Building Trust with ISO 19650: Why should we continue with it?

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March 17, 2023

Building Trust with ISO 19650: Why should we continue with it?

Jerin Biju
March 17, 2023

Introduction

A decade ago, when people hear the word ‘construction industry’ the picture coming to mind was a dusty construction site. But now the mindset towards the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) industry started changing at least for the new generation. Thanks to the keyword ‘digital’ for making a revolution and reforming this industry. Comparing the construction industry with other industries, it is in the tender stage of its path toward digital transformation and the foundation for this transformation is Building Information Modelling (BIM).

As a standard for implementation of BIM in the AEC industry, the release of ISO 19650 which defines the Organization and digitization of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including Building Information Modeling (BIM) - Information management using BIM has happened. It has a total of six parts, and they are:

  1. ISO 19650:1 - Concepts & Principles (released in 2018)
  2. ISO 19650:2 - Delivery Phase of the Assets (released in 2018)
  3. ISO 19650:3 - Operational Phase of Assets (released in 2020)
  4. ISO 19650:4 - Information Exchange (In development)
  5. ISO 19650:5 - Security-minded approach to information management (released in 2020)
  6. ISO 19650:6 - Health & Safety (In development)

Desapex’s Journey in ISO 19650 Certification

The journey of ISO 19650 certification for Desapex started by end of 2018 when the first two parts were released. As the first step, a copy of the standard was purchased, and tried to understand the concepts and principles, and the different stages of project delivery in depth. It was not that hard for us to align with this as we were following PAS 1192-2 standards and had an information management system already being followed.

In April 2019, we successfully completed the first audit after a thorough check on documentation, evidence from Common Data Environment(CDE), and meeting some of the project team members including the client, and the certificate was issued for ISO 19650-1 & 2 from the British Standard Institute(BSI) who was the only certifying body for ISO 19650 at that time. Even though the certificate was issued, we had one or two non-conformities that were mentioned in the report. We considered this as a benchmark for ourselves and brainstormed on how to improve the implementation process.

As the first step to making progress all the employees of the organization were given training on the terminologies, processes, documentation, Common Data Environment (CDE), and File naming convention. All the project managers were instructed to follow the processes. As a result, we were able to improve ourselves continuously in generating and managing relevant information.

Even though the certificate was issued for three years, it is mandated to have a yearly assessment. The assessment that was supposed to happen in 2020 was postponed due to the covid impact. So, the assessment for 2020 and 2021 happened together in November 2021. This time we were able to successfully complete the assessment without any non-conformities and we were able to overcome the previous non-conformities mentioned in the report.  

In 2022, BSI reissued the certificate for another three years after the audit without any non-conformities. The assessment continues every respective year by the BSI to continue with the Kitemark certification in information management using BIM for Design & Construction. Being the first organization in the world to get this certification, we are happy that many organizations are realizing the importance of implementing the ISO 19650 standard and the importance of information management in the construction industry.

Why Desapex is Continuing with ISO 19650 Certification?

The AEC industry is advancing rapidly in the path of digitalization compared to the previous decades. The most modern buzzwords like Data Science, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Metaverse, etc which are familiar to the Information Technology (IT) sector are hummed in high volume in the construction sector nowadays. Many organizations started researching how digital technologies can help the construction industry and many others started investing in this field.

The other trendy concepts in the industry are embodied carbon and sustainability. According to World Green Building Council, buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions: 28% from operational emissions, from the energy needed to heat, cool, and power them, and the remaining 11% from materials and construction. A lot of research is happening in this area also to identify the amount of embodied carbon present in a building, and a few have come up with some technology and tools to measure it.

For all the above-mentioned hot topics in the construction industry, the foundation is the BIM model. The services offered by Desapex under Digital Design Management (DDM), Digital Project Management (DPM), and Digital Asset Management (DAM) cover many of the above topics. We are well aware of the information that is being generated as technology grows and are well prepared to manage it smoothly and collaboratively. The ISO 19650 standard leads us to move ahead in an organized way and improve our process based on the lessons learned and feedback received from the project teams. It also keeps us in the creamy layer of the national and international markets.

How are Clients getting Benefited?

Before moving forward how many have thought of this question? How many of you have an answer for this? The major challenge faced across the AEC industry is the maturity of the clients in understanding the benefits of the ISO 19650 framework. It is appreciable that nowadays at least some professionals of reputed multi-national companies are trying to understand the benefits and querying the implementation processes.

So, let’s conclude by looking at how the clients get the benefit on a broader level.

  • In project management, there are ten knowledge areas (Integration, Scope, Schedule, Cost, Quality, Resource, Communication, Risk, Procurement, and Stakeholder Management) that are covered in the different stages of the ISO 19650:2 Delivery phase of the assets framework that are in line with the five process groups (Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitor & Control, and Closing).
  • ISO 19650: 2 goes through eight stages and the project scope is well defined in the initial stages of the project itself. This helps all the other stakeholders to get clarity on the ultimate use cases of the model that they are going to develop, and this helps them to develop it in the right way with relevant information filled into the model.
  • All the information (RFI’s, Models, Drawings, Risk Register, or any other documentation) generated is readily available in the Common Data Environment (CDE) with appropriate file naming convention, version, and revision for easy accessibility and all-time availability for relevant stakeholders of the same project or as a reference for any future projects.
  • The project itself can be certified separately for ISO 19650:2 from a certifying body that can be showcased as an achievement for the department as well as the organization and this project can be further taken to ISO 19650:3 certification which is the Operational phase of the asset.

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