Category Archives: CIOB

Back from Europe…

The last major event on my travels was a trip to Belfast – organised by the CIOB months in advance as part of the Ireland meetings, but we were bounced by the Queen’s 60th Jubilee visit to the province (anyone would think they owned the place… 🙂 ); after frenetic last minute reorganisation by CIOB staff and the conference visit went ahead with a new plan.

The highlight was a visit to the Titanic Quarter a major redevelopment of the old Harland and Wolf docks – the ‘Titanic Signature Building’ with its Titanic experience was fantastic, apparently the Queen enjoyed it too and I have it on very good advice I sat in the same car on the experience ride she did a couple of hours earlier.

My one question though is why do dockland redevelopers make a point of providing very bad access into the area? Traffic access into and out of the Melbourne Docklands redevelopment is terrible, the ‘Titanic Quarter’ has exactly the same problem and its access appears to be worse! Whilst the mixed development may eventually lead to most people living near to their work within the precinct, this takes years to occur and in the interim commuters to the area and residents commuting out of the area deserve better basic planning.

Now to catch up on a month’s backlog.

The 4th Dimension of BIM

This post is being composed from the CIOB AGM, conference and Members Forum in Dublin, Ireland. The opening day focused on a broad reaching BIM Conference.

BIM = Building Information Modelling. BIM is likely to be a game changing evolution in the way the ‘built environment’ is designed, built and maintained through life to the eventual decommissioning and either renovation or demolition of the structure. It is an evolutionary process with escalating levels of sophistication and information:

For more on the various levels and elements see:

BIM is becoming a world-wide trend; the UK Government has mandated the use of BIM on all major projects by 2016, contractors are taking the lead in the USA, BIM is routinely used in China and Hong Kong, and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) is looking at implications in Australia. Used effectively BIM results in a significant reduction in waste, the CMMA-USA estimate up to 30% of construction costs are due to wasted materials, rework and wasted time waiting for information.

However using BIM is not just a technology issue. Some of the factors needed to implement BIM effectively include:

  • Managing the culture change and stakeholder issues to allow collaborative working.
  • Adapting contracts and insurance policies to allow the collaborative development and use of shared data. The CIOB have developed a new form of contract to assist in this, see: New CIOB Contract for Complex Projects.
  • Managing data exchange formats and other technical issues.
  • Designing the BIM model and Execution Plan; including deployment, quality assurance, ownership (stewardship) of data, defining the audience for the information extracted from the model and selecting the appropriate level of detail to put into the model and to extract from the model for different audiences.

Incorporating the 4th Dimension – Virtual Construction

The intention of this blog is not to provide a BIM tutorial, rather to look at the opportunities created when the 4th D of time is integrated into a reasonably sophisticated BIM model.

Adding the ‘4th Dimension’ allows the schedule to be linked with data objects at an appropriate level of detail and the project to be built virtually, testing different options before deciding on the best approach. Data from the USA suggests time savings of up to 10% are not uncommon.

Using the 4D model has many advantages. As a starting point, because the work can be seen in 3D, implementing concepts such as lean construction and last planner become much simpler. The workers can see what the current situation is and contribute effectively to decisions as to what work will be done in what sequence during the next few days and then see the results in virtual reality before starting on the actual work. This involvement can operate at the detail level such as services integration in a congested ceiling space or at a higher level looking at plant and materials movements. Some of the other opportunities include:

  • Using BIM to model the overall sequence of work on site. This is particularly useful for showing clients how the building will be constructed.
  • Using the visualisation to develop stakeholder engagement with the schedule at all levels from client to on-site workers.
  • Optimising phasing and temporary works, particularly on complex expansion and refurbishment projects.
  • Modelling the optimum vehicle, plant and material movements for maximum efficiency, particularly if there is restricted access.

Considerable skill is needed to integrate the schedule with the BIM model and make effective use of the information; a BIM expert will typically work with a scheduling expert to pull the data together.

A future extension of BIM could see the need to manage supply items removed from the schedule. The construction schedule defines when the element is needed, the BIM system knows what data items are included in the element and it should not be too difficult in an integrated model to then work back from the ‘install date’ to the required manufacture date and before that, the required design date for each item. The integrated nature of the data would make tracking and managing the supply chain a real-time process with everyone fully informed of the current situation and any issues or problems.

BIM also has the potential to shift planning from activity based scheduling to location based scheduling allowing the optimisation of workflows through a project. In fact with the increasing power of computers, it is possible to foresee a time when the process of scheduling changes from using traditional tools to a virtual construction space where the planner physically moves elements of the building into place in the optimum sequence (or tests alternatives), in the same way a Lego model is built, and the BIM system creates the schedule from the optimum sequencing information created in ‘virtual space’.


