Deploying BIM in a Heavy Civil Project

Roar Fosse1, Laurie Spitler2 & Thais Alves3

1Regional Manager, Lean Construction, Skanska, Oslo, Norway, +4793444588,
2Customer Engagement Specialist, Autodesk, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA, +1 415 342-1073,
3Associate Professor, J. R. Filanc Construction Eng. and Mgmt. Program, Dept. of Civil, Constr., and Env. Eng., San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA,


This paper explores the case of a heavy civil project that implemented a comprehensive BIM execution plan. Although BIM was not required in the tender documents, the bid was won partially due to the contractor’s proposal to use BIM to develop and manage the complex project. The paper presents a synopsis of the value proposition of BIM on this project and how it supported a number of Lean principles. An outline of project challenges, including design complexity, dispersed design team, and inexperience with BIM, is presented. Finally, through a research method consisting of interviews and site observations, the authors demonstrate that understanding people’s work routines and establishing the right level of BIM ambitions for the project allowed the project team to successfully exploit the opportunities BIM has to offer. Using the BIM functionalities list identified by Sacks et al.’s BIM-Lean interactions matrix, the authors identify the Lean principles that the specific functionalities implemented at the project enabled. The aim of this is to support previous research suggesting that there are specific synergies between different BIM functionalities and corresponding Lean principles, as well as document how they were implemented in a heavy civil project.


Collaboration, visual management, BIM, heavy civil project



Fosse, R. , Spitler, L. & Alves, T. 2016, 'Deploying BIM in a Heavy Civil Project' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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