BIM Gateway - Legal Matters

This section has been provided to explore, review and provide commentary on the legal aspects of BIM and welcomes comment and contribution from those in industry involved in collaborative construction projects. In this way it can benefit from the input of industry professionals and ensure others learn from that experience.

Areas for discussion and development

Professional Indemnity Insurance

This is a key consideration in industry particularly where there is a change in the project team i.e. Consultant to Contractor on a Design & Build project. The structure of the respective organisations insurance and QA policies have direct impact on the BIM workflow. The CIC Best Practice Guide for Professional Indemnity Insurance is directly addressed to the needs of insured parties – particularly consultants engaged in the production of definition information using Building Information Models by summarising the key areas of risk which Professional Indemnity insurers associate with level 2 BIM and what can be done about those risks.

Who owns the model and associated data?

Who owns the model and data and who is responsible for inaccuracies that may occur due to interoperability issues. For example IFC data transfer is still developing and can be responsible for a number of issues that arise on BIM projects due to some, or all, of the geometry/data not being transferred. Potentially multiple parties are involved in the data management for the project which can make data validation difficult for 3rd parties involved in this process and authorising it for its intended use.

Unless data is specifically detailed and requested by the client to ensure the level of information required forms part of the Employer's Information Requirements (EIR) as defined in [|PAS1192-3:2014 'Specification for Information Management for the Operational Phase of Assets using Building Information Modelling'] then this often gets missed or the client is presented with an unexpected cost towards the end of the project that they potentially were not expecting.

Contract Clauses

A key focus of the group at the moment as most Contracts (JCT & others) do not have BIM specific clauses. An interesting paper Building Information Modelling: The Legal Frontier – Overcoming Legal and Construction Obstacles (Note £3 to download a copy) by May Winfield covers this topic in depth.

The CIC BIM Protocol is a supplementary legal agreement for incorporation into professional appointments and construction contracts covering such matters. It is for use on common construction contracts involving level 2 BIM to replace or sit above 'bespoke' project protocols that may be used to provide further contextual detail.

Integrated Project Insurance (IPR)

The UK Government's 2014 Integrated Project Insurance (IPI) model offers clients the opportunity to create a holistic and integrated project team (an ‘Alliance Board’) to eliminate the “blame/claim” culture. The IPI package aims to limit the risk for the individual members of the team, foster joint ownership of the project, and so reduce the likelihood of overrunning in terms of cost and time.