The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate how Building Information Modeling (BIM), created for a university research lab facility, can be successfully leveraged by an owner beyond initial building construction. Through the example of the new Univ. of Colorado at Boulder’s Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, we will illustrate how the university and facilities management staff played an integral part of the construction BIM coordination process. The team achieved complete buy-in from the owner staff as various research lab spaces were coordinated through the use of BIM. The final BIM, tied directly to the operations and management (O&M) digital documents, provided an effective visual of the final building product for the owner to utilize throughout the life of the building.

Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building

A 336,000-sf multidisciplinary research facility bringing together scientists from eight university departments into one single collaborative and exploratory environment.

The presentation team will describe their approach for utilizing BIM specific to flexible lab design, first to aid in a collaborative construction coordination process that achieved the university’s goals and objectives, and finally to leverage the 3-D, information-rich model data beyond the construction phase, for this exciting new lab facility.

The Univ. of Colorado at Boulder’s Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building provided a unique opportunity to maximize the value of BIM far beyond building completion. By combining a progressive university and facilities management staff and collaborative construction and design team members, the collective group had the ability to drive innovation, using technology, to another level.

When construction of the new research lab facility began, the construction team met with the key university and facilities management staff regularly to walk them through specific areas of the lab building visually in the BIM model and get their feedback and buy-in. They would provide input on access to their systems—panels, valves, mechanical equipment—and the team would work to accommodate their needs. The lab equipment vendors provided equipment BIM models, which aided the owner staff in understanding how the equipment would be moved into place and how it would fit within the overall space. The owner staff was brought into the job site office and was always involved as we coordinated in BIM from one area to the next, to make sure the key areas in the lab facility were built to meet their university’s goals and objectives.

After construction BIM coordination of the research lab facility reached completion, the team offered the university various ways to access and use these data-rich models. Some of the facilities management staff installed BIM software on their computers, and with software training from us, are able to walk through the models themselves for maintenance purposes. The robust hyperlinked digital as-built documents put together for the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building also provided links to the final as-built BIM models for each area so the owner would have quick access to the visual information when needed.

Matt Meyer is a Senior Project Manager for JE Dunn Construction’s S&T Group in Denver, Colo. Meyer is a LEED AP and has over 28 years of experience.