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ARTRA Field-BIM & Facilities Management

Plant & Asset Lifecycle Management

Conditioned Survey BIM.

Building Information
Modelling (BIM) is generally associated with new building
projects. Now, BIM techniques are being adapted for the
Conditioned Surveys of existing buildings and infrastructure.
A Condition Survey provides an assessment of the physical
property conditions at a given point in time by indentifying
deficiencies & maintenance issues with structural,
mechanical, electrical, plumbing, safety and security systems.
Maintenance care contracts can include the periodic
monitoring and testing of the building and site systems.
A BIM based Conditioned Survey can provide property
owners and engineering consultants with a complete digital
information source and report where all findings, test results,
calculations, detailed narrative and photographs are available
through a 3D BIM. Some of the advantages include the ability
to better analyse historical data, plus the means to capture
field information in more detail and with greater consistency.
Over time the result is a complete BIM information source
that clearly defines the property condition and can be used to
increase or decrease the suggested market value of a


In November 2010, Vinci Construction and ArtrA Ltd
undertook a pilot project to asses the suitability of using BIM
for the Conditioned Survey of the Wycombe Swan MSCP
(multi-storey car park) which opened in November 1992.

Wycombe Swan MSCP

Operated by Wycombe District Council and holding a Safer

Parking Award, the car park provides 330 parking bays
including spaces for disabled drivers and motorcycles. The
buildings systems have been upgraded over the years to
include CCTV.


is an enterprise solution for asset & plant lifecycle

management, construction management and FM (facilities
management). At its core ArtrA is a database management
application with a graphical front end using Navisworks
Active-X technology. The system is built around a SQL
database that can be easily integrated with other database

applications. ArtrA provides the means to collate an entire

project bundle of information & documentation into a single
manageable resource that can be handed over or transferred
between project stakeholders throughout the design,
construction, fit-out, FM and lifecycle phases.


The first step in the Field-BIM process was to commission a
The work was undertaken by Dutch based who used EliteCAD Architectural
BIM software to create a model from a set of 2D general
arrangement & section drawings.

MSCP Model created using EliteCAD AR BIM/CAD

The model building process took one week and the BIM was
delivered in several formats including DWG, IFC and as a
Navisworks file (500kb) for ArtrA Field-BIM.

MSCP Model delivered as a Navisworks file for ArtrA Field-BIM


Creating a Conditioned Survey ready BIM required a new
approach to model building. The model had to be created in
such a way that surveyors could easily reference structural
items in the field back to the model and add information in
the correct locations.
All objects in the model were cut into individually selectable
pieces; columns and beams were split vertically or
horizontally into sections, whilst the slabs, soffits and walls
were cut into a grid in accordance with the parking bays.

For more information visit Email Tel: +44 (0) 1883 621170

ARTRA Field-BIM & Facilities Management

Plant & Asset Lifecycle Management



Each BIM object was given 5 attributed values to identify and

locate all structural parts of the MSCP;

Prior to defining the contents of the Conditioned Survey BIM

database, Vinci engineers identified a list of structural
components requiring inspection such as slabs, soffits,
beams, columns, ramps, walls, edge copings, fixings &
supports, drainage etc. For each of these, a list of possible
defects was compiled including cracking, spalling, leaking,
ponding, compaction, rust staining, damage, de-bonded
waterproof coating, peeling paint etc. Other information to
be collected included probable cause i.e. impact or malicious
damage, corrosion or weather related, expansive reaction,
curing occurrence etc, as well as effects such as exposed
reinforcement, loss of cover and structural implication.

[1] Level (B 9), [2] Type (column, beam, wall, soffit, deck,
ramp etc), [3] X-grid, [4] Y-grid, and [5] Zone.


Conditioned Survey Model cut for Field-BIM

The instructions concerning the nature of information

required were supplied as a series of emails, documents and
through discussion. They were defined in ArtrAs database as
a set of (59) Tags and (128) Properties, a process that was
completed in one day.

These attributes were used to link ArtrAs SQL database with

objects in the BIM.



By using a combination of the attributes, ArtrA users can

conduct drill-down model searches such as find all soffits on
level B, zone A, or; show all columns and decks in zone B for
level 3. This functionality allows documentation, and
information captured in the field to be in the correct place.

ArtrA set-up



ArtrA defect Tags & Properties are presented to the user as a
series of Tag-Input-Forms whose contents are completed by
field engineers as/when a defect is identified on-site.

Search results for all columns & deck objects Level 6


The significant difference between a design BIM and a
Lifecycle BIM, is that whereas information is extracted from a
design BIM it is added to a Conditioned Survey BIM. In a
design BIM, information is held in a CAD model such as Revit,
Tekla etc. For a Conditioned Survey BIM, defect information
captured from site is stored externally in a (SQL) database
and then linked to the BIM.