The CIOB is leading a number of initiatives to integrate effective time management back into construction management. The key initiatives are:

For any non-construction person who has read this far…… BIM is not an exclusively construction management tool, it works on any engineering project: Boeing use very similar systems to manage the development and through life maintenance of the Dreamliner!

New CIOB Contract for Complex Projects

The Chartered Institute Of Building (CIOB) has launched a new contract for construction and engineering projects. The CIOB Contract for Complex Projects has been written for the 21st Century. It is designed to permit the CIOB’s Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects to be put into practice.

The contract can be used for collaborative design with a building information model (BIM) and anticipates and encourages competence in the use of computerised transmission of data. It requires collaborative working in the management of risks and transparency of data used in such management.

The contract has been drafted to be used in any country and legal jurisdiction around the world to provide a means of managing the causes and consequences of delay (the single most common cause of uncontrolled loss and cost escalation in complex building and engineering projects) where the design is produced by the employer, the contractor with or without a building information model.

The key principles embedded in the contract design include:

  • It is written in plain English, suitable for both building and engineering projects and may be adopted for other types of work. It can be used for turnkey, design and build, for construction only, or for part contractor’s design, both in the UK and internationally.
  • It permits a variety of contract documents including BIM (building information model) and requires electronic communications either via a file transfer protocol or a common data environment for collaborative working.
  • The contract contains new roles for the Project Time Manager, Design Coordination Manager and Auditor, as well as the Contract Administrator and the design team.
  • It requires complete transparency in planned and as-built information in compliance with the CIOB’s Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects. It is currently the only standard form of contract available which requires a resourced critical path network, a planning method statement and progress records to a specified, quality assured standard, with significant redress for a failure to comply with the contract requirements.
  • The contractor’s schedule (or programme as it is called in other contracts) is to be a dynamic critical path network in varying densities, described and justified in a planning method statement. It is to be designed in different densities compatible with the information available, reviewed and revised in the light of better information as it becomes available, updated with progress and productivity achieved and resources used and impacted contemporaneously to calculate the effect of intervening events on time and cost (see more on Schedule Density).
  • The contractor’s schedule is not only the time control tool but also the cost control tool against which interim valuations are made and the predicted cost of the works is calculated contemporaneously permitting out-turn cost and total time prediction on a daily basis though the updated working schedule.
  • The contract contains detailed requirements for the identification and use of time and cost contingencies, defines float and concurrency and sets down rules for their use. It provides the power for the contractor to keep the benefit of any time it saves by improved progress as its own contingency, which cannot be taken away.
  • It contains a procedure for contemporaneous expert resolution of issues arising during construction. In the absence of reference to experts specified issues concerning submittal rejections and conditional approvals are deemed to be agreed, helping to avoid doubt about responsibilities and escalation of disputes. The experts used during the course of the works can be called as a witness by either party in any subsequent adjudication and/or arbitration proceedings and, in order to help to give transparency to the way dispute resolvers deal with the contract and help to make sure it functions in the way it is supposed to, the adjudicator’s decision and/or arbitrator’s award is to be a public document, unless the parties agree otherwise.

The Chartered Institute of Building would like to receive your comments and criticism on the Review Edition of the CIOB Contract by Monday, 30 July 2012. All comments will be acknowledged and taken into consideration in future review and revision of the form and its constituent standard form documents. To review the contract see:

Lessons Learned

The London Olympic Delivery Authority’s Learning Legacy is designed to facilitate the dissemination of the lessons learned from the London 2012 construction project for the benefit of future projects and programmes, academia and government with the intention of raising the bar within the construction sector.

The ODA are on the verge of delivering a massive program of works on-time and on-budget, the learning from this major undertaking can benefit everyone.  To browse and download the 250 documents see:

There are four types of reports:

    • Micro reports: Short examples of lessons learned, best practice and innovations from the construction programme.
    • Case studies: Peer reviewed papers on lessons learned, best practice and innovations from across the Programme.
    • Research summaries: Summary reports of research projects undertaken by academia and industry on the London 2012 construction.  These organisations will also publish full research papers as they are finalised throughout 2012.   Over 600 interviews were undertaken by researchers on the ODA and its supply chain as part of the learning legacy research.
    • Champion products: Examples of tools and templates used successfully on the programme.

    The reports have been classified into 10 themes:

  • Programme and project management;
  • Design and engineering innovation
  • Equality, inclusion, employment and skills;
  • Health and safety;
  • Masterplanning and town planning;
  • Procurement and supply chain management;
  • Sustainability;
  • Systems and technology;
  • Transport;
  • Archaeology.

This is a highly recommended rich source of information.

