How New AIA Contract Documents Can Be Used to Organize and Manage BIM Projects

About Rachel Riopel Wiley, AIA: Ms. Wiley is the Central Region BIM Director for HDR Architecture Inc. As a member of the USACE /Industry BIM Advisory Committee, Rachel brings a practical perspective for integrating building information modeling into the practice of architecture. Ms. Wiley believes that multi-discipline and multi-stakeholder participation is critical to project success. She develops processes and design workflows that take into account both technological solutions and realities of day to day project execution.

What is a building information model and what opportunities and challenges does its utilization present to the industry?

A building information model (BIM) is a vehicle or container for gathering data (visual, tabular, or otherwise) to inform collaboration and allow prototyping and testing of assumptions.

A BIM during design will record shared understanding and inform the collaborative process, assisting with more careful and comprehensive analytics to produce design solutions. A BIM during construction, on the other hand, will serve as a virtual prototyping laboratory for innovating the realization or assembly of the design solution.

The challenges include providing multiple users access to the BIM environment, and providing each of them with the data they require to do work together effectively and efficiently. It is absolutely necessary to support quick, clear communication and decision-making, but by allowing everyone to work in the same virtual environment, clear boundaries are removed. Regaining an understanding of how to assign proper accountability is arguably the most difficult and one of the most pressing challenges in the midst of this evolution.

How have the fast moving areas of digital practice and building information modeling evolved over the last few years?

In the past 20 years we have gone from primarily a hand-drafted and manually managed project documentation process to the completely digital process of consuming, analyzing, producing, exchanging, and recording of project documentation. The life of the information has been expanded and extended so that it can be useful to others far beyond just the project construction.

AIA introduced new BIM and Related Digital Practice Documents on June 20th. How long has your firm been using AIA Contract Documents?

HDR has been using the AIA Contract Documents for at least the past 40 years Having access to an entire suite of documents through the software is a great way to keep up to date with the documents as they are maintained and updated.

What specific BIM and Related Digital Practice Documents have you used and why were they the right fit for the projects you were working on?

In the recent past, the E202-2008 was used to supplement our contracts where building information modeling was to be incorporated. In a practical way, these documents have allowed us to more completely incorporate building information modeling into our agreements.

Recently, we were able to use the Digital Practice Documents for one of our healthcare projects. For the management team, these documents provided step by step guidance through the more critical aspects of project delivery including specification of deliverables, accountability of parties involved, and identification of protocol to support the expectations. Having the framework available definitely helped to make sure nothing was overlooked.

How do you think the new BIM and Related Digital Practice Documents can help other firms?

The E203-2013 BIM and Digital Practice Documents provide a framework for effectively defining the contractual relationships necessary in delivering a project using building information modeling. Indicating the most significant aspects of liability consistently encountered for today’s projects, these documents not only address aspects driven by the introduction of the tools and technology, but they finally begin to address the process.


black-bar BIM and Related Digital
Practice Document

The new contract documents
help create a guideline for
working with BIM and other
digital practices. They addres
any issues that may arise
throughout a project and
reduce barriers that oftern
hinder BIM adoption. [more]


AIA Contract Documents

AIA Contract Documents
delivers a comprehensive suite
of over 100 contract
documents that address the
full spectrum of design and
construction projects—large
and small. [more]


Member Spotlight

Rachel Riopel Wiley, AIA
Central Region BIM Director
HDR Headquarters
8404 Indian Hills Drive
Omaha, NE 68114-4098

Phone: 402-399-1000

HDR is a global employee-
owned firm providing
architecture, engineering,
consulting, and construction.
HDR’s professionals are
committed to helping clients
manage complex projects and
make sound decisions.


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