ArtrA Conditioned Survey Tag-Input-Form

For more information visit Email Tel: +44 (0) 1883 621170

ARTRA Field-BIM & Facilities Management

Plant & Asset Lifecycle Management

Tag-Input-Forms help to ensure that all the information

required from site is captured according to a set of standards
and nothing is forgotten. They also ensure a high level of data
consistency when a number of engineers are working on the
same project at the same time, allowing for the production of
meaningful management reports.

to the correct location. A

list of all associated
defect tags is shown,


These bookmarks help

engineers who may be
unfamiliar with the site
to obtain a detailed
overview of existing
maintenance issues and
provide access to all the
relevant information.

The survey was conducted in the normal way, i.e. by

methodically walking the site to record new defects, and
monitoring exiting conditions. But instead of making handwritten notes on drawings & clip boards, the information was
entered through the predefined Tag-Input-Forms and tablet
Conditioned Survey Bookmark List

Multiple defect tag-input-forms are linked to a slab object


The process is straightforward; when the engineer finds a
defect, the same object is highlighted in the model by clicking
on it. Once identified, a list of defects is presented to the user
who selects the relevant tag and then fills out the Tag-InputForm. ArtrA is a multi user system. The captured information
is uploaded to the server and merged with the main database
at the end of each working day when the tablet PCs are

ArtrA zooms to pre-existing defects via bookmarks

ArtrA allows digital photographs to be linked to objects in the
BIM. This process is automatic when the photograph is taken
through a tablet PC equipped with the necessary in-built
technology, (e.g. Motion Series). When a hand-held digital
camera is used (as in this case), the engineer records the DSC
image number in the tag-input-form and manually links the
image later.

Prior to the (BIM) site survey, the previous five years
recorded Conditioned Survey defects were added to ArtrA.
This was accomplished by re-entering the annotation on 2D
drawings & handwritten notes as ArtrA tags and properties,
and linking them to the corresponding structural objects in
the model; a process that was completed in a few days.

Existing defects were saved as a Bookmark view and named.
ArtrA Bookmarks provide a means for quickly finding and
reviewing the nature and locations of pre-existing defects.
When a Bookmark is selected on the tablet, ArtrA will zoom

Lifecycle ArtrA BIM for Conditioned Survey

For more information visit Email Tel: +44 (0) 1883 621170

ARTRA Field-BIM & Facilities Management

Plant & Asset Lifecycle Management


Prior to conducting the BIM-based survey, the previous 5
years survey drawings and documents were linked to the
model. This was done by searching for the appropriate items
and linking the relevant document bundles onto the search

Document being marked up in ArtrA using Autodesk Design Review

In addition to marking-up drawings, it is possible to take

snapshots of the model and mark them up to provide extra
clarity or to reinforce the information captured in the tags.

Design drawings linked to the model in ArtrA

So in order to link the structural drawings for the ground and

basement floors to the model, a search was run for all items
in those floors, and then the drawing(s) dragged and dropped
onto the results.

Marked-up ArtrA snapshot

Information captured from site can be reported in several
tabular or thematic formats depending on what is required.
Because the information is held in a SQL database, reports
can combine (BIM) model data with information captured
from site and filtered accordingly.
Existing Survey Drawing Added to ArtrA Field-BIM

In addition to linking the design drawings, PDFs of previously

marked-up surveys were also added to the model to help
ensure no information would be missed or overlooked.


For those occasions where it is necessary, or desirable to
mark-up drawings in DWF or PDF, ArtrA is configured to open
linked documents with suitable applications such as Autodesk
Design Review.
Conditioned Survey report all defects January 2011

The ability to drill down into the data allows detailed reports
to be created such as list all defects to the deck (slab), on all
levels in zone B, that have occurred after a given date

For more information visit Email Tel: +44 (0) 1883 621170

ARTRA Field-BIM & Facilities Management

Plant & Asset Lifecycle Management


ArtrA training for Field-BIM managers is usually held in two
sessions over four days. However, the engineers involved in
this pilot/case study received only a single days training.
Following this, they were able to create and modify database
tags & properties to suit their requirements, enter 5 years of
previous survey results into the system and then link all
relevant drawings & documentation to the model.

Historical record of column cracking

Reports can be output to Excel where they may be further

processed or generated directly from the SQL database.

Any information in the database can be portrayed
thematically in colour via the model to visually locate it
within the structure, and communicate the extent of an issue.

Field engineers using ArtrA on tablet PCs normally require a

4 hour training course, although in this instance no training
was provided and the engineer was self-taught; a testament
to ArtrAs simplicity and ease of use.

Different tools & hardware devices are required if BIM is to
be used in the Field. They must be easy enough for engineers,
site foreman, & facilities managers to use, provide full access
to all design information and documentation, and have the
ability to capture data.
ArtrA Field-BIM runs on
designed for field use; being
durable, resistant to water &
dust and with high visibility
screens. They are also
suitable for use whilst
wearing protective gloves &

Location of pigeon nesting to front faade (Red)

ArtrAs thematic colour coding can be used to create near

instant management, status and progress monitoring reports,
or to identify items scheduled for maintenance, as well as
highlighting critical test results.

For more information on ArtrA Field-BIM visit or contact us below

ArtrA Ltd
Bourne House,
475 Godstone Road,
CR3 0BL,
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1883 621170

Thematic view showing location of defects

For more information visit Email Tel: +44 (0) 1883 621170