Carbon Action 2050

The negative approach to carbon reduction emanating from sections of Australian industry and political structure is to say the least short sighted and disappointing, particularly given the devastating floods and cyclones of the last year or two. These local changes have been repeated by tornados, hurricanes and floods around the world.

For anyone to suggest the climate is not changing is simply ignoring the facts. Defining the cause of change may be more debatable. Correlation is not causation! From a pragmatic viewpoint man made carbon pollution may be causing the change in the climate, contributing to the change or simply polluting the atmosphere without any effect.

Depending on which of the three options is correct, cleaning up our carbon footprint to levels the natural systems can absorb will either, solve the climate change problem, reduce the climate change problem or merely reduce our contamination of the environment we live in.

However, not taking appropriate and immediate action on carbon pollution will either, push the climate change problem to greater extremes, increase the effect of climate change or simply continue to contaminate the environment we live in.

From a risk management perspective, doing nothing or minimal change is not really a sensible option until there is conclusive proof that carbon has no effect on the weather and sea levels. That proof has not been demonstrated by anyone, and whilst proof that carbon is adding to the climate change problem is far from conclusive, the strong weight of evidence is trending to support the view carbon is either the cause of the change or a major contributor to the change.

The very short term arguments raised by miners, industry and some politicians that doing anything is too expensive ignores the long term costs to every industry in favour of the next quarterly profit statement –ignoring the impact of floods, cyclones and rising sea levels on profits and value generation.

Outside of Australia, practical action is being taken by a wide range of organisations. The Chartered Institute of Building – CIOB – has launched Carbon Action 2050, a free interactive online tool that provides key guidance on every facet of a building’s lifecycle from design through construction to end use and beyond.

There is advice on education, skills and leadership and how to move those agendas towards a low carbon built environment. The portal has been developed over the last twelve months by CIOB members who work in design, building control, education, project management, facilities management, conservation and sustainability. Its overall aim is to focus on innovation and best practice that will make an immediate difference on the ground. To find out more visit:

Locally, we need to start taking similar actions, as a minimum we will start cleaning up our mess, more likely we will contribute to saving the planet (or at least reducing the impact of climate change)!

Biased Book Reviews

I sometimes wonder if the total freedom of the internet is an asset. Over the last several years I’ve been working with a tem of international experts to develop the CIOB Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects. We are now developing a certification framework to help support the development of a proper career framework for schedulers (for more on this see:

The Guide was developed for a specific purpose that is clearly enunciated in the marketing materials. The description is: The first stage, this [book], sets down the process and standards to be achieved in preparing and managing the time model. As a handbook for practitioners it uses logical step by step procedures and examples from inception and risk appraisal, through design and construction to testing and commissioning, to show how an effective and dynamic time model can be used to manage the risk of delay to completion of construction projects.

As a guide for practitioners the book has limitations, in particular it is not intended to be an academic text. Then you read the review on Amazon UK from an anonymous ‘Richard and his cat’ and he complains the book:

  • is written in bad english – very insightful as good English requires correct capitalisation as a minimum. The language in the book is not complex academic English primarily because its audience is world wide.
  • is full of unsubstantiated opinion and without any academic referencing to evidence – absolutely correct! This is a guide for practitioners.
  • appears to be written from the slanted viewpoint of an employers delay analysis consultant who wants an easy life by having the contractor do his work for him – I have no idea what ‘Richard’ does for a living but I always thought the job of the contractors scheduler was to make the employers consultants life as easy as possible by developing fully substantiated claims that can be approved un-amended. The Guide does strongly advocate keeping good records; these are needed for legitimate claims.
  • if a MSc Thesis then it would be a failure – completely agree! A MSc Thesis requires a very structured format and generally prohibits new ideas and thinking – the thesis has to be built on established writings. The Guide takes a radically new look at how to implement effective time management in complex projects and is written to be read and used.

Fortunately some newer reviews are appearing. The Guide will undoubtedly improve when the second edition is developed in a couple of years. For now I think it has a lot to offer practical project managers, schedulers and planners, but then I’m biased, I know the calibre of the people involved in developing The Guide.

PMI-SP and PTMC Courses Launched

Mosaic is offering a world-first integrated scheduling course for the PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) and CIOB Project Time Management Certificate (PTMC). The total course comprises 13 modules of focused schedule training.

Modules 1 to 6 provide the education needed for the new CIOB Project Time Management Certificate (PTMC) examination.

Modules 1 to 5 plus Modules 7 to 13 provide the education needed for the PMI-SP credential.

All of the modules are available via Mosaic’s Mentored Email™ delivery allowing schedulers to prepare for their examinations anywhere, any time.

Additionally, Modules 1 to 4 are incorporated into Mosaic’s successful 1 Day and 2 Day scheduling workshops. The 1 Day workshop is exclusively focused on the exam-prep modules, the 2 Day workshop covers a range of additional scheduling and time management topics.

