How S.M.A.R.T. BIM is Becoming Self Aware

A big issue affecting your BIM iQ is project predictability, which we will focus on through a variety of technology innovations and the A in S.M.A.R.T. (Systemized, Modeled, Aware, Reality, Temporal) measurement of BIM.

Driving project predictability has been a legitimate concern for owners and contractors in the construction world for the last 30 years and continues to lag behind other sectors. Project predictability involves understanding how early in a project the outcome is known.

We see traditional contractors invest twice the amount of money on technological improvements – including IT, AI and robotics; however, the current construction processes are not well linked and there is a lack of integrated workflows.

I mentioned in my previous blog, “3 Ways to Raise your BIM-iQ,” that digital transformation isn’t a technology by itself; it’s a business strategy and takes a combination of the three Pillars of BIM – technology, processes and people – to be successful. Project predictability benefits from understanding of the three pillars of BIM.

In June 2019, Hexagon’s Jean-Luc Ozoux (PPM Senior Industry Consultant)  said at the PMI Forum in Grenoble, “Digital transformation provides multiple new technologies to improve the performance of construction project execution and project management. Laser scanning, geospatial, augmented and virtual reality allow digitalization of field work. Artificial intelligence, big data, system integration and mobile applications help to build an integrated project performance management system.

“This is done by removing subjectivity, fastening data collection, and providing time for analyzing data, instead of focusing on gathering, checking and reporting of information.”

He went on to state that Construction Industry Institute (CII) research found that on average, forecast variance reporting starts at 65% of project duration. When forecasts increase very late in the project, management is left with little or no time to implement corrective actions.

Yet, the industry is still focused primarily on final outcome variance, with little regard for how early in the project the outcome becomes known.

In my previous blog, “Essential Measurements in Building Information Modeling (BIM),” I reviewed the BIM-Quotient, the measurement of BIM capability and capacity. To make the most of your BIM it needs to be S.M.A.R.T. Focusing on the A, or “Aware,” BIM is connected to software and hardware to make projects intelligent and autonomous.

The integration of autonomous technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) enables a model to self-heal and proactively find and resolve issues before they happen on your project. Hexagon’s tools for AEC help you create S.M.A.R.T. BIM which allows for True 5D BIM.

Our toolsets for:
• The Designer use BricsCAD and BricsCAD BIM that allows a more fluid process to create designs that you can easily move into 3D-4D-5D BIM workflows to complete detailed design work. Users can optimize and explore designs with integrated analysis and visualization while easily sharing across project teams.
• The Contractor would use a combination of HxGN Smart Build, Intergraph Smart Materials, Agtek, Bricsys 24/7 and EcoSys to establish collaborative practices across disciplines, coordinate horizontal design and vertical structures, and drive more positive outcomes on projects while performing 3D-4D-5D cost and scheduling analysis.
• The Owner would use EcoSys Portfolio and Bricsys 24/7 for true two-way data sharing, which means having a digital twin that is always up to date and real-time for operational efficiency and business optimization and developing a smarter business process across the project and portfolio lifecycle.

And users would integrate with Leica TrueView Cloud, Leica iCON and Multivista to allow connecting physical and digital streams of data workflows that put data accuracy at the center.

Enabling data-driven decisions can effectively be communicated through Smart Dashboards that perform a variety of analysis. HxGN Smart Build can pull all this data in and present it in a persona-based dashboard view. IFC files can easily be visualized and cost and schedule information applied for True 5D BIM.

These results allow the stakeholder to measure progress and set goals to achieve desired results and evaluate the performance of the project. The earlier we have an indication of a problem enables the stakeholders to mitigate liability, risk and cost while improving safety, schedule and proper alignment of skillsets/talent for the project.

Jean-Luc Ozoux also stated, “EcoSys is the only software platform that enables you to measure and improve project predictability, leading to overall project cost and schedule reduction across your enterprise. EcoSys drives standards and provides real-time analytics in an easy-to-use, integrated, and flexible enterprise performance platform. It serves as the basis for ensuring all the following “Pillars of Predictability” are supported across your organization: Portfolio Management, Project Management, Contract Management.”

Without digitally integrated systems, processes and workflows, productivity gains will continue to lag well behind the demand for new infrastructure. Construction science is transitioning across several types of analytics to Prescriptive Analytics (AI/ML). Descriptive analytics depict exactly what has happened up until the current moment in time.

Using advanced analytics techniques, descriptive analytics allow you to see trends within your project and find problems that may not reveal itself otherwise. Predictive analytics builds upon the trends found in descriptive analytics and compares your project data to past projects and the current environment.

Predictive analytics allows you to take action prior to a problem occurring. Resourcing constraints, weather changes and budgetary issues are predicted before they happen, thus allowing for course correction when costs are minimal. Once predictive analysis identifies the need to change course, optimization can be performed across the project.

The outcomes of the optimization will prescribe courses of action that will minimize the impact of impending problems. Once a new course is identified, the project can be updated to reflect the changes. AI/ML + BIM = Project Predictability, which is how BIM is becoming self-aware.

Hexagon’s solutions for AEC provide the tools you need to take advantage of True 5D BIM. Contact Hexagon today to learn more about our BIM-iQ Assessment and ROI Calculation to measure where you are in your digital transformation journey.


Brian Moura
Brian is an experienced corporate marketing, sales, consulting services and engineering professional with more than 39 years working with engineering systems supporting the AEC industry. He has worked on design teams in: wastewater treatment, petrochemical, fossil fuel and nuclear power plant, product design and manufacturing facilities, utilities, biotech, pharmaceutical and government lab facilities and transportation. He is degreed in computer aided drafting and design, graduating Suma Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales University and is also certified in mechanical engineering technology, graduating Suma Cum Laude from Sawyer School. 


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