Bookings for this exciting range of courses are open with module delivery scheduled from the 1st March for the Mentored Email™ courses.

The first 1 Day workshop focused on the new courses will be held on the 12th April in Melbourne with others to follow.

Details of our one-on-one Mentored Email™ course are at

Our first 1 Day classroom course incorporating modules 1 to 4 will be in Melbourne, Australia on the 12th April, for more on the classroom courses see:

For more information on the CIOB Project Time Management Certificate (PTMC) and course fees see:

For more information on the PMI Scheduling Professional credential (PMI-SP) and course fees see:

If you wish to buy a copy of The Guide in advance of the course, see: – your course fees are reduced if we don’t have to ship books.

Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects

Wiley and the Chartered Institute of Building have just published a new book, the Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects. The primary purpose of this Guide is to set down the standards necessary to facilitate the effective and competent management of time in complex projects. It defines the standards by which project schedules will be prepared, quality controlled, updated, reviewed and revised in practice and describes the standards of performance which should reasonably be required of a project scheduler.

Delayed completion affects IT, process plant, oil and gas, civil engineering, shipbuilding and marine work contracts. In fact it affects all industries in all countries and the bigger the project, the more damage delayed completion causes to costs, to reputation and sometimes, even to the survival of the contracting parties themselves.

In simple projects, time can be managed intuitively by any reasonably competent person, but complex projects cannot and a more analytical approach is necessary if the project is to succeed. Although much has been written about how to apportion liability for delay after a project has gone wrong there was, until recently, no guidance on how to manage time pro-actively and effectively on complex projects.

The Guide has been developed as a scheduling reference document capable of wide application. It is a practical treatise on the processes to be followed and standards to be achieved in effective management of time. It can be used in any jurisdiction, under any form of contract, with any type of project and should be identified as the required standard for the preparation and updating of contract programmes, progress reporting and time management.

I may be biased, my partner was part of the team that developed The Guide and it recognises the importance of involving stakeholders in the development of the schedule, but I feel it has a lot to offer project planners and schedulers on any type of project.

For more information;
in Australia see: elsewhere,

Definition of Construction Management

Developing definitions for context sensitive processes such as project management is difficult [see paper]. Over the last year I have had involvement with the efforts of the CIOB UK to develop a similar type of definition for Construction Management. The final definition is rather long, but is I would suggest both accurate and concise.

Construction Management is: The management of the development, conservation and improvement of the built environment; exercised at a variety of levels from the site and project, through the corporate organisations of the industry and its clients, to society as a whole; embracing the entire construction value stream from inception to recycling, and focusing upon a commitment to sustainable construction; incorporating a wide range of specialist services; guided by a system of values demonstrating responsibility to humanity and to the future of our planet; and informed, supported and challenged by an independent academic discipline.

The result of this work is now available for download and sets the benchmark for project mangers to aspire to achieve [download the CM definition].

More thoughts on Expo 2010

One of the interesting juxtapositions around Expo 2010 is its theme of sustainability contrasted to a massive temporary exhibition focused on an intensive 6 months with much of the site to be demolished in October.

The Expo is certainly a success with a projected attendance of 75million visitors. From the sustainability perspective there have been many innovations and initiatives.

Much of the heating and cooling uses heat pumps powered by solar (PVC) cells. Movement across the site has been optimised in three planes, above on, and below ground encouraging walking and most of the transportation is electric powered. Several of the larger buildings are designed for re-use and one incorporates the world’s largest green wall. Another innovation has been refurbishing many of the pre-existing industrial buildings on-site to preserve Shanghai’s heritage.

The Expo is also hosting a string of conference events focusing world experts on its theme of ‘better city, better life’ and sustainability. This was also a key focus of the CIOB events we attended.

The World's Largest 'Greenwall' diring construction. Now it's a mass of green.

Part way through, it’s hard to assess if the Expo will contribute a net benefit to sustainability and ‘better city’ development but from what we saw, it is looking positive.

Before moving onto other topics though, there were many pavilions that really caught our attention. The Chinese and UK pavilions have already been mentioned. The Australian pavilion is a standout design looking like cross between Ayres Rock and a tin shed. The design is very distinctive and ‘Australian’.

The Australian Pavilion

Many of the countries used interesting cladding to focus on sustainability and insulation. The Canadian pavilion was covered in lumber, the Portuguese in cork. The ‘paper cut’ effect of the Polish pavilion combined a classic Chinese art from with shading and ventilation.

The Polish Pavilion's 'Paper Cut'

Overall the experience was fantastic, as long as you don’t mind the crowds, and will be long remembered. Thoughts on sustainability and ‘Zero Carbon’ will follow in later